Carbon Tanzania works with forest communities in Tanzania to protect community owned, threatened forests. The contracts we develop with the communities stipulates that it is our responsibility to develop the carbon project and sell the resulting carbon credits, and that it is the communities’ responsibility to determine the mechanics of how they will protect their forests. At each of the three project sites where we work the communities have decided to employ their own Village Game Scouts (VGS) to patrol and protect their forests from deforestation, land incursions and poaching.
We spoke with SSGT Joshua Alamayani, one of 27 VGS at the Makame Savannah project, to gain a better understanding of what impact the work of the Village Game Scouts has on his community.
1. Where are you from and how did you come to be a VGS?
I am from Ngabolo, one of the member villages of the Makame WMA. I have been a VGS since 2013 when I completed my studies at Community Based Conservation Training Centre (CBCTC) – Likuyu Sekamaganga until now.
2. What changes have you seen in the landscape since you started working as a VGS?
From when I started working as a VGS until now I’ve seen big changes in the Makame landscape, which is a wildlife rich ecosystem covering 364,322ha. In 2014 the situation in the south of the project area was very bad. The southern area was regularly being invaded for unsustainable agricultural activities by people from outside the member villages of the WMA. People were destroying large areas of the reserve but since I started working as a VGS, I, together with my team, have been able to save the invaded area. Now the Makame Savannah Project area is secure. All land incursions and poaching incidents are now being addressed through the legal process and leadership of the WMA.
3. How valuable is your work to your community?
The community sees that the environment is now protected by the VGS with the funding of the carbon project. As a result, we can all now use the land in accordance with our pastoralist traditions and in accordance with the village land use plans that have been developed by the entire community.
We have always coexisted with Tanzania’s wild animals and our community benefits from wildlife tourism so protecting habitat for the wildlife is also valued.
Working closely with the community is vital in our efforts to protect our natural resources. Our friends, family and neighbours always communicate with us when they see illegal activities like poaching or environmental destruction which ensures these offenses can be dealt with quickly.
If you would like to support Joshua and his team of VGS protect the Makame Savannah Project Area please contact us here.
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