Earlier this year we conducted GPS training and provided our Walinzi Wajadi (community scouts) with Garmin Camera-enabled GPS units and iTrip data loggers – equipment provided thanks to an award from Idea Wild. This easy to use technology will allow us to build a database of geo-referenced images of poaching incidents, possible land incursions and the illegal removal of trees, and will also allow us to create an accurate record of the areas being patrolled by our Walinzi Wajadi teams.
The teams responded very positively to the introduction of this space-age technology, immediately recognizing the benefits that the data can bring. One of the key challenges for the communities protecting their forest resources is incursion by both farmers and pastoralists. Although by-laws define clearly the areas to be used for each activity, lack of hard evidence often hinders action being taken when people infringe the by-laws – it can become a my-word-against-yours scenario when reported higher up the ladder. With geo-tagged images and clear records of where land incursions have occurred the communities will be in a stronger position to protect their legal land tenure rights. On a personal level the community scouts were visibly proud of being entrusted with a new and powerful device that supports their already impressive efforts at playing the role of modern-day guardians for their ancient culture.
Supported by the District Game Officer and one of Carbon Tanzania’s local partners, the Ujamaa Community Resource Team (UCRT), the anti-poaching and data gathering teams, or Walinzi Wajadi, continue to patrol within the 20,200ha project area. Land incursion causing deforestation remains low, in part due to strong local and district enforcement of the land use plans that are enshrined in the village CCROs (Certificates of Customary Right of Occupancy).
Distribution of Carbon Offset Payments to the Communities
In November 2014, 21 million shillings (US $13,000) was paid by Carbon Tanzania to Domanga and Mongo wa Mono villages, the second of our bi-annual payments. Our clients, and many interested parties, often ask where the money is spent, not least because Carbon Tanzania is the only organization in Tanzania actually disbursing funds to communities that are derived from carbon offset sales in the Voluntary Carbon Market. The funds are divided following a community-led revenue sharing system, with some notable allocations as follows:
7.2 million is paid directly to the Walinzi Wajadi using East Africa’s mobile phone money transfer system, M-Pesa. These payments create employment and ensure patrolling and enforcement of the project area.
The Hadza communities reserve 2 million shillings (US $1200) for a health fund administered by the Haydom Lutheran Hospital. This fund also benefits from payments from the Dorobo Fund (administered by one of our offsetters, Dorobo Safaris). This arrangement allows individuals to obtain pre-financed medical treatment from the Haydom Hospital.
A further 2.6 million shillings (US $1,600) is remitted to District and Ward governments to assist them in providing the support required for village by-law enforcement and other administrative matters. Remaining amounts go towards paying school fees for Hadza children in local education and for emergency food purchase during the dry periods of the year.
Blog written by Carbon Tanzania’s founder Jo Anderson