Technical experts and community representatives shared lessons from selected REDD+ pilot projects in Kilosa and Kondoa districts, Tanzania, on March 4-8, 2013 through field visits and dialogues. Site visits were conducted in Chabima and Dodoma Isanga villages in Kilosa district; and in Mnenia and Mapinduzi villages in Kondoa district. Both visits were followed by dialogue workshops aimed at building consensus on a set of of REDD+ lesson learned from the field activities. In both districts, drivers of deforestation and forest degradation are being addressed through awareness creation, conservation agriculture, beekeeping, use of energy saving stoves and promotion of tree nurseries.
Visited pilot projects are being implemented by Tanzania Forest Conservation Group (TFGC)/Mtandao wa Jamii wa Usimamizi wa Misitu Tanzania (MJUMITA) in Kilosa District, and African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) in Kondoa District.
Funded by the Institute of Resources Assessment , through the IUCN project on Strengthening REDD+ Lesson Learning Networks and Information Management , the event was attended by representatives from IUCN, National REDD Task Force, National REDD Secretariat and REDD+ pilot projects including participants from Mpingo Conservation and Development Initiative (MCDI), CARE – Zanzibar, Climate Change Impacts Adaptation and Mitigation Programme (CCIAM), AWF, TFGC/MJUMITA , Kondoa District Council and local stakeholders.
After the field visit, participants had a workshop to share and agree on key lessons from the field and draw policy recommendations that will directly feed into later dialogues that will involve national level policy makers and representatives from pilot projects. Participants shared first hand lessons arising from site visits. Likewise, representatives from the pilot projects presented implementation based lessons.
Suzana Augustino, from the CCIAM Program noted that “community understanding of REDD+ concept and guiding principles is low” and stressed the need for more efforts on awareness so as to “enhance community participation in and sustainability of REDD+ activities”. MCDI representative, Gloria Massao, pointed that “land use plans have helped in resolving conflicts in many villages but in some few villages, they have been a catalyst for boundary conflict among villagers under the REDD project”.
Several policy recommendations were drawn for policy level dialogues. It was recommended that ‘the capacity of communities be strengthened to enable them carry out carbon measurements now and after the project” including “the development of a simplified, participatory and harmonized methodology for carbon measurements”.
It was further recommended that the participation of long term partners like district councils should be encouraged to ensure sustainability of REDD activities. Mainstreaming of project activities into district plans should be done to ensure for a smooth transition at the end of REDD+ projects.
The field dialogues were filmed to document events and share with other REDD+ stakeholders.
Participants were impressed by field dialogues and appreciated the significance of the REDD+ Learning Network. “With REDD+ trial payments, we have been able to build a village office, complete school toilets and lay the foundation for a health center”, says Chabima Village chairman, Mlonga Mlonga . Elsewhere in the Mnenia project site, a contact farmer reported that the skills and techniques from the agriculture training, provided under the project by AWF, have enabled them to harvest 10 to 20 bags of maize per hectare as opposed to only 1 bag per hectare before the project.
Further, they called for IUCN to explore ways of documenting and sharing lessons from projects that were not represented, including failed projects.
For more information, contact Mr. Abdalla Said Shah, Head of Office/Senior Program Officer – IUCN Tanzania on Abdalla.firstname.lastname@example.org