Reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation: Papers

Getting ready for REDD+ in Tanzania: a case study of progress and challenges

Neil D. Burgessa1 c1, Bruno Bahanea2, Tim Clairsa3, Finn Danielsena4, Søren Dalsgaarda5, Mikkel Fundera4, Niklas Hagelberga6, Paul Harrisona7, Christognus Haulea2, Kekilia Kabalimua2, Felician Kilahamaa2, Edward Kilawea5, Simon L. Lewisa8, Jon C. Lovetta9, Gertrude Lyatuua10, Andrew R. Marshalla11, Charles Meshacka12, Lera Milesa13, Simon A.H. Milledgea14, Pantaleo K.T. Munishia15, Evarist Nashandaa2, Deo Shirimaa15, Ruth D. Swetnama16, Simon Willcocka8, Andrew Williamsa7 and Eliakim Zahabua15

a1 Department of Biology, University of Copenhagen, Universitetsparken 15, DK-2100, Copenhagen, Denmark, WWF-US, Washington, DC, USA, and UNEP–World Conservation Monitoring Centre, Cambridge, UK.

a2 Forestry and Beekeeping Division, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

a3 UN-REDD Secretariat, Environment and Energy Group, Bureau for Development Policy, UNDP, New York, USA

a4 NORDECO, Copenhagen, Denmark

a5 Food and Agriculture Organization, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

a6 Freshwater & Terrestrial Ecosystems Branch/DEPI, UNEP, Nairobi, Kenya

a7 Kilimanyika, Arusha, Tanzania

a8 Ecology and Global Change Cluster, School of Geography, University of Leeds, Leeds, UK

a9 CSTM—Twente Centre for Studies in Technology and Sustainable Development, University of Twente, Enschede, The Netherlands

a10 UNDP Tanzania, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

a11 Environment Department, University of York, York, UK

a12 Tanzania Forest Conservation Group, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

a13 UNEP–World Conservation Monitoring Centre, Cambridge, UK

a14 Royal Norwegian Embassy, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

a15 Sokoine University of Agriculture, Chuo Kikuu, Morogoro, Tanzania

a16 Conservation Science Group, Department of Zoology, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK


The proposed mechanism for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD+) offers significant potential for conserving forests to reduce negative impacts of climate change. Tanzania is one of nine pilot countries for the United Nations REDD Programme, receives significant funding from the Norwegian, Finnish and German governments and is a participant in the World Bank’s Forest Carbon Partnership Facility. In combination, these interventions aim to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions, provide an income to rural communities and conserve biodiversity. The establishment of the UN-REDD Programme in Tanzania illustrates real-world challenges in a developing country. These include currently inadequate baseline forestry data sets (needed to calculate reference emission levels), inadequate government capacity and insufficient experience of implementing REDD+-type measures at operational levels. Additionally, for REDD+ to succeed, current users of forest resources must adopt new practices, including the equitable sharing of benefits that accrue from REDD+ implementation. These challenges are being addressed by combined donor support to implement a national forest inventory, remote sensing of forest cover, enhanced capacity for measuring, reporting and verification, and pilot projects to test REDD+ implementation linked to the existing Participatory Forest Management Programme. Our conclusion is that even in a country with considerable donor support, progressive forest policies, laws and regulations, an extensive network of managed forests and increasingly developed locally-based forest management approaches, implementing REDD+ presents many challenges. These are being met by coordinated, genuine partnerships between government, non-government and community-based agencies.

(Received December 14 2009)

(Reviewed March 10 2010)

(Accepted April 13 2010)


c1 Department of Biology, University of Copenhagen, Universitetsparken 15, DK-2100, Copenhagen, Denmark, WWF-US, Washington, DC, USA, and UNEP–World Conservation Monitoring Centre, Cambridge, UK. E-mail ndburgess@bio.ku.dk