UNDP Finalizes Project to Protect Mountain Forests in Tanzania

20 July 2010: The UN Development Programme (UNDP) and the Government of Tanzania have successfully concluded a seven-year project, financed by the Global Environment Facility (GEF), aimed to protect the biodiversity of forestland of the Eastern Arc reserve in Tanzania, 70% of which had been destroyed due to crop shifting and timber harvesting.

As part of the biodiversity project objectives, some 300 villagers across ten villages in the region were trained in new methods of agriculture and livestock husbandry to support sustainable and income-generating activities. The project resulted in the preservation of critical ecosystem services, such as water and carbon regulation, which helped Tanzania secure special funds under the international climate change programme to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries (REDD).

In order to develop a REDD Strategy for Tanzania, a stakeholders' workshop was convened in January 2009 to develop a National REDD Framework to guide the formulation of the National REDD Strategy. In addition, the Tanzania UN-REDD Programme was approved in March 2009 and the budget allocation of US$4.5 million approved. The REDD Programme in Tanzania aims to achieve four outcomes: strengthen the national governance framework and institutional capacities to implement REDD activities; increase capacity for capturing REDD elements within national monitoring, assessment, reporting and verification systems; improve capacity to manage REDD and provide other forest ecosystem services at district and local levels; and build broad-based stakeholder support for REDD in Tanzania. A final National REDD Strategy for Tanzania is expected to be completed by the end of 2010. [UNDP Press Release][UN REDD Programme in Tanzania] [Tanzania REDD Initiative]