As many remaining fragments of forest lie on farmers’ properties, often in the form of modified agroforestry systems, a potential means to slow or halt forest loss is a PES program, where farmers are paid to protect trees on their farms. This research uses a choice experiment to quantify these preferences, and in addition, determines the approximate payment amount required to attract farmer support.
Usambara Mountains, Tanzania, are recognized internationally as one of the world’s most bio diverse ecosystems and conservation efforts, they face an ongoing threat from clearing for smallholder agriculture.
As many remaining fragments of forest lie on farmers’ properties, often in the form of modified agroforestry systems, a potential means to slow or halt forest loss is a ‘payments for ecosystem services’ (PES) program, where farmers are paid to protect trees on their farms. (more…)
Livelihoods of millions in Dar es Salaam, Coast and Morogoro regions are threatened by illegal tree felling in Mamiwa Forest Reserve, which authorities admit they cannot stop.
The illegal mowing down of trees at the reserve, which is a block in the Eastern Arc Mountains, is pioneered by a well coordinated syndicate involving traders, local government leaders and unfaithful villagers, according to investigations conducted by The Guardian newspaper.
Although the logging is done at the reserve, its impact is felt across many areas in Morogoro and the nearby regions of Dar es Salaam and Coast.
“This is a strategic water catchment for many rivers, supplying the precious liquid to many parts in the three regions. So, illegal logging at the reserves does not only affect water supply and climate of Morogoro Region, but many people in other regions as well,” Benedict Mberwa, a forest officer and Anglican Church pastor at Morogoro Diocese told a team of environmentalists and journalists who visited the reserve at Rubeho Ward, Kilosa District last week.
Click here to continue with this story.
Demand for charcoal in Tanzania is growing, as charcoal is a cheap energy source for most households. However, as charcoal is produced by burning trees, increasing demand could frustrate efforts at curbing deforestation in the country.
Tanzania is interested in conserving its tree cover through programmes in reducing emissions from deforestation and degradation (REDD+). It is therefore important to address the heavy usage of charcoal. Indeed, demand for charcoal in Tanzania is projected to increase alongside rapid urbanization and population growth.
In an online article, Salla Rantala, a researcher with experience on Tanzania, argues that the adoption of REDD+ policies may not be successful without providing alternative energy sources, or a means of producing charcoal through sustainable methods.
To read the article, please click here.
A scheme to pay people in developing countries for reducing carbon emissions from deforestation is plagued by ‘leakage’ — trees that aren’t cut down in one forest are just cut down in another to provide people with the resources they would have foregone.
A study by an international team of scientists has come up with a way of dealing with leakage. Money set aside for conservation could be used to target the underlying drivers of deforestation – such as local people’s need for food and fuel – so that fewer trees need to be cut down.
For the details of that study, please click here >>.
PRESA, 2011. This publication describes PRESA’s work in seven sites across Africa since 2008.
Selian Agricultural Research Institute (SARI), 2011. This study was conducted in Lushoto to get an in-depth understanding of how the earlier-identified PES and PES-like mechanisms operate, determine whether they are conditional, contract or voluntary; identify challenges encountered and come up with recommendations which will facilitate fair and workable reward schemes.
A total of 137 out of 1,215 farmers in Kibungo Juu ward, in Morogoro region, have benefited from a water conservation project in Uluguru Mountain under the Equitable Payment for Watershed Services (EPWS) programme. They have also planted about 170,000 trees.
Speaking to ‘The Guardian’ newspaper recently in Morogoro, one of the residents, Rehema Chuma, said the project had helped them increase crop production after they started applying modern agricultural technologies.
She said at least 137 farmers had been awarded by EPWS after they had shown agricultural improvement and conservation of water sources. She noted that the programme aimed at ensuring water conservation and enabling farmers to improve their livelihoods through agriculture.
She explained that previously they were getting fewer crops due to lack of agricultural education and modern seeds.
For more on this story, please click here >>
The Uluguru Mountains are a chain of cool, wet, highland forests in central Tanzania that have attracted human settlement for hundreds of years.
The mountains are the source of the Ruvu River, which sustains 2.8 million people in Tanzania’s capital city, Dar es Salaam.
With the Uluguru population currently standing at over 100,000 people, pressure from farming and logging activities has significantly reduced forest cover. This has negatively affected water quantity and quality of River Ruvu.
In recent years, several conservation projects have been initiated that aim to restore the natural resource base of the Ulugurus. However, not all have been equally successful.
Therefore, the focus has shifted from subsidy-based approaches for conservation activities to more direct payments for environmental services under which farmers receive economic incentives for providing watershed services through their conservation efforts.
The Usambara Mountains are an important source of water for north eastern Tanzania. The towns of Lushoto, Mombo, Korogwe, Muheza and Tanga rely on water from the Usambara Mountains. The Pangani River, which flows from Mt Kilimanjaro, receives significant inflows from the Usambaras. The river is used for irrigating farms and powering a series of hydro electric stations.
Deforestation, poor land management practices and inadequate funds for watershed management pose a threat to the long term supply of quality water from the Usambaras to downstream communities. The direct adverse impacts are immediately seen in agricultural production, municipal water supply and hydropower generation.
The PRESA project is working with site partners to link upland farming communities with urban water utilities, hydro-power generators and downstream agricultural producers. This will result in greater co-operation for restoring and sustaining a healthy catchment ecosystem.
PRESA’s main partner in the Usambaras is the Selian Agricultural Research Institute (SARI) working closely with the African Highlands Initiative (AHI).