The Hadza Hunter-gatherers of Yaeda Chini, Domanga and Mongo wa Mono villages have been powerful indigenous voices protecting forests on their ancestral lands for decades. They have applied Carbon Tanzania’s community-led approach to REDD (Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation) to protect their biodiverse and carbon rich forests and following a decade of successful forest protection activities, their voices have now been heard by their neighbours. The neighbouring Datooga pastoralists have witnessed first-hand the development of the project and the benefits that the Hadza are now enjoying and are ready to join forces with the team from the award winning Yaeda Valley REDD project to protect their own land and natural resources. 

These two ethnic groups have very different lifestyles but they both depend on healthy forest ecosystems to thrive. They both see Carbon Tanzania’s approach to REDD as an opportunity to protect their forests and support their livelihoods.

Isack Bryson, the Yaeda Valley REDD project manager, explains that “in order to successfully expand the existing project and to ensure the daily operations run smoothly, we needed to recruit community members for key positions.”

With the extension of the Yaeda Valley REDD project through the Lake Eyasi basin to the Ngorongoro highlands, German Qaghay Sedoyeka, who is a Datooga from the the Eyasi area, has been recruited as the Eyasi Project Manager. German’s previous experience with our partners UCRT, brings invaluable knowledge to the process of developing the land use plans and bylaws in conjunction with the community, a process that forms the very foundations of our REDD projects. Communication skills are essential in ensuring German’s community understand that both the success of the REDD project and receiving the results-based payments depend on all community members adhering to the land use plans.

German Qaghay Sedoyeka – Eyasi Project Manager

German explains that this approach to living by agreed upon land use plans is new for the community and he has to meet with village leaders to discuss consequences when by-laws are broken. Change always takes time to adjust to and can raise uncertainty even when the positive benefits of change are evident. Overcoming these obstacles are a challenge that German is up to.  “I enjoy being part of this forest conservation project and to have a chance to ensure the future of my pastoralist community is secure with good grazing land. I also enjoy working with my colleagues and achieving collective results.”

German explains that this approach to living by agreed upon land use plans is new for the community and he has to meet with village leaders to discuss consequences when by-laws are broken. Change always takes time to adjust to and can raise uncertainty even when the positive benefits of change are evident. Overcoming these obstacles are a challenge that German is up to.  “I enjoy being part of this forest conservation project and to have a chance to ensure the future of my pastoralist community is secure with good grazing land. I also enjoy working with my colleagues and achieving collective results.”

Isack explains “we need more soldiers in this global fight against climate change” and he has a new ally in Regina Safari – Hadzabe Community Co-ordinator. 

Regina Safari – Hadza Community Co-ordinator

Regina is Hadza and was born in Domanga Village, one of the two original villages to engage in Carbon Tanzania’s flagship project – The Yaeda Valley REDD project. 

Indigenous voices protecting forests in Tanzania - Regina Safari

Regina’s role aims to strengthen her community’s voice by working with the Hadza to determine how any development that happens is in-line with Hadza culture and identity. “Being able to collaborate with my community at a grassroots level is deeply rewarding. I am learning more about my community’s journey and I feel empowered to help us all move forward and improve our situation.”

One of Carbon Tanzania’s goals in developing a REDD project is to address SDG 8 (Sustainable Development goal 8) – Decent work and economic growth. We aim to promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all by employing members of the community where our projects are located. However, when you speak with Isack, German or Regina about their work it becomes clear that this isn’t just a job for any of them. They are working hard to elevate the collective voice of their community, they are promoting the social, economic and political inclusion of all in the global fight against the climate crisis.

To learn more about the team at Carbon Tanzania visit our about page.