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

700 views

Published on

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

Published in: Education, Technology
0 Comments
0 Likes
Statistics
Notes
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Views
Total views
700
On SlideShare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
14
Actions
Shares
0
Downloads
13
Comments
0
Likes
0
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide
  • In this presentation I will describe a REDD pilot project in Tanzania and will present some of the challenges that the project has faced and what can be done.
  • Over the last four years, REDD-related initiatives that have been implemented in Tanzania include the UN REDD programme which has contributed to building national-level capacity to implement REDD; the development of a National REDD strategy with funding from Norway; various REDD research projects including the CIFOR project; and investment in nine NGO pilot projects. These pilot projects have generated many useful lessons learned on the implementation of REDD as well as building national capacity to implement the national REDD strategy. The pilot projects are coming to an end whereby some have already closed whilst others are due to close by the end of next year.
    In this presentation I am focusing on the project Making REDD work for communities and forest conservation in Tanzania. The project has been implemented by the Tanzania Forest Conservation Group in partnership with the Community Forest Conservation Network of Tanzania. The project is working in two separate sites to model a community-oriented approach to REDD. One project site is in the Eastern Arc Mountains and includes a mosaic of woodland and high biodiversity submontane and montane forest on village land. The other site is in the Eastern African Coastal Forest hotspot and includes areas of woodland and coastal forest also on village land. The project is now in its fifth year of implementation.
  • The project has been demonstrating a mechanism whereby REDD finance can bring about additional reductions in greenhouse gas emissions by channelling incentives as directly as possible to communities with forests on their land. In the absence of a compliance market for REDD or a fund-based mechanism, the project has been assisting communities to access funds from the voluntary market. The interventions to reduce emissions were selected on the basis of whether they also improved community livelihoods and strengthened community land tenure.
  • The interventions supported by the project were selected in a participatory way by the communities. As a result of the project 28 communities have more secure land tenure as a result of developing village land use plans; more secure forest tenure by establish village forest reserves; better governance through training of village leaders, construction of village offices and awareness raising on rights and responsibilities of different stakeholders; better public services as a result of investing a proportion of REDD revenues in constructing primary school class rooms, dispensaries and water supplies; improved agricultural practices through training on conservation agriculture; and 38,916 people have received direct REDD payments worth a total of approximately US$ 230,000.
    Importantly the rate of deforestation has decreased relative to the reference region and to the historical baseline. In one site alone, emissions for 2012 – 13 have reduced by 28,000 t CO2 equivalent.
    The project also has an advocacy component intended to contribute to national REDD policy development and has increased capacity in local and national government to engage in REDD.
  • I will now share with you some of the challenges that we have faced in piloting REDD in 28 communities in Tanzania.
    Challenges encountered in fulfilling the project’s 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 facilitators
    The project has worked with very poor communities for whom forest resources are critical to their livelihoods. Ensuring that community members benefit from the project has required an in-depth understanding of community resource use and community-led planning of interventions. It has taken our project four years of active consultation and capacity building to begin to see emission reductions taking place and livelihoods improving as a result of a suite of complementary interventions.
    Some of the skills necessary to implement strategies that will reduce deforestation such as promoting conservation agriculture and integrated land use planning and community based forest management , 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.
    In some cases, those involved in deforestation chose to continue to do so even where the majority of a community have chosen to aim for REDD. This can create conflict.
     
  • 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 conflict
    For some of the communities with whom we are working, their village boundaries were unclear. As a result, some people were residing on land that belonged to one village according to government maps, whilst considering that they belonged to another village. In the process of village land use planning, the boundaries had to be clarified resulting in some conflict.
     
    There are conflicting national policies on REDD and on agriculture
    In Tanzania, the drive for Big Results includes political pressure to convert forest land to agricultural land. Initiatives such as SAGCOT aim to bring 350,000 ha of land into commercial production. This conflicts directly with the National REDD strategy and Action plan which aim to reduce deforestation as a result of the expansion of agricultural land.
     
  • 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.
     
     
    There is uncertainty in national and international REDD policy Uncertainty on the form that REDD will take and the amount of funds that will be available increases risk for all stakeholders. In particular it is still unclear how the kind of nested approach modelled by the project will fit in with the national level initiatives discussed in Tanzania’s National REDD strategy and action plan.
     
    Meeting the MRV requirements for VCS is expensive and time-consuming and requires a skills set not readily available in Tanzania
    In the absence of wall-to-wall mapping of deforestation at national level, projects need to measure historical deforestation; to map carbon stocks; and to develop models of projected deforestation individually in order to access funds from the voluntary market. This has raised many technical challenges for the NGO pilot projects in Tanzania. In the absence of Norwegian finance, these technical requirements represent a significant barrier to scaling up.
     
  • 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 enterprise
    This model has encouraged broad participation in REDD as all women, men and children resident in a village are entitled to a dividend. This approach has also helped to avoid elite capture and has encouraged more accountability for community leaders.
     
    Adopting a participatory approach to planning and implementation and remaining committed to free, prior and informed consent
    In countries such as Tanzania where much of the deforestation is caused by tens of thousands of small scale farmers, a bottom up approach to REDD is necessary involving flexibility in the strategies adopted to reduce emissions to suit local conditions. This has involved implementing multiple interventions including land use planning, establishment of community based forest management, training on improved agriculture, micro-finance and business skills to match the priorities identified by the communities.
     
     
    By involving government officials, elected representatives, academics, other civil society organisations, agricultural research institutes as well as local leaders and residents of the participating villages at every stage of the project, the project has been able to overcome some of the challenges that it has faced along the way as a broad range of stakeholders are aware of what the project is trying to achieve.
  • 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.
     
  • 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.
    To scale up beyond the 28 communities currently involved in this REDD model will still require ‘start-up’ funds to pay for readiness steps such as land use planning and training to farmers on conservation agriculture.
     
    MRV results should be accessible at the scale of individual communities within a national level GHG accounting mechanism
    Whereas our project has calculated the historical deforestation rates and carbon stock; and modelled future deforestation very precisely for our project area, this has been a very time consuming process requiring 3 years of a PhD level technical advisor. It would be more cost effective and efficient if projects could access sub-national datasets for a particular project area from national GHG accounts and on that basis access performance-related payments.
  • Challenges in REDD+: the Experience of Tanzania Forest Conservation Group

    1. 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 Event ‘Getting REDD+ off the ground: challenges and opportunities’ Friday, 15 November 2013 Column Hall, University of Warsaw
    2. 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. 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. 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. 5. Challenges encountered in fulfilling the project’s 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 facilitators • Some 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. 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 conflict • There 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. 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. 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 enterprise • Adopting a participatory approach to planning and implementation and remaining committed to free, prior and informed consent • Involving multiple stakeholders in the design and implementation of the project’s interventions and building their capacity to engage in REDD
    9. 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. 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. 11. For more information, please visit: www.tfcg.org/makingReddWork.html

    ×