Preventing deforestation can mitigate 31% of global emissions, while safeguarding important biodiversity. REDD projects can link sustainable management of biodiverse forests to economic and livelihood improvements.
Tanzania currently looses approx 1-2% of forests every year, contributing to approximately 70% of the country’s national emissions. Using the REDD monitoring framework and methodology for carbon accounting, Carbon Tanzania aims to reverse this trend by empowering indigenous and forest communities to earn carbon revenues through the protection of wildlife-rich forests in Tanzania. Securing indigenously managed forests is critical to climate mitigation and biodiversity conservation efforts, and with over 90% of people who live in extreme poverty depending partially on forests for their livelihoods this approach contributes significantly to addressing these dual crises while improving livelihoods.
Carbon Tanzania’s REDD projects generate Verified Emission Reductions (VERs or carbon credits) by protecting Tanzania’s threaten forests from deforestation. These carbon credits are certified by international third party standards such as Plan Vivo and VERRA and sold on the international Voluntary Carbon market.
The climate mitigation impacts are two-fold. By preventing threatened forests from being cut down the biodiverse forests of Tanzania are able to continue to sequester carbon and the high-quality carbon credits generated from the project supports international efforts to reach net-zero commitments.
Carbon Tanzania is currently supporting over 30 companies and numerous individuals to meet their net-zerocommitments by supplying high quality, certified carbon credits that protect nature and support the livelihoods of 63,000 forest community members in Tanzania.
Carbon Tanzania’s three community-led REDD projects protect over 600,000 ha of community owned or managed forests and generate 1,603,000 verified emission reductions earning the communities US$808,000.00 to date.
This triple bottom line solution shows that climate mitigation impacts can be achieved while also protecting nature and supporting rural livelihoods. It demonstrates that climate justice is inextricably linked to a respect for indigenous peoples’ rights.
Carbon Tanzania’s projects monitor and measure their impact within the context of the SDGs and addresses 10 out of the 17 goals. In addition to working towards SDG 13 we are also able to address SDG 5, 8, 9, 13, 15, 16 and 17 by protecting forests. By selling the certified carbon credits generated by the forest conservation activities the project targets SDG 1, 3, 4 and 17.
The revenue earned from the sale of certified carbon credits is paid directly to forest communities empowering the communities to manage their own development needs. The communities receive their revenue in bi-annual payments when the villagers come together to determine how to share the revenue.
Revenue is always allocated to the following key areas:
1. Primary and Secondary education funds for girls and boys
2. Building infrastructure to improve educational opportunities
3. Health funds and outreach clinics (eg trachoma and TB diagnostics) for the entire community
4. Building infrastructure to improve health services
5. Improve forest protection activities including funding the salaries and training for Village Game Scouts who patrol and monitor the forest and its wildlife.
6. Strengthening governance at a local, ward and district level, including the building of required infrastructure to enforce village by-laws.
7. Community development initiatives eg construction of Police Posts, funding of community sports eventsand Supporting the Community Conservation banking program which provides loans to women to start environmentally friendly businesses.
While the REDD framework has been in development for over 15 years, Carbon Tanzania’s innovative approach to REDD goes beyond providing finance for forest conservation and addresses climate justice. Carbon Tanzania’s approach to developing and implementing REDD projects not only recognises the role of indigenous people in conservation, but integrally depends on their involvement. By empowering forest communities to sustainably manage indigenous owned or managed forests, Carbon Tanzania is able to strengthen land and resource owner rights while protecting nature, mitigating climate change and delivering climate justice to some of Tanzania’s marginalised communities.
Carbon Tanzania’s application of the REDD model is a uniquely collaborative approach where we work with a range of partners from forest communities to social justice organisations and from environmental protection organisations to international corporations. This approach puts the conservation of Tanzania’s threatened and biodiverse forests to the forefront of global conservation attracting a range of innovators from software engineers to carbon finance providers.
The arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic, the crash in tourism and the subsequent loss of revenue and the loss of international donor funding, has highlighted the importance of diverse revenue streams to conservation across Africa. Income from carbon credit sales has been recognised as a new and important source of revenue for conservation during these challenging years with Carbon Tanzania’s forest community partners earning some of their largest annual revenues to date.
Carbon Tanzania is transforming the traditional paradigm that wildlife and people should be separated in order to protect large tracts of wilderness.
Carbon Tanzania’s flagship REDD initiative (The Yaeda Valley REDD Project) created with the Hadza hunter-gatherer community in northern Tanzania provides a proof of concept for the development of and certification of further REDD projects with indigenous communities in Tanzania. Carbon Tanzania has scaled this approach, adding 2 projects now in operation and with more in development.
The demand from International businesses for high integrity and high quality certified carbon credits is growing stronger every day. With an increase in demand and an increased interest from forest communities in Tanzania to utilise Carbon Tanzania’s community led approach to REDD, the initiative is in a position to considerably scale up its impact across Tanzania where approximately 15% of all forested land is under the control or local village communities..
A new scaling strategy for Carbon Tanzania to increase its impact exists with the engagement of the national government to support them in formally reporting the removals from REDD activities in their Reserved Lands as a contribution to meeting their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) to the Paris Agreement. Carbon Tanzania can increase its impacts through providing advice and services to the government which will lead to their model being realised at a national scale since the protection of forest resources using the REDD framework is explicitly provided for under The Paris Agreement.