Carbon Tanzania has recently begun taking the first steps in the design and development of the expansion to the award-winning Yaeda Valley Project. This will amplify Carbon Tanzania’s proven innovative conservation solution across a culturally and ecologically important landscape that incorporates 12 villages and links the Yaeda Valley through the Eyasi Basin to the world-famous UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Ngorongoro Conservation Area (NCA). This exciting development is built on the work of Carbon Tanzania’s operational partner in Northern Tanzania, Ujamaa Community Resource Team (UCRT), who have completed 9 new village land use plans (VLUPs) in the Yaeda – Eyasi landscape.
The landscape now incorporates 18 CCROs (Certificates of Customary Right of Occupancy) – that confer legal land tenure rights to the community for a specific land-use type. This has increased community ownership and legal protection to over 100,000ha now set aside for use both by indigenous Hadza hunter-gatherers and traditional pastoralist communities.
Carbon Tanzania began work on the Project Development Document (PDD) which will outline the entire plan for the lifetime of the expanded project, incorporating the previous two phases of the Yaeda Project. This project expansion will include a completely new and novel landscape change analysis methodology, set to be both more accurate and cost-effective. This methodology, once accepted, will represent a significant leap in the capacity for and accessibility of community-led forest conservation projects and nature-based climate solutions.
Our partner in the landscape, the Ujumaa Community Resource Team (UCRT), will be conducting introductory meetings with the project villages and communities focused on free, prior, and informed consent(FPIC). “Free” means there is no manipulation of the local people who self-direct the process; ‘prior’ ensures that consent is sought in advance of activities being initiated; and “informed” indicates that local people receive all relevant information on the project and its potential economic, environmental, and cultural impacts in a language they can understand. FPIC is a critical part of Carbon Tanzania’s projects and ensures that projects are meaningfully done in partnership with the community.
Carbon Tanzania will then sign a contract with all the villages and communities, arrangements that probably represent the first significant investment agreement that most of these communities have ever been party to. At that point, the operational activities will begin, including the deployment of community members as village game scouts who will patrol the forests and protect the community’s natural resources. Likewise, this will underpin the eventual transfer of carbon revenues which the communities will self-direct to vitally important development initiatives such as healthcare, education, and rural infrastructure.
The avoided deforestation achieved by these communities will generate the Verified Carbon Units which represent the actual and measurable climate action they have undertaken and achieved. It is truly a testament to the hard work and success of the communities that were involved in the first iterations of the Yaeda project that the project is now being expanded “by popular demand” from both the surrounding communities and the global carbon market.
Written by Marc Baker & David Beroff