Carbon Tanzania marks World Environment Day by handing over Sh14.25Bn in carbon revenue to Tanganyika District communities

Tanzania Vice President Dr. Philip Mpango (seated, centre), in a group photo with Carbon Sector Stakeholders at the climax of the World Environment Day, yesterday June 5, 2024, in Dodoma Capital. On his right side is Tanzania Prime Minister, Kassim Majaliwa, along with other Government’s Senior Officials.

What you need to know:

  • Communities in eight villages in Tanganyika District participating in the Ntakata Mountains Carbon project received their eighth and ninth share of carbon revenue payments of Sh 14.25 billion for the year 2023. This brings a total share of revenues to Sh22.51 billion since the inception of the Ntakata Mountains project
  • The revenues are earned through a contract with a nature-based investor (Carbon Tanzania) from forest protection activities

Eight village communities and Tanganyika District Council, received a cheque for Sh14.25 billion. The revenue is earned through the sale of high-quality, certified carbon credits on the Voluntary Carbon Markets (VCM) that are generated when they protect their Village Land Forest Reserves.

The Honourable Vice President, Dr Philip Mpango led a handing-over ceremony on June 5, 2024, during the celebrations of World Environment Day held at the Jakaya Kikwete Conventional Centre in Dodoma.

In 2017, the Village Governments entered into contracts with Africa’s leading nature-based investor, Carbon Tanzania, defining the process by which successful forest protection would be measured and financially compensated.

By stopping deforestation in their forest reserves, the communities are contributing to the global fight against climate change. When forests are cut down carbon dioxide is released into the atmosphere.

When this is prevented from happening the resulting reduction in emissions are measured as carbon credits. Carbon Tanzania sells these credits on the Voluntary Carbon Markets (VCM) providing the communities with access to the global financial system.

The village communities, in cooperation with the District Authority, will make plans for the budgeting and disbursement of these revenues in line with the local and national development goals and in accordance with the government’s recently released carbon trading regulations.

Marc Baker Carbon Tanzania’s CEO said, “Climate finance represents a significant opportunity for Tanzania. As the leading investor in the protection of natural forests in this country, Carbon Tanzania aims to continue to work with the Tanzanian Government to enable access to finance that is linked to climate financing and deliver billions of shillings to forest surrounding communities who protect their forests.”

This community-led initiative is a powerful demonstration of how rural Tanzanian communities can access international climate finance through the voluntary carbon market.

Company Overview

Carbon Tanzania is a business making the protection of forests and biodiversity valuable to Tanzania and its people.

Carbon Tanzania generates value for Tanzania’s economy and its people by producing nature-based carbon credits that enable people to earn revenues from the protection of their natural resources. These carbon credits allow global businesses with credible decarbonisation and nature-positive strategies to invest in a locally produced nature-based solution that serves the climate, communities and wildlife.

Carbon offsetting

Carbon credits are generated once an independent assessor verifies how many tonnes of carbon are stored in a forest landscape.

Because companies and organisations around the world want to reduce the carbon they are responsible for adding to the atmosphere, they will pay to have the carbon stored in Tanzania counted against the carbon they release. They are ‘compensating’ for their carbon output with the Tanzanian stored carbon.

Each tonne of carbon is valued at a dollar figure. That tonne of carbon is then ‘sold’ on the market, and the revenue paid back to the community, who decide how to spend it.

Carbon Tanzania focuses on the benefits available by avoiding cutting down trees). This is part of the global REDD (Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation) framework.

Project overview

Ntakata Mountains Project

The Ntakata Mountains Project protects 216,994ha of Miombo woodland in the Greater Mahale Ecosystem, western Tanzania. Eight villages incorporating 57,189 people participate in the project.

By developing Village Land Forest Reserves (VLFRs) the communities are able to protect important habitat for the endangered eastern chimpanzee. The VLFRs also create a link between the Greater Mahale ecosystem and Katavi National Park for elephants.

The farming communities of the Bende and Tongwe protect their forest, and its valuable stored carbon, and generate an income from carbon offset sales to conduct their conservation activities through REDD.

The REDD project is certified by VCS and CCB, prevents 1.5 million trees from being cut down annually and avoids an average of 550,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions being released each year.

Environmental impact

Prior to project development, deforestation in the project area was at 3.5%, above the national average rate of deforestation. Deforestation rates are expected to decrease dramatically. The project prevents 1.5 million trees from being cut down per year

The project protects the endangered eastern chimpanzee, wild dog, Egyptian and Lappet-faced Vulture. They also protect vulnerable species including elephant, ground hornbill, martial eagle, giraffe, pangolin, leopard and lion in addition to the critically endangered White-backed and Ruppell’s Griffon Vulture.

Climate mitigation

The project avoids on average 550,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions a year. The project generates certified carbon credits by protecting threatened forests and selling the issuance of credits to companies looking to reduce their carbon emissions.

Revenue earned from carbon credit sales provides salaries for community rangers, supports a health fund, and provides fees and infrastructure for education and funds community development projects. The project is certified by VERRA’s VCS & CCB, an international third-party standard.