Deforestation, forest degradation and land use change are the second largest source of carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere contributing about 18% of total global emissions. Tanzania is actively engaged in Reducing Emissions of greenhouse gases from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD+).
The annual deforestation rate for Tanzania is estimated to be 410,000 ha per year, approximately 1 %. Major deforestation and forest degradation drivers in Tanzania include:
- expansion of agricultural land for subsistence
- commercial agriculture
- charcoal production
- uncontrolled fires
Tanzania has been at the forefront of advancing the policies and practices of participatory forest management (PFM) whereby control and management of forests is devolved from central government to local level, community institutions. Recent studies have pointed to the fact that while forest condition appears to be improving under community management systems, participating communities have been less successful in capturing economic benefits. In order for participatory forest management to be sustainable, communities need to receive more direct benefits. REDD+ financing offers a long-term revenue stream that could cover some or all of the opportunity costs and the local level forest management costs. To read more about REDD initiative in Tanzania open http://www.reddtz.org/
REDD+ and Communities
In Tanzania, forests under participatory forest management are better managed with lower rates of deforestation and degradation. Forests are better managed when the women and men who live around them, are involved in their management. In order for participatory forest management to be sustainable and equitable, tangible benefits need to accrue directly to the communities that are managing them. By helping to protect our planet’s climate by reducing emissions of greenhouse gases from deforestation and forest degradation, communities are providing a valuable service to the global community. REDD+ offers an opportunity for communities to be recompensed for that service whilst enhancing their capacity to manage and benefit from their forests.
Making REDD+ work for communities and forest conservation in Tanzania
MJUMITA have been implementing REDD pilot project in partnership with Tanzania Forest Conservation Group (TFCG) since September 2009.
Project goal was to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in Tanzania in ways that provide direct and equitable incentives to rural communities to conserve and manage forests sustainably.
The purpose of this project was to demonstrate at local, national and international level a pro-poor approach to reducing deforestation and forest degradation by generating equitable financial incentives for communities that are sustainably managing Tanzanian forests.
The project had four outputs summarized as:-
- Output 1: Replicable, equitable and cost-effective models developed and tested at the group or community level for reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+) on village and government forest land in ways that maximize benefits to communities, forests and the nation.
- Output 2: Replicable, equitable and cost-effective models developed that are designed to address the drivers of deforestation and forest degradation and to reduce leakage across project sites in ways that build capacity of communities and other stakeholders and provide additional climate change benefits.
- Output 3: Monitoring, evaluation and documentation processes supported that assess the overall impact of the project at local and national levels and communication of the findings undertaken.
- Output 4: Advocacy process supported at the national and international levels that promote equitable and effective REDD+ benefit sharing mechanisms in particular with regard to forest managers at the community level.
This five year project was launched in November 2009 phased out on August 2014 with no cost extension to December 2014. The project is financed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Government of Norway.
For more information about the project you can also visit. www.tfcg.org/MakingReddWork.html
How will REDD+ funds flow to communities in such a way as to cause a measurable reduction in emissions of greenhouse gases?
The project is supporting MJUMITA to aggregate and market voluntary emission reductions from individual community forests (villages) implementing REDD+ in accordance with the Voluntary Carbon Standards and the Climate, Community and Biodiversity Project Standards.
MJUMITA has developed a model of REDD+ based on direct payments to communities commensurate with reductions in emissions of greenhouse gases relative to a historical baseline.
The model involves the following steps:
1) Villages make a commitment (to themselves) to reduce deforestation and undertake community based forest management, village land use planning and improved agriculture.
2) Villages protect the forests on their land and take steps to address deforestation drivers such as shifting agriculture.
3) Emission reductions are calculated and are sold, initially on the voluntary carbon market.
4) Payments are performance-based commensurate with measurable reductions in emissions relative to a historical baseline and are calculated on a village by village basis.
5) MJUMITA plays the role of service provider linking communities with REDD finance.
6) MJUMITA will be responsible for remote sensing, contracting third party verification, marketing and payment facilitation.
7) Reports from MJUMITA are presented to the Executive Committee of the project composed by the respective village leaders, representatives of respective District Authorities, National level Institutions and NGOs responsible for REDD+ implementation.
8) Compensation to MJUMITA will be limited to the cost of services provided which will be specified in a contracts between MJUMITA and each village.
9) MJUMITA channels payments from the voluntary market (or other sources of REDD+ finance) to the individual communities.
10) Each community must choose their payment system and codify the system in their bylaws.
11) Villages pass bylaws to govern the distribution of REDD+ funds centered around individual (adult) or the whole village population dividends including elders and children.
12) Villages assemblies meet yearly to decide on a proportion of individual dividends to use for forest management activities, specific development projects or household use.
During the project implementation, MJUMITA developed a simple and transparent system of REDD+ revenue sharing that ensures equitable benefits are realized by all communities participating in the project through payment of dividend.
The revenue sharing model was tested and approved by 10 villages in Lindi, 12 villages in Kilosa and 4 villages in Mpwapwa where a total of Tanzanian Shillings 595,092,790/= have been directly channeled to 54,085 community members in a form of individual dividend aiming to maximize incentives to maintain forest cover and reduce deforestation.