Challenges in REDD+: the Experience of Tanzania Forest Conservation Group

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Charles Meshak talks about the specific REDD+ challenges he experienced with the Tanzania Forest Conservation group.


  • 1. Challenges in REDD+: the Experience of Tanzania Forest Conservation Group Presented by Charles Meshack Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) COP 19/CMP 9 EventGetting REDD+ off the ground: challenges and opportunities Friday, 15 November 2013 Column Hall, University of Warsaw

2. Project Overview 5 year project. Started September 2009. Partnership between 2 Tanzanian NGOs. Financed by Norway 28 communities: 18 communities in a montane site and 10 in a coastal forest site Total forest area: 174,026 ha Located in 2 Biodiversity Hotspots 3. Project goal and purpose Project Goal: To reduce GHG emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in Tanzania in ways that provide direct and equitable incentives to rural communities to conserve and manage forests sustainably. Purpose: To demonstrate, at local, national and international levels, a pro-poor approach to reducing deforestation and forest degradation by generating equitable financial incentives for communities that are sustainably managing or conserving Tanzanian forests at community level. 4. Project strategy Stage 1: Site selection based on forest area, deforestation rates, stakeholder interest and biodiversity criteria; Stage 2: Free, prior and informed consent with participating communities; Stage 3: Participatory identification, and implementation of strategies to reduce deforestation including participatory forest management, land use planning, improved agriculture and other livelihood activities; Stage 4: Generate emission reductions; verify emission reductions according to VCS and CCB standards; and channel revenues back to the communities initially using project funds. 5. Challenges encountered in fulfilling the projects goals Achieving the goals of reducing deforestation and improving rural livelihoods simultaneously requires extensive consultation and a participatory approach to planning and implementation which takes time and skilled facilitatorsSome of the skills necessary to implement strategies that will reduce deforestation such as promoting conservation agriculture, were not available locally at the project outset and have required building the capacity of local government and other stakeholders.Changing rural communities behaviour takes time and if even, a small minority continue with business as usual, rates of deforestation may not be reduced. 6. Challenges Where land, forest and carbon tenure are not clearly identified, these need to be clarified before embarking on REDD and this process of clarifying tenure can create conflictThere are conflicting national policies on REDD and on agriculture in Tanzania.For communities to chose to maintain forest cover beyond the REDD readiness phase, communities need to receive financial benefits that are sufficient to incentivise behaviours that do not result in deforestation. The price of carbon on the voluntary market is too low for this to make rational economic sense for some communities. 7. Challenges There is uncertainty in national and international REDD policy. Meeting the MRV requirements for VCS is expensive and time-consuming and requires a skills set not readily available in Tanzania 8. What the project has done to overcome the challenges The project has established a performance based model for REDD which channels revenues from the voluntary market directly to the communities as shareholders in the community REDD enterpriseAdopting a participatory approach to planning and implementation and remaining committed to free, prior and informed consentInvolving multiple stakeholders in the design and implementation of the projects interventions and building their capacity to engage in REDD 9. Change needed in the larger political, economic and technical sphere to make REDD work for communities and forest conservation Communities have demonstrated their ability and willingness to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, it is now time for the international community to demonstrate their willingness to pay for REDD by paying communities who reduce emissions at a price that fairly reflects the opportunity costs and transactions costs of not converting forest to other land uses. 10. Changes needed to make REDD work for rural communities Agricultural policies are needed that support small-scale farmers to adopt more sustainable and profitable agriculture that does not require forest clearance.There is still a need for REDD readiness support to help communities to engage with REDD in ways that bring them real livelihood benefits.MRV results should be accessible at the scale of individual communities within a national level GHG accounting mechanism 11. For more information, please visit:


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