Tanzania – Usambaras

Testing the feasibility of rewards for environmental services at the Usambara Mountains

The Usambara Mountains are located in the north eastern corner of Tanzania and are part of the highly bio-diverse Eastern Arc Mountains.

Photo by J. Jabbour

Photo by J. Jabbour

Deforestation and unsustainable land use practices at the Usambara Mountains pose a threat to the future provision of environmental services. The direct adverse impacts can be seen in reduced agricultural production, and lower water quantities for local and regional water supply. Hydro-electric power generation has also been affected.

At the West Usambaras, the PRESA project is working with researchers from ICRAF and those from the Selian Agricultural Research Institute (SARI) to explore how to address this degradation by linking upland farming communities with urban water utilities, hydro-power generators and downstream agricultural producers.

PRESA is currently studying the feasibility of reducing emissions from deforestation and degradation (REDD) at the East Usambaras, with a focus on land use trade-offs, benefit sharing and delineation of sub-national REDD interventions.

Site profile

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Environmental service

  • Carbon sequestration
  • Watershed services

Potential provider of environmental services

  • Communities
  • The government (as custodian of most reserved forest)

Potential buyers

  • Irrigation schemes
  • Hydro-electric power producers
  • International carbon payment schemes
  • Conservation organizations


An in-depth study of PES and PES-like initiatives and Review of their institutional contexts in West Usambara Mountains, Lushoto District, Tanzania