African Rainforest Conservancy (ARC)

ARC's mission is to conserve Tanzania's Eastern Arc Mountains and Coastal Forests by raising the capacity of local conservation networks and encouraging sustainable economic development. Current projects are being implemented in two of Conservation International's "ten most threatened forest hotspots" - the coastal forests of Eastern Africa (#8) and the Eastern Afromontane (#10). These forest hotspots have as little as 10 percent of their original forest habitat remaining, yet are home to at least 1,500 plant species found nowhere else in the world. The Eastern Arc Mountains and Coastal Forests are globally important for their biodiversity values; nationally important ...
Dec 5, 2016

Update - Adding Value to the Arc - January - June 2016

Training communities on conservation agriculture
Training communities on conservation agriculture

Increased wealth for 3,000 households through sustainable income activities!

More than 5,000 are benefiting directly from the livelihood activities supported by the project with the largest number of beneficiaries engaged in the Village Saving and Loan Association's (VSLA) work.  

VSLA: 3,972 people (2,391 women and 1,581 men) from 159 groups found in 25 villages are actively participating in VSLAs, which has exceeded the targeted 3000 households by far. 

Conservation farming: A total of 756 farmers (312 women, 444 men) from 18 villages have been supported by the project through training and provision of farm inputs for use in their own farms. 

Beekeeping: 129 people (52 women, 77 men) from 3 villages are participating in 7 beekeeping groups. 109 households cumulatively earned TZS 1,780,000 from beekeeping as a result of project support. 

Allanblackia nuts: 285 people (160 women, 125 men) from 7 villages who are engaging in the Allanblackia nut trade, are now benefiting from the training  conducted and materials provided to them during the last reporting period. The groups have sold 49,078 kg of nuts and earned more than TZS 29 million.

Community Based Forest Management (CBFM) 

-  2,914 villagers (1,445 women, and 1,469 men) people living in Gonja and Diburuma Villages are on track to benefit from sustainable forest management as a result of establishing Village Land Forest Reserves (VLFRs) in their villages. 

- 2,635 villagers (1,303 women, and 1,332 men) in Masimba Village are on track to benefit directly or indirectly from the establishment of charcoal and timber forest management units including harvesting coupes. 

- Some Village Natural Resource Management Committees (VNRCs) in CBFM villages have earned revenues from fines paid by offenders found in VLFRs. Ndole Village VNRC earned TZS 780,000 from fines. The money was used in the construction of school desks which is still going on. Makuyu Village VNRC earned TZS 270,000 from fines paid by outsiders who  were found grazing in their VLFR.  The money collected was used in paying salaries for the two watchmen for their dispensary and the school for three months. Magunga village collected TZS 100,000 from fines for VLFR boundary markings and also cutting down a tree near a water source/river bank. The money, together with 70 pieces of timber harvested in VLFR were used in making school desks.

Joint Forest Managment (JFM) Villages

- VNRCs in JFM villages around Mkingu NR also earned TZS 1,260,000 from fines from offenses in the nature reserve as follows: Mkindo: TZS 30,000; Ubiri TZS 50,000; Digalama TZS 805,000; Semwali 320,000; and Mkindo Bungoma TZS 55,000.

Desks made with money collected from VLFR fines
Desks made with money collected from VLFR fines
VSLA member used loan for Livestock
VSLA member used loan for Livestock
Sep 7, 2016

Promoting the Right to Quality Education

Micro-Project committees discuss proposed projects
Micro-Project committees discuss proposed projects

Foundation of Environmental Education (FEE) Membership

Tanzania Forest Conservation Group (TFCG) applied for FEE membership in March 2016 and in May 2016 TFCG was accepted as a FEE Associate Member for Tanzania. TFCG will participate in the FEE Annual General Meeting in Ahmedabad India in September 2016.

Joining FEE will enhance the capacity of TFCG to promote the Eco-School approach and environmental education more generally. By joining the foundation, TFCG will also gain access to a network of other organisations implementing environmental education activities with concomitant opportunities for learning and exchange.

Integration of Environmental Education (EE) into Primary School Teaching 

One 3-day teacher training event was implemented from 6th – 8th June 2016. The training involved a Ward Education Coordinator and the Environmental Education Coordinator from the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (MoEST). The participant from the MoEST became convinced that the Eco-School Rights-Based Approach was the best option for improving the quality of education and livelihoods of schools and community members.

The trained Ward Education Coordinator has been supporting the programme by making school follow-ups and participating in programme activities. After the training, the Ward Education Coordinator is now able to participate in the implementation of Eco-School activities in the classroom and outside classroom sessions. She is mornitoring and advising her ward schools on what to do pertaining to Eco-Schools’ activities. She also participated in the designing of the Micro-Projects.

Micro-Projects

Eco-School Committees from 20 programme schools under the guidance from TFCG, district staff, and disvision staff managed to design different Micro-Projects for the schools. The themes developed are: Forestry, Conservation Agriculture, Climate Change, Waste Mangement, Water and Sanitation and School Compound Improvement. The proposed Micro-Projects include: Tree nurseries, Tree planting, Banana Farming, Pineapple Farming, Vegetable Farming, Agroforestry, Chickens, Cassava Farming and Beekeeping. It was agreed that after the Micro-Projects designing and training processes, the programme schools in collaboration with the Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) will open respective bank accounts specifically meant for Micro-Projects and then TFCG will provide them with funds meant for the Micro-projects. The schools will commence implementation of the projects once they have the funds. In total 18 projects have been provisionally approved; two projects are yet to be approved.

The designed Micro-Projects will commence after they have been funded. Teachers and learners will use the Micro-Projects for training and learning purposes. The Micro-Projects will be demonstration areas. When established, the Micro-Projects will enhance the improvement of education quality, schools and community livelihoods and school compounds.

Zambia Festival of Action

Three Tanzanian students (2 girls and 1 boy) from the project’s schools (Komtonga, Dilagama and Hembeti) accompanied by a TFCG project officer participated in the Zambia Festival of Action organized by Greenpop. The pupils participated in activies ranging from EE/Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) trainings/workshops, tree planting, recycling and re-use of materials, environmentally friendly business, and conservation agriculture.

The pupils who participated in the festival are now disseminating knowledge and experiences gained from Zambia to their colleagues at schools and puting things learnt into practice. This activity was financed separately by the African Rainforest Conservancy (ARC).

Participants in the teacher training event in June
Participants in the teacher training event in June
Students at Zamiba Festival of Action
Students at Zamiba Festival of Action
Jun 9, 2016

Transforming Tanzania's Charcoal Sector (TTCS)

Short description of the project and its intervention strategy

This project is based on a two-pronged theory of change:


In order to bring about a lasting and positive evolution in Tanzania’s marginalized and unsustainable charcoal sector, it is necessary to intervene at both the policy and practice level.

The project demonstrates better ways of doing business in a practical way through its support of sustainable, community-based, charcoal production, led explicitly by market forces. The project aims to incentivize ecologically sustainable production by facilitating the re-structuring of the charcoal value chain by securing exemptions from Central Government royalties for charcoal produced sustainably from village forest reserves; and by allowing communities to set and retain their own fees with these funds, which are then made available for community development and sustainable natural resources management.


Main results achieved and implementation performance of the project

The project partners successfully modeled a sustainable charcoal value chain that provides more security to charcoal producers; significant village-level revenue from permit fees; and an environmentally sustainable harvesting approach. The key change has been to establish a mechanism whereby verifiably sustainable charcoal is exempt from Central Government royalties, so that communities can charge and retain fees instead.

During this first year, the project has achieved increased support from stakeholders at national and local levels for sustainable charcoal, as a result of a participatory evaluation of the project; a national workshop involving key biomass energy policy makers; media coverage; and meetings with relevant members of parliament and senior civil servants. The project has improved the governance of the model at the local level, including improved record-keeping, increased compliance with sustainable harvesting practices, and more effective law enforcement. The model has been extended to an additional 2 villages in Kilosa District and preparations have been made to scale up to 2 additional districts, including securing funds for a 4-year second phase for the project.


Main steering implications for next period of interventions

Scaling up and mainstreaming the model is the next key step. With 15-20 million ha of woodland on village land, of which 2.3 million ha are already in > 800 village forest reserves, there is significant potential to scale up. This requires partnerships with other organizations and initiatives capable of establishing the model, including Tanzania's National Forest and Beekeeping Program (NFBKP III) and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP).

Evaluating and improving the model based on research from the first year will help to increase impact. Promoting the sustainability of the model will be critical in Phase 2, including building capacity and embedding incentives in the model (and removing barriers) for multiple stakeholders to support the sustainable charcoal value chain independent of donor funding. Withdrawal from the Phase 1 in villages needs to be done in such a way as to ensure that communities continue to implement the sustainable model.

More effort is needed to increase incentives for producers, including increasing their incomes. Diversifying forest-based enterprises, including integrating sustainable timber harvesting and Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) into Community-Based Forest Management (CBFM) will reduce risks and increase community incomes. Widespread evasion of royalty payments within the charcoal industry and a licensing system that is not grounded in sustainable harvesting principles are contextual challenges that need to be addressed. Awareness raising and advocacy remain critical for the success of the model particularly given persistent and widespread misconceptions about the charcoal sector.


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