In January 2016, Carbon Tanzania begins a new challenge, to develop, certify and bring to market a REDD+ (Reduced Emissions from Deforestation & forest Degradation) project in the Makame Wildlife Management Area (WMA). At 4,500km2 of Acacia-Commiphora woodland, this area supports both Maasai pastoralists and wildlife populations alike. For this blog I wanted to share the expertise and introduce some of our partner organizations who will play a key role in supporting our work in Makame WMA.
REDD+ in Makame WMA is part of a collaborative approach with our partners including The Nature Conservancy, I asked Matt Brown, Conservation Director for Africa about why we should be focusing on Makame WMA; “Makame WMA is critical habitat for wildlife and people as it forms the southern edge of the Tarangire Ecosystem. Because it is still largely intact woodland, this area is a priority for conservation. Our work to secure local resource ownership, increase capacity to better manage these lands and improve revenue flow to local people from a better managed resource will help ensure this area is protected for hunter-gatherers, pastoralists, agriculturalists and wildlife tourism.”
Edward Lekiata, Land rights lawyer for Ujamaa Community Resource Trusts and member of the Makame WMA board; “The Wildlife Management Area ensures that we are able to manage our own natural resources, within our resource plan we have outlined areas that we want to conserve for our indigenous uses such as the Eng’gore / IIaramatak management zone. These areas provide us with grazing but we need assistance, both technical and financial to prevent externally driven slash and burn agriculture, this REDD project can help us achieve our goals as a sustainable landscape for people, cattle and wildlife”.
Charles Foley, Tarangire Elephant Project, gives us an idea of how important Makame is to Tarangire National Parks Elephant population; “Makame supports an elephant population of perhaps 500 individuals that migrate annually between the WMA and the southern half of Tarangire National Park. These elephants are very shy and wild, and spend most of the year hiding in the dense, almost impenetrable thickets that cover large parts of the WMA. During the dry season, when the waterholes in Makame dry up, the elephants move into the Park. In very dry years they migrate to Silale swamp in the centre of the Park, which is one of the few occasions that tourists are likely to see them. There they congregate during the day in a single group of several hundred animals, standing in the middle of the swamp where they are safe from the approach of people or vehicles, and only moving to feed and drink from the nearby waterholes at night.”
written by Carbon Tanzania’s founder Marc Baker