Opportunities and Constrains of Participatory Forest Management in REDD The role of Participatory Forest Management in Mitigation of and Adaptation to Climate Change: Opportunities and Constrains This action research project aims to analyse how the communities could benefit from improved forest management through international funding for reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD). Participatory action research methods are applied in order to found the practicable models of livelihood diversification through REDD activities in existing forest areas under participatory forest management (PFM) and to deepen the understanding of local prospects and constrains in the changing climate conditions. Picture: Forest fire in Angai Villages Land Forest Reserve The case study area, Angai Villages Land Forest Reserve (AVLFR) in Liwale District, Lindi Region, south-eastern Tanzania, has suffered from several dry seasons and the villages deal with pressures of shifting cultivation, forest fires, illegal logging and food shortage. The impacts of global climate change are very visible in the area and villagers have learnt to survive in the difficult conditions. For example the name Angai means poisonous roots, which people are still using during food shortages. Financial and other benefits for climate change mitigation contributions (e.g. REDD payments) could provide much needed support to Angai villages. Further, AVLFR presents an opportunity to learn how REDD mechanisms can be integrated into sustainable forest management for poverty reduction, integrated land use management, forest conservation, sustainable forest products utilization and local and global climate change adaptation and mitigation. Picture: Participatory land use planning in Mihumo village The AVLFR is owned and managed by 13 surrounding villages. Key local institutions include village governments, village natural resources committees and a village level intergovernmental union known as Muungano wa Hifadhi ya Msitu wa Angai (MUHIMA). Liwale District Council and Lindi Regional Secretariat have been responsible for supervising and building the capacity of villagers in forest management. The AVLFR is one of the largest PFM areas in Tanzania, comprising 139,420 hectares of miombo woodland with high value tree species such as Pterocarpus angolensis (locally known as mninga), Julbernardia globiflora (locally known as mtondo), and Dalbergia melanoxylon (generally known as African Black Wood, locally known as Mpingo). The AVLFR is also rich in biodiversity. For example during the participatory carbon monitoring, 82 tree species were found in two villages, in Ngunja and Ngongowele. Picture: Participatory carbon monitoring training in Mihumo village Residents from three villages, Mihumo, Ngongowele and Ngunja, have received training in participatory carbon monitoring and have established permanent carbon monitoring sample plots in their village forest management area. In 2009, total of 22 villagers from three villages were trained on forest inventory techniques, use of handheld GPS and establishment of permanent carbon monitoring plots. Currently, this action is part of the research project but the long term aim by the Tanzanian national Forestry and Beekeeping Division, the Clinton Climate Initiative (CCI) and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) is support the expansion and maintenance of these community based efforts and develop AVLFR towards REDD project. Participatory carbon monitoring will support the longer-term capacity of Angai villages to demonstrate their climate change mitigation contributions and capture global financial benefits. These measurements can also contribute to various national systems for carbon accounting. Angai is also a test site in the Tanzanian GEO-FCT National Demonstration Project. Satellite and aerial Lidar measurements taken in Liwale under this project will complement community residents’ ground measurements. Picture: Dry lake in Angai Villages Land Forest Reserve. Climate change is reality in Africa! Internationally, the research project aims to contribute to the empirical and theoretical debates on local people’s participation in reduction of carbon emission by improved forest management and by avoided deforestation. The research is undertaken in close co-operation with research partners from the University of Sokoine in Tanzania and researchers from Institute of Development Studies at University of Helsinki in Finland, Danish Centre for Forest, Landscape and Planning at University of Copenhagen in Denmark and Centre for Climate Change Economics from University of Leeds in UK.
Further information: Irmeli Mustalahti, Academy Research Fellow, Institute of Development Studies, P.O.Box 59, 00014 University of Helsinki, Finland, tel. +358-405092615 [email protected]
More information available http://blogs.helsinki.fi/tzredd-actionresearch/ Photo © Roland Sundström, University of Helsinki, Finland Acknowledgements to Kusaga Mukama from University of Sokoine, Erneus Kaijage from CCI and Jessica Campese from IUCN as well as Juuso Koponen for the design support.