Tanzania’s Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism Mr Ezekiel Maige during an event. Maige was once quoted saying that the National REDD initiative complements the current government efforts on attaining sustainable forest management and efforts to reduce poverty particularly for forest dependent communities.
Water from a well conserved forest in northern Tanzania is collected in a drum from which pipes carry it to a nearby village for use.
A forest buffer where villagers are allowed to do limited farming activities to prevent them from encroaching the main forest in the background.
UNDP works with communities, countries and regions throughout the developing world to help them secure the environmental conditions crucial to reducing poverty and achieving all the Millennium Development Goals. This car is part of UNDP support to environmental conservation in Tanzania.
28 September 2011
UN-REDD supports Tanzania preparations for climate change meeting
The UN-REDD Country Programme in Tanzania is supporting the Government with preparations for the upcoming 17th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 17). The conference will be held in Durban, South Africa, from 28 November to 9 December this year. This will be the third climate change conference to be held in Africa, after Kenya in 2006 and Marrakesh in Morocco in 2001.
UN-REDD Programme is the United Nations collaborative initiative on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD) in developing countries. The Programme was launched in September 2008 to assist developing countries prepare and implement national REDD+ strategies. It builds on the convening power and expertise of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).
“REDD” is an effort to create a financial value for the carbon stored in forests, offering incentives for developing countries to reduce emissions from forested lands and invest in low-carbon paths to sustainable development. “REDD+” goes beyond deforestation and forest degradation, and includes the role of conservation, sustainable management of forests and enhancement of forest carbon stocks.
The Programme currently has 36 partner countries spanning Africa, Asia-Pacific and Latin America, of which 13 are receiving support to National Programme activities. These 13 countries are Bolivia, Cambodia, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Ecuador, Indonesia, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, the Philippines, Solomon Islands, Tanzania, Viet Nam and Zambia. These funds help to support the development and implementation of national REDD+ strategies. National Programmes in seven UN-REDD Programme countries are now in their implementation phase (Bolivia, DRC, Indonesia, Panama, Tanzania, Viet Nam and Zambia).
UN-REDD Coordinator for Tanzania, Ralf Ernst, said COP 17 is expected to have a challenging program. “In particular the Climate Change meeting will have to deal with the future of the Kyoto Protocol, which regulates greenhouse gas emission reductions of developed countries. The first commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol will expire at the end of 2012 and so far no agreement has been reached for the time after,” he said.
He said COP 17 will also deal with the implementation of measures to support developing country actions on climate change which were agreed upon at the last Climate Change Conference, COP 16, held in Cancun, Mexico. These measures include the establishment of a Green Climate Fund, an Adaptation Committee and a Technology Mechanism. The Green Climate Fund is expected to deliver US$100 billion per year by the year 2020. The Climate Technology Centre and Network and is expected to boost global clean technology cooperation.
“All these measures are aimed at supporting climate change adaptation and mitigation actions in developing countries, including Tanzania,” he added.
Another aspect of the Climate Change negotiations is REDD+; a concept that aims at Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation, forest conservation, sustainable management of forests and enhancement of carbon stocks. Ernst said Tanzania has already developed a draft National REDD+ Strategy and established a National REDD+ Task Force to develop national actions on REDD+. Tanzania is also a member of the UN-REDD Programme.
Workshops held in Dar es Salaam
On 9-10 September, the UN-REDD Programme supported a two-day workshop in Dar es Salaam aiming to prepare showcasing material on REDD+ for COP 17. Tanzanian delegations held showcasing events in past COPs, with a focus on REDD+. The workshop was requested and facilitated by the National REDD Task Force. Around 60 representatives from government, non-government organisations, REDD+ pilot projects and UN agencies participated.
Participants at the workshop also expressed their wish to discuss the government’s position on REDD+ and other climate change topics at COP 17 and contribute to national policy development on climate change, for example the Climate Change Strategy which is being developed. The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) offered support to deepen stakeholders’ engagement in this process.
“The workshop was a great success and the rich participation in the workshop demonstrated the great interest of stakeholders in REDD+ in Tanzania”, said Evarist Nashanda, member of the National REDD Task Force and the acting chairman of the showcasing preparation workshop.
At the workshop it was agreed that REDD+ Safeguards will be one of the major themes for showcasing at COP 17. Safeguards are measures to prevent undesirable outcomes of REDD+ policies and programmes.
On 12-13 September, the National REDD+ Task Force called another meeting, this time to learn about the various safeguards approaches for REDD+ that are being discussed at international levels and national approaches on safeguards that already exist in Tanzania.
A key speaker at this training workshop was Josep Gari, Advisor for Africa of the UN-REDD Programme. He explained to the audience that REDD+ provides unique opportunities for forest conservation and development finance but also entails risks. “Safeguards are needed to promote social and environmental benefits of REDD+ and reduce risks,” he said during one presentation.
Participants at the workshop also agreed that a follow-up meeting should be held before COP 17 to go beyond learning about REDD+ safeguards and start the process of planning how safeguards can be developed and implemented in Tanzania. The UN-REDD Programme also offered to fund this follow-up event if requested by government.
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