Strategic support to Tanzania to become REDD+ ready by 2022

Executive Summary

Sector: Climate Change: (Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation – REDD+)

National Agency:       Division of Environment, Vice Presidents Office (DoE – VPO).

Duration :            2½ years effective from the date of signature of the grant agreement Overall Budget Frame:  USD    1,151,848.59 (NOK  10,000,000) from Norwegian Government.  

Project Description: 

Tanzania embarked on a Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation in Developing Countries (REDD+) program in 2008, signing a Letter of Intent with the Government of Norway which spelled out that by 2016, Norwegian support to Tanzania will be “based on verified reductions in CO2 emissions”. In 2009, a National REDD+ Framework was adopted as the roadmap for Tanzania, followed by 2 phases of Norwegian support to develop policy initiatives to make Tanzania REDD+ Ready by 2016. This was coupled with Norwegian support to NGOs for 9 pilot projects and support to a research consortium for Research and Training (both short and long courses). Meanwhile, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism implemented UN-REDD+ Program with the support of UNDP, UNEP and FAO. In year 2013 the National REDD+ Strategy and Action Plan was approved. The National REDD+ Task Force (NRTF) has played a pivotal, but interim role in these achievements. Responsibility for Tanzania’s REDD+ readiness is now the integral role of the National Climate Change Technical Committee (NCCTC) and National Climate Change Steering Committee (NCCSC). In 2016, the National Carbon Monitoring Centre (NCMC) was launched to accommodate the national Monitoring, Reporting and Verification (MRV) system.

The End of Term Review (ETR) of the Norwegian support noted successful completion of the REDD+

Strategy and Action Plan. However, progress in implementing this strategy and other elements of the REDD+ Framework, had been slow. The Safeguard Standards were in draft at step 6. Steps 7-10 needed to be completed. Institutionalization of REDD+ coordination in the VPO remains to be concluded in accordance with the VPO institutional arrangement for management of climate change and related activities. Mainstreaming of REDD+ strategies into key sector policies (like forestry, Energy, Liverstock, Agriculture land, wildlife, and local government), had yet to take place. The NCMC and MRV remained to be updated and legally established. The financing mechanism still needed to be defined, as did the REDD+ benefit streams and REDD+ forest definitions. UN-REDD funded the 2014 “Assessment of the status of REDD+ readiness in Tanzania and support to the preparation of a potential second UN-REDD Tanzania programme” commonly referred to as the REDD+ Gap Analysis which identified 21 remaining high level gaps for REDD+ readiness. Its findings contribute to the design basis of this Project. This Project is financed via the original 2008 REDD+ commitment of Norwegian support for Tanzanian to achieve REDD+ readiness and is strategically focused to assist Tanzania policy towards REDD+ readiness by 2022. From the gap analysis, the following is proposed:

The Development Objective of the Project is that Tanzania actively contributes to reduction of ghg  emissions through reduced deforestation, reduced forest degradation, more sustainable forest management as well as through conserving forests and increasing forest carbon stocks and subsequently  benefits from global funding opportunities for ecosystem services.

The Project goal is to make Tanzania REDD+ ready for implementation of Paris Agreement and resultsbased payments institutionalized and made operational by 2022.

The project outputs, to be achieved by 2022, are:

Output 1: National REDD+ coordination as an integral part of the Climate Change Institutional Framework operationalized in VPO-DoE.
Output 2: National REDD+ Strategy mainstreamed into key sector policies and operational instruments prepared
Output 3: National REDD+ Social and Environmental safeguard finalized and institutionalized
Output 4: National capacity to access Climate Funds enhanced.
Output 5 National Capacity to monitor REDD+ projects and programmes enhanced

The Project will support the establishment of a National REDD+ Coordination Team (herein after referred to as the Team) under and as an integral part of the Climate Change coordination mechanism within the VPO. Staffed from within VPO, it will be equipped to function as coordinator, resource center, information repository, research database, archive for project reports, Safeguard Information System (SIS), etc. It will be linked to REDD+ stakeholder networks by website and social media. It will act as a Secretariat to NCCTC and NCCSC on REDD+ related issues. If necessary, the Team will be strengthened by additional staff to be seconded from other relevant ministries or government institutions or if not possible be recruited under normal Government procedures through the Civil Service Department. The VPO, and other key ministries; MNRT, Energy, Finance and Planning, Agriculture, Livestock and PO-RALG  will be assisted to mainstream REDD+ into their respective 3-year MTEF strategic plans and policy instruments. Deliverables include: the safeguard standards, , a broader understanding of emission levels, identifying priority forest carbon sites, and calculating the cost benefit streams to assess what REDD+ would be worth and to whom. The resultant products will pass through a system of peer validation by NCCTC before being written into policy and endorsed by the NCCSC. Deliverables will be shared through pre-and post CoPs sessions, conferences, Civil Society Organizations (CSO) fora, e-networks, REDD+ webpage, social media etc



Introduction Progress of REDD+ in Tanzania

Tanzania Mainland has a total of 48.1 million ha, of which 93 % of this is woodlands and only 7 % are classified as forests (mangroves, coastal forests, humid montane forest and plantations). Some 28 million ha (33 %) of the lands in Tanzania are under legal protection (protected forests and wildlife reserves). Production forests where harvesting can be practiced are 20 million ha (22 %) and account for 35 % of the total volume. Forest vegetation in Zanzibar covers about 63,908 ha, equivalent to 24 % of the total land area. Zanzibar’s forests form part of the East Africa Coastal Forests Eco-region, one of the world’s 200 biodiversity hotspots. Deforestation rates are estimated to be around 1 % per annum. In addition, degradation of the remaining forests and woodlands is widespread especially near settlements and infrastructure.

A global policy on Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation, the role of sustainable management of forest, forest conservation and enhancement of forest carbon stocks in developing countries (REDD+) was adopted by UNFCCC in 2007 as a mitigation measure to address climate change. The adoption of REDD+ provides Tanzania with a possibility to enhance its its contubution to global efforts to address climate change and benefiting from a possible international financing mechanism that takes cognizance of the global importance of sustainable forest management (SFM) in reducing carbon emissions and of increasing forest carbon sequestration. Apart from supporting efforts to mitigate climate change and its potential impacts while contributing to sustainable development, REDD+ also contributes to sustainable forest management and ensures availability of co-benefits. This is crucial for sustainable supply of wood and non-wood forest products (NWFPs), water catchment functions, biodiversity conservation, protective functions of forests and their associated impact on the livelihoods. Sustainable Forest Management (SFM) makes good economic sense even without carbon payments although REDD+ payments can be an additional incentive to further promote the same.

In April 2008, Norway and Tanzania signed a Letter of Intent on a Climate Change Partnership, which had a scope of up to 5 years support to REDD+ readiness projects with up to NOK 500 million. This support aimed at possible future support that could be based on “verified reductions of CO2 emissions”. This included support to:

  1. National REDD+ Policy project facilitated by REDD+ Secretariat at Institute of Resource Assessment – University of Dar es Salaam (IRA-UDSM).
  2. Nine pilot REDD+ projects with Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) across the country.
  • Multi-institutional Climate Change Impact, Adaptation and Mitigation (CCIAM) research and capacity building program coordinated by Sokoine University of Agriculture (SUA).
  1. Research project on enhancing the measuring, reporting and verification of forest in Tanzania through the application of advanced remote sensing techniques (MRV-Lidar) coordinated by SUA
  2. Empowering Communities through Training on Participatory Forest Management, REDD+ and Climate Change Initiatives” (ECOPRC) based at Forest Training Institute FTI – Olmotonyi.
  3. Establishing the National Carbon Monitoring Center (NCMC) at Sokoine University of Agriculture (SUA).

This support contributed significantly to the development of a REDD+ Framework (URT, 2009), the development of the National REDD+ Strategy (URT, 2013a) and a REDD+ Action Plan (URT, 2013b). The Pilot REDD+ Projects provided practical experiences from implementation of REDD+ projects through Civil Society Organizations (CSO) partners (NIRAS, 2015). Positive results have emerged in changes in land use planning, Community Based Forest Management (CBFM), conservation agriculture, income generating opportunities for forest adjacent communities, and strengthening forest governance. The diversity of the REDD+ pilot projects provides an innovative research environment which has the potential to influence REDD+ mechanisms at the community level and to influence national policy.

The Capacity building programs carried out research in support of REDD+ implementation and trained students at PhD and Masters levels. Training at certificate and diploma level was also done under Forest Training Institute – FTI program.

On the other hand, the Paris Agreement adopted in December, 2015 recognizes REDD+ mechanism based on result-based payment schemes. The agreement set obligations to all Parties to put forward Nationally

Determined Contributions (NDCs) that formulate a country’s mitigation strategies and goals. It is widely acknowledged that such contributions include forest-related emission reductions and removals. The agreement includes an explicit call to developed and developing countries to conserve and enhance forests and other biological carbon reservoirs. Recognition of REDD+ related activities in this agreement guarantees that REDD+ will be implemented even beyond 2020.

The Paris agreement therefore signifies the importance of Tanzania continuing with REDD+ activities. The Government of the United Republic of Tanzania ratified Paris Agreement in May 2018. The most important pending issue in the REDD+ readiness process for the country is the finalization of the safeguard standards to enable fully imeplementation of REDD+. The country has established a NCMC at Sokoine University of Agriculture and the. process of making it fully operational is going on. In addition, the country has already developed  Forest Reference Emission Level (FREL).

End of Term Review (ETR) of the REDD+ policy project identified REDD+ readiness gaps as shown in Annex 1a. UN-REDD also commissioned a consultancy in 2013-2014 to conduct an assessment of the status of REDD+ readiness in Tanzania and identify remaining high-level gaps (the REDD+ Gap Analysis). Jointly, the two assignments identified several challenges in the short term and long term, with implications if Tanzania were to become REDD+ ready (Annex 1b). Taking into account these findings, key result areas (KRA) that needed to be concluded in the short term were identified for this project. The Project focus was to assist VPO and other Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDA) with their REDD+ policy processes that needed to be addressed so as to establish a “state of REDD+ readiness”.

According to the gaps analysis, areas identified that still need support (Annex 1a) are as follows:

  1. Establishment of a National REDD+ Coordination Team under the VPO as an integral part of the

Climate Change coordination mechanism;  ii. The national REDD+ Coordination Team should be part of the Climate Change institutional arrangement within the VPO and at National level and will have to be strengthened in accordance with the government procedure as needs arise;

  • Awareness should focus on specific deliverables and target audiences;
  1. Use of web-site and web-based platforms;
  2. Finalizing the social and environmental safeguards and information system;
  3. Mainstreaming REDD+ in policy frameworks for tenure and sustainable land and Natural Resource

Management (NRM);  vii. Using a cross-sector approach to mainstream sustainable forest management into national development priorities; and

viii. REL/RL, accounting systems and databank developed by National REDD+ Coordination Team and NCMC.

In addition to these gaps, UNREDD identified some more gaps related to capacity building on how to access funds for REDD+ projects and programmes.

The Key Drivers of Deforestation and forest Degradation

It is estimated that 95 % of Tanzanians rely on energy from fuel wood or charcoal for the daily household use. This is one of the main reasons for the high rates of deforestation and forest degradation in both reserved and unreserved forests. The rate of forest loss is estimated to be 469, 000 ha per year), equivalent to 1% (excluding woodland, bushlands and thickets which is less than 5m) of forest area per annum (URT, 2017).

The major direct causes that need to be addressed by REDD+ projects and programmes are:

  1. Indiscriminate cutting trees for charcoal, firewood, timber and poles, due to the high demand for

domestic and industrial energy use;

  1. Illegal and unsustainable harvesting of forest products;
  • Uncontrolled forest fires;
  1. Agricultural expansion transforming forested areas to crop land or use of fuel wood for tobacco curing;
  2. Overgrazing due to nomadic pastoral practices (dry season in wetlands and wet season in woodlands);
  3. Infrastructure development encroaching forests; and
  • Settlements and resettlements.

Considerable levels of human disturbance are evident inside reserved forests and wildlife protected areas. The causes are indirectly driven by policy failure to address the need to cope with the rapid rural settlement expansion, urbanization and 2.9 % per year population growth. This is compounded by poverty and the nexus with nature.

These sector policy failures need to be addressed, policy instruments need to be developed, harmonized, and need a political champion and wide application, before REDD+ can become effective. An integrated, holistic approach is needed, ensuring a universal, and accumulative nation-wide reduction in emission levels by instilling sustainable management of forests under the jurisdiction of the cross-section of sectors and institutions mentioned above, and listed below.

National Policies and Institutional Framework relevant to REDD+ Initiative

It is important to note that most of policies relevant to REDD+ were formulated well before REDD+ became a top agenda in the climate change discourse.  As a result, they are not explicit on REDD+.

  1.2.1 National Environment Policy (NEP)

The National Environment Policy (NEP) of 1997 is currently under review. This is an opportunity for the project to assist VPO to simultaneously produce REDD+ policy instruments so as to anchor REDD+ in the policy and legislative framework, institutionalize the REDD+ mandate of VPO, establish the National REDD+ Coordination Team and build REDD+ links as integral to NCCTC and/or NCCSC.

 1.2.2 National Forest Policy

The National Forest Policy is currently under review. This draft policy recognizes REDD+ as an opportunity to support sustainable forest management. However, REDD+ policy instruments are still inadequate. This Project therefore aim to assist TFS and FBD to develop the REDD+ policy instruments, to operationalize REDD+, clarifying the institutional arrangements and roles of TFS, FDB, PO-RALG and WD/TAWA and harmonize them.

1.2.3  Wildlife Policy 

The 2007 Wildlife Policy put emphasis on strict protection and management of wildlife protected areas. As such it is relevant for REDD+ implementation. This is also the case with the recently formed Tanzania Wildlife Authority (TAWA). Likewise so are Tanzania National Parks Authority (TANAPA) and Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority (NCAA). The Project could assist with development and inclusion of policy instruments clarifying the institutional arrangements, listing the roles of WD, TAWA, TANAPA, NCCA and LGA, and opportunities for REDD+ financing. Establishing, how REDD+ applies to Protected Areas and Wildlife Management Areas (WMA) with tools for measuring reduced emission; how to access REDD+ funds for supporting wildlife protected areas, community engagement and benefit sharing.

1.2.4  Institutional Framework for REDD+ implementation

The REDD+ Strategy (VPO 2013a) describes REDD+ as institutionally linked to the Climate Change framework (Figure 1). Briefly, this implies:

The Vice President’s Office (VPO): The Environmental Management Act, (EMA) of 2004 (Section 75), mandates the Minister responsible for environment to provide guidance on coordination of all climate change issues, including REDD+. Division of Environment (DoE) is the National Climate Change Focal Point (NCCFP), with the mandate to coordinate and monitor climate change programs, plans and strategies, such as Climate Change strategy and National REDD+ strategy.

National Climate Change Steering Committee (NCCSC) is an inter-ministerial committee of Permanent Secretaries from key sector ministries responsible for: Energy, Water, Gender, Fisheries, Agriculture, Forestry, Wildlife, Finance, Industry, Justice and Constitutional Affairs, Land, Livestock Development, Foreign Affairs, Investment and Economic Empowerment, and International Cooperation. In addition, there is also a representative from government of Zanzibar. The NCCSC is chaired by the Permanent Secretary of the VPO, and advises the government on all climate change related issues and has an oversight on REDD+ in this regard.

The National Climate Change Technical Committee (NCCTC): The NCCTC is a committee made up of the Directors of the various ministries comprising the NCCSC, and chaired by the Director of Environment. Its function is to oversee all technical issues related to the implementation of climate change. This also includes the implementation of the Climate Change Strategy and National REDD+ Strategy and advising the NCCSC accordingly.

National Carbon Monitoring Centre (NCMC) is being established with support from the Royal Norwegian Embassy (RNE) on behalf of Norwegian government to provide technical services on measuring, reporting and verification (MRV) of REDD+. The Project Agreement was signed in June 2015. NCMC is being established at Sokoine University of Agriculture (SUA) as a host institution.

Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDA): As key sustainable forest management partners, notably MNRT, Energy, Land, Finance and Planning, Agriculture, Livestock and PO-RALG will be key stakeholders of this project support to assist them to mainstream REDD+ in their related forest sector policy instruments and programs.

Regional and District Coordination: PO-RALG is a key institution to the REDD+ strategy in village forests. EMA, (2004) has decentralized environmental activities to the lowest government administrative authorities i.e. Village Environmental Committees. These are the coordinators for REDD+ activities in their respective areas.

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