Sunday, January 6, 2013

SIX villages near the sprawling Nou thick forest in northern Tanzania
are eyeing the clean air business to rake in funds under a U.N.-backed
global carbon-trading scheme.

The villages with over 2,141.885 hactors of dense forest have drawn up
plans to reap $1.455 million in ten years in exchange for carbon
offsets, known as carbon emission reductions (CERs).

Experts say the community forest owned jointly by Dohom, Bermi
Bashnet, Long, Qameyu and Endaw villages could offset 24,232 tonnes of
CERs annually worth Tsh 233million ($145,392).

The village would be earning Tsh 9,000 ($6), by reducing a tonne of
carbon dioxide emission, the main agent for global warming.

Currently the villagers are finalizing some conditions, ready to
generate CER units, which are tradable in the carbon market under the
U.N.'s Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation
(REDD) scheme.

Babati Rural District Forest Officer, Josiah Manga told The East
African that the villages have so far managed to demarcate the
community forest borders, registered it and acquired the title deed.

Under the technical support of Farm Africa, an international
organization, plan to launch a pilot carbon trading project next year.

“These six villages will borrow a leaf from the nearby Ayasanda
Village Forest which has been a carbon trading pilot project under
REDD since 2002” Mr Manga explained.

Ayasanda miombo woodland forest covering 550 hactors, earns the
village Tsh 60 million ($40,000) annually for trading CERs.

Bashnet Ward civic leader, Mr Laurence Tara said the goal is to cash
in on carbon dioxide that trees store up and, at the same time, to
slow down the forest destruction in the area.

“The carbon trade would build villagers' trust in forest conservation,
if the survival of Manyara's remaining forests may well depend on
their efforts” Mr Tara explained.

Farm Africa Participatory Forest Management Team leader, Ernest Moshi
said the carbon-trading scheme would take off in January 2013.

The Farm Africa initiative is to assess the potential for communities
to benefit from carbon trading.

Members of village forest councils would be trained to measure how
much carbon their forests store per year, while continuing to manage
their forests sustainably.

“We have supported 13 villages in Babati and Mbulu district of Manyara
region to form community based forest management and joint forest
management” Mr Moshi explained, stressing that in the next phase of
the project, they will cover 33 villages.

Tanzania Participatory Forest Management Project (TPFMP) Coordinator,
Phillip Mbaga said his project pillars are participatory forest
management and improving the livelihood of adjacent forest communities
through forest based income-generating activities.

“We are trying to strike a balance between poverty and conservation
because poor people depending immensely on natural resources as the
source of their livelihood, so in order to have sustainable
conservation, we need to provide alternative sources of income to
these people” Mbaga noted.


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