Empowering Communities through PFM, REDD+ and Climate Change Initiatives

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ECOPRC is a five years partnership project launched on February, 2013. The project intends to build the capacity of community groups in Tanzania to manage their resources more sustainably and profitably” and to enhance the sustainable management of Tanzania’s forest resources in ways that maximize social, economic, environmental and governance benefits for communities engaged in Participatory Forest Management (PFM), REDD+ and climate change initiatives.

Other project partners are Forestry Training Institute (FTI) Olmotonyi-Arusha (as a Lead Institute), the Regional Community Forestry Training Centre for Asia and Pacific (RECOFTC) or more recently known as the Centre for People and Forests based in Bangkok-Thailand and FORCONSULT, the consultancy unit of the Faculty of Forestry and Nature Conservation at Sokoine University of Agriculture. Read more

Project Goal: To build the capacity of community groups in Tanzania to manage their forest resources more sustainably and profitably

Project Purpose: To enhance the sustainable management of Tanzania’s forest resources in ways that maximize social, economic, and environmental and governance benefits for communities engaged in participatory forest management, REDD+ and climate change initiatives.

Project Outputs:  The specific aims of ECOPRC are represented by 5 outputs and several specific activities aligned with and supporting those outputs:-

Output 1: PFM, REDD+ and climate change capacity building program is developed and institutionalized at FTI through an experiential and adaptive learning approach.

Output 2: District council and NGO staff become more effective in the delivery of PFM, REDD+ and climate change initiatives services and accountable to their clients.

Output 3: The skills and knowledge of village leadership to undertake sustainable PFM, REDD+ and climate change are improved.

Output 4: Opportunities for practitioners, implementers, and decision makers to review and reform the PFM, REDD+ and climate change policy environment are identified and supported.

Output 5: FTI infrastructures for effective training are improved.


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Target groups &Capacity Building Priorities

The project focuses at reaching two key groups

a)  Village and community leaders responsible for PFM, REDD+ and Climate change initiatives implementation. This includes members of village environment and village natural resource management committees ((village chairperson) VECs /VNRCs), members of village governments as well as local champions or resource persons at the village level with the potential to support PFM more broadly.

b)  Field level PFM, REDD+ and climate change facilitators. This includes gender balanced staff from both NGOs and local governments who interact with and support community – level forest managers. This group will act as the link between FTI, Olmotonyi and the ultimate beneficiaries.


Project Districts

  • The project targets to work initially with 12 districts where PFM, REDD+ and climate change activities are currently being undertaken, and where district staff have clear opportunities for translating their knowledge and skills into action and bring changes at village/community levels.
  • NGOs working in support of PFM, REDD+ and climate change initiative in any of the 12 districts will also be supported in terms of capacity building. In each of the 12 districts, 6 villages will be targeted for intensive capacity building. An additional batch of 72 villages will be targeted from a further 12 districts, once the capacity building programme has been developed and refined
  • The project intervention will be directed on the following districts: Bagamoyo, Kiteto, Same, Sikonge, Kibondo, Kilombero, Liwale, Micheweni, Kondoa, Manyoni, Kilindi and Kaskazini B


Project Beneficiaries

The ultimate beneficiaries of this project are present and future FTI students; village and community leaders responsible for PFM, REDD+ and Climate change initiatives implementation. This includes members of Village Natural Resource Management Committees (VNRC’s), Village Executive Committees (VECs), members of village governments as well as local champions or resource persons at the village level with the potential to support PFM, REDD+ and Climate Change Initiatives more broadly.


Project Performance

So far the project have done a number of activities which include Project Inception Meetings, Vertical and Horizontal Stakeholders meetings, Study tours, Training of Trainers to FTI and project staffs, conducting Capacity Building and Needs Assessment and Training Needs Assessment for both District Councils and selected NGO’s; and Curriculum Development Training for FTI and Project Staff.


Lessons Learnt

a) The ongoing negotiation at national and international level on different REDD+ issues including financing mechanism have left worries on the sustainability of REDD+ initiatives to local communities

b) The existing land conflicts among users indicate the weakness in governance and poor participation of communities in decision making and planning processes.

c) There is a need to continue informing the stakeholders the gap that the project wants to address. This should also include highlighting on how it links with ongoing PFM, REDD+ and climate change strategies and initiatives. Clear and general messages highlighting the key objectives of the project should be mapped to ensure effective communication between partners and stakeholders.