New mechanisms for conserving forests to reduce negative impacts caused by climate change are needed. Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD) is a proposed policy to reduce carbon emissions into the atmosphere from anthropogenic forces such as logging and agriculture. Tanzania is one of the nine pilot countries for the United Nations REDD+ program and receives significant funding from outside governments and the World Bank. These outside sources have come together in attempt to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions, provide income to rural communities and conserve the ecosystem in Tanzania. In order for REDD+ to succeed in Tanzania, there are many improvements and changes in forest management that must be made. N. D. Burgess et al. (2010) conducted a case study of the progress and challenges Tanzania will face in getting ready for the implementation of REDD+. Even in a country with a lot of donor support, established forest management policies, and developed locally-based forest management approaches, there are many challenges. The potentially successful establishment of REDD+ in Tanzania would serve as a good template for other developing countries, but the difficulties of establishing it also highlight the many challenges other countries must deal with preceding REDD+ implementation. — Abby Cheitlin
Burgess, N. D., Bahane, B., Clairs, T., Danielsen, F., Dalsgaard, S., Funder, M., Hagelberg, N., Harrison, P., Haule, C., Kabalimu, K., Kilahama, F., Kilawe, E., Lewis, S. L., Lovett, J. C., Lyatuu, G., Marshall, A. R., Meshack, C., Miles, L., Milledge, S. A. H., Munishi, P. K. T., Nashanda, E., Shirima, D., Swetnam, R. D., Willcock, S., Williams, A., Zahabu, E., 2010. Getting ready for REDD+ in Tanzania: a case study of progress and challenges, Fauna & Flora International, 44(3), 339–351.
Neil D. Burgess and colleagues conducted a study to determine the many challenges Tanzania will face in implementing REDD+. Human destruction of tropical forests is accelerating global warming due to the carbon emissions it releases into the atmosphere. REDD+ is the original concept of REDD with the new addition of sustainable management of forests and conservation to increase forest carbon stocks. REDD+ is an international move to address global warming. The participation of developing countries in REDD+ is important because of their large proportion of the world’s forests. The researchers chose to look at Tanzania as a model for other developing countries because of its already established donor funding to help create REDD+.
The authors discovered many challenges Tanzania will face in the implementation of REDD+. As a country it lacks data and technical capacity, coordination at the national level, and guidelines on how to implement market-oriented methods in either centralized or decentralized government agencies. The Tanzanian government is in favor of taking a fund-based approach to finance the dispersal of REDD+ incentive payments. This would fit with the current land ownership system in Tanzania but would reduce opportunities for the private sector. Burgess et al. came up with four ways that sustainable forest management could be implemented: state-owned protected areas, community forestry approaches, the promotion of agroforestry and conservation agriculture, and state-owned plantations and private forestry. Thus, the ownership and control over land and forests in Tanzania are of great importance in implementing REDD+. Sixteen million of the 35 million ha of forest are on village lands and unreserved. This is a big obstacle in the success of REDD+ in developing countries. Right now, Tanzania is establishing a national forest inventory that will map remote sensing data for the forests. This inventory will provide important calculations of forest cover, forest loss, and hence, emissions levels.
A number of challenges need to be overcome if REDD+ is to be successfully implemented in Tanzania, although the country has made a large effort to prepare for REDD+ and will be embarking on pilot projects in 2010 driven by donor funding.