Thinking and acting for long-term biodiversity conservation
On Saturday the 27th May, Carbon Tanzania reached a milestone, the result of 18 months of training and planning, by signing a 30-year carbon contract with Makame Community Wildlife Management Area (CWMA). This contract, the first of its kind in Tanzania, outlines the responsibilities of both parties to the implementation of this REDD+ project. In short, it ensures that this vast area of Acacia-Commiphora Dryland Forest is both protected for the foreseeable future, and that the communities who have chosen to protect it receive regular income. We were honored to have the District Executive Director, Mr. Tamin Kambona, sign on behalf of Kiteto District, witnessed by the District Forest Officer Mr. Sebastian Nkini. Upon signing he congratulated us and stated, “now this WMA can start earning money for its air” – needless to say there was a round of applause and a few wry smiles.
In the development and negotiation process, the most difficult part was the need for a 30-year contractual timeline, something for which there are few examples in Tanzanian law. So why did we need a contract for 30 years? As a third party standards developer, the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) are there to ensure that the CO2 locked up in these forests remains in the ground, not just in the short term, but hopefully in perpetuity. It is what climate mitigation projects like this are all about, long term planning, long term thinking and a Maasai community, and their cattle, that will still have their seasonal grazing lands, known as Ronjo, for many years to come.