REDD+ Tanzania : More transparency needed for the communities
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REDD+ Tanzania : More transparency needed for the communities

REDD+ Tanzania : More transparency needed for the communities By Deodatus Mfugale April 19 2016 While global leaders are continuing to discuss how to develop and implement national Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation strategies ( REDD+), some countries like Tanzania are facing dualities. The benefits of the Participatory Forest Management programme In Tanzania, the Participatory Forest Management (PFM) programme, a strategy to achieve sustainable forest management by encouraging the management or co-management of forest and woodland resources by the communities living closest to the resources, is better assimilated by the communities than the UN Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation programme. In Kilwa district, villages have created village land forest reserves which they own, conserve and harvest, according to sustainable resource consumption principles. It is part of the Participatory Forest Management  programme. This programme intends to achieve sustainable forest management by encouraging the management or co-management of forest and woodland resources by the communities living closest to the resources. This programme allows villages to own 100 percent of the forests and thus become equally responsible for 100 percent of the revenue that comes from sale of forest products. The process to declare a village land forest reserves takes time, a couple of years . It also requires a substantial amount of money to meet costs such as surveying the forest land. However, all activities are done by the village with some technical and financial support from the district council or NGO. With the Participatory Forest Management programme, villages like Mchichiri in Ruangwa district found it worthwhile to borrow money from a neighbouring village which had accomplished the programme. « We asked Nahangwa village, our neighbor, to borrow us some money. With our own funds and this money, we’ve started the process to have our own forest reserve. We have completed the process and paid the debt. After one year we will be ready to realise the benefits,” says Charles Sumula Mchichiri village executive officer. The Participatory Forest Management programme has won hearts of villagers. It gives them sustainable tangible benefits. This programme become a driving force for communities to take forest conservation seriously. In Kilwa district for example, villages have built classrooms for primary schools and equipped them with desks. Others provide uniforms and lunch to school children which number more than 400. REDD+ : a different story For Mr. Cassian Sianga, Coordinator of the Tanzania Forest Working Group of Tanzania Natural Resources Forum, the Participatory Forest Management  programme is easy to understand as it is a local initiative. Whereas, the UN Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+)  programme is a foreign concept. « REDD + provides little chance...

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