Engaging Rural Communities, Open Source Ecosystems for GHG Reduction in Tanzania by Rural communities
Disentangling the emission myth in Developing Countries: Rural communities and Open Source Ecosystems for GHG Emission Reduction
The rural areas in Tanzania are the frontline of conversion of forest lands and grasslands to cropland, pasture and settlements. The problem is expanding and approach, expertize and financing mechanisms considered effective 10 years ago, no longer seem adequate to alter these trends, we need a new approach with multiple ends rather than end in itself.
In this proposal, paradigm and path which engages rural communities, organizations both from local and international domain, pro-poor natural resource use approach grounding focus on the fast growing open and accessible information (spatial and non-spatial), tools (technology) and expertise from multiple sources and scales are seen as most promising and relevant mechanism. We intend to tap these relevant resources and actors and channel them in more formal administrative and governance systems where the political will and social forces necessary to solve problems are strong but technical and financial capabilities for information acquisition and analysis are weak.
The concept of open data and collaboration across ministries, civil society and scientific communities will play a fundamental role in identifying priority areas for environmental conservation by using variety of social economic and environmental components. The information generated will play great role In establishment of protected areas (national parks, forest reserves,). Up to date protected areas in Tanzania are established on the basis of only a few components of biodiversity (usually big game animals, and factors such as water catchment and historical heritage areas) only.
What actions do you propose?
The rural areas in Tanzania are the frontline of conversion of forest lands and grasslands to cropland, pasture and settlements. Tanzania is the fifth in the world and second in Africa in forest land conversion to cropland and pasture, about 372,000 equivalents to 1.1% hectares per year are cleared annually and under business-as-usual situation, the economy is expected to grow at the expense of the environment hence the rate is expected to increase (Blomley and Iddi, 2009, Ryan, C et al 2014). According to global indexes, Tanzania contributes about 0.2tCO2e on GHG emission and 87 percent of all emissions results from land use and forest conversion.
The problem is expanding and approach, expertise and financing mechanisms considered effective 10 years ago, no longer seem adequate to alter these trends. In this proposal, paradigm and path which engages rural communities, organizations both from local and international domain, pro-poor natural resource use approach grounding focus on the fast growing open and accessible information (spatial and non-spatial), tools (technology) and expertise from multiple sources and scales are seen as most promising and relevant mechanism. We intend to tap these relevant resources and actors and channel them in more formal administrative and governance systems where the political will and social forces necessary to solve problems are strong but technical and financial capabilities for information acquisition and analysis are weak. By no longer depending on expensive expertise and exclusive land resource plans, the proposal makes the building of the sustainable future more to the wide variety of actors, accessible and commonly shared based on validated inexpensive information and arrangement.
We aim to reverse GHG emission trend resulting from land use and forest conversion, ultimately achieve the “maximum sustainability” through establishing and improve a genuine and open information, expertise and technology sharing between communities, stakeholders, scientists, policymakers public authorities.
The proposed project will undertake the following activities
- Awareness creation and decision support interface
- Raising awareness among various actors and communities
Up to now our consortium composed of six organizations; four public institutions and two are non-for-profit organizations. For long and wide impact, we will expand the team by subscribing potential relevant institutions, citizens, stakeholders, researchers and policy-makers. In our initial communication, about 140 local government authorities, 15 local and international institutions and 3 natural resources networks and forums have confirmed their interest for open and free data and information sharing through conservation education, value adding activities, and build capacity on sustainable practices. We will conduct both face-to-face and online consultations across the level planning and management authorities (regional and district). Awareness creation will take advantage of the growing mobile communication usage and connection to rural communities and e-government initiative supported by the local and central government over which our institutions are affiliate.
- Develop an data infrastructure networks, capacities and decision support interface
We will establish data infrastructure network, processes and partnership among institutions and networks within and outside the government and local authorities. Several natural resources management initiatives have disregarded traditional knowledge in land resource management, our proposed action will ensure that this knowledge form part and parcel of the initiative network for sustainable land and forestry resource use and management decisions.
For sustainability and smooth implementation of the proposed action, we will prepare systematic and integrated framework to manage the data user-provider complexity which might arise due to the diversity across (potential) providers and users in public and private sectors. The framework will allow data accessibility, reuse and promotes greater outcome.
2.Participatory land resource use, management plans and policy options at village and district level
- Participatory land use options:
Through extensive dialogue involving multiple governments departments (central and local government), non-government stakeholders, policymakers, scientific and rural communities we will facilitate establishment and demarcation of various land resources uses at district and village level. Our pilot focus will be on villages with considerable high degradation rate and have received less attention and support.
Areas for agricultural activities, livestock keeping, establishment of Village Land Forest Reserves, wetlands, wildlife will be demarcated through participatory land use planning process that builds partnership throughout the entire process of analysis to resource use decisions as shown in figure 2.
- Rural Community Action and Management Plans (CAMP):
Currently only 1200 (8%) out of 15000 villages have land use plans prepared while some are under development to date (NLUPC, 2015). Most of them however lack continuity and coordination which would have enabled better implementation at community level and cross fertilizations amongst at district or regional level. We will ensure action and management plan for each demarcated area (activity 1(ii)) is prepared to warrant sharing of best practices and sustainability of the land use plans. Communities at village level we be facilitated to formulate by-laws as ‘a more permanent basis’ for maintaining and managing demarcated forest areas, fishing, avoiding shifting cultivation and uncontrolled pastoralism.
Co-management arrangements will be established in these areas to strengthen linkages amongst resources users, public and private institutions and support groups. Such arrangement will be based on either geographical distribution or the nature of the resources in question while guaranteeing rights associated to land ownership and environmental protection.
- Establish and strengthen incentives strategies for equitable benefits sharing:
We will facilitate development of simple and transparent system for benefit and revenue sharing from communally owned resources in the villages such as forestry, wildlife and pasturelands. To date, incentives mechanisms have been successful in some isolated small initiatives such as Integrated Reduction of Emission from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD), Community Based Forest Management (CBFM) and Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs)( Canby et al, 2014, x). Our action will not only amplify reported initiatives but also bring them together where success stories can be shared to greater audience. Each village under our proposed incentives strategies and equitable benefits sharing will however choose their payment system and codify the system in their by-laws.
- Alternative rural enterprises:
Alternative rural enterprises such as ecotourism, heritage tourism and agri-tourism will be encouraged. This will not only leverage the total natural resource dependence, allowing communities to make trade-offs to more sustainable land use decisions but also will promote entrepreneurial activities that empowers disadvantaged groups in the village. Given the nature of our ingenuity and consortium vast local, national and international institutions will be attracted and provided with open information fostering the development of value-added activities and modalities.
- Resource Use Monitoring and evaluation strategy;
We will monitor and evaluate each activity undertaken in order to uncover areas for improvement or adjust as per communities, resources or geographical domain. The most Significant Change (MSC) technique will form bases for monitoring and evaluating the outcomes of the initiative. Ultimately, we will prepare a comprehensive and reinforce uptake strategy towards a communities, public authorities and civil societies (incl. best practices, areas for improvement, and gap analysis).
3. Establish dissemination and support Network
We will establish dissemination and communication network for feedback, funding instruments, promotional activities, training and education support tailored across village to national level stakeholders. At regional and national level, we will establish online guides and resources accessible via websites in a variety of formats and languages taking advantage of the ongoing e-governance mechanism where our consortium are affiliate, growing use of mobile phones, social media such as Facebook and on Twitter which will be used to inform the younger generation.
Our initiative and outcome will increasingly be useful and openly shared to all stakeholders including national level decision makers such as the Tanzania Natural Resources Information Centre (TANRIC, a national depository of natural resource and environmental data), the Tanzania Biodiversity Facility (TanBIF), National Environment Management Council, forestry agricultural and wildlife departments. We will engage with the growing open data community through international networks, repositories and links such as World Bank, GIZ, Nature and FAO AGRIS portal, CIARD Routemap to Information Nodes and Gateways (RING), AGRIS
Who will take these actions?
Public entities supporting development of the initiative
Up to present, our consortium is made up of six public institutions at national level which represents different ministries (the National Land Use Planning Commission, Commission of Science and Technology, Institute of resource Assessment, National Bureau of Statistics, Survey and Mapping Division (SMD) and National Environmental Management Council).
Environmental networks and management committees
The Tanzania Biodiversity Facility (TanBiF), Environmental Information Network (EIN), Biodiversity Information Tool, (BIMT) as basis for environmental information. as well as establish new networks in local and regional authorities which will serve as a multiplier and transposing to other to villages.
At local level, district and village government authorities:
We have established contact with 140 districts authorities and have agreed to participate and act as node point for our actions. Moreover, 15 community based organizations and 3 natural resources networks and forums have confirmed their interest for open and free information sharing through conservation education, value adding activities and build capacity on sustainable practices.
Private and local entities
Four conservation initiatives; Mpingo Conservation and Development Initiative, Tanzanian Community Climate, Tanzania Forest conservation Group and Land Research Initiative. These will provide information and education related to biodiversity conservation and sustainable development issues.
International private and Cooperation agencies
We have established entirely new avenues of cooperation with several agencies such as the Boston Education on Earth Observation Data Analysis, (BEEODA), Land-Potential Knowledge System (LandPKS) and OpenLandContract.org and have indicated possibility for support on freely available technology, earth observation data and tools for inventory, assessment and monitoring, sustainable land use planning.
Where will these actions be taken?
The proposed action will be implemented in Tanzania; our initial focus however is the southern corridor districts aggregated in seven clusters. We regard it as the best starting point because of the land use and forest conversion is much more evident due to competing interests over the land as narrated in figure 3.
How much will emissions be reduced or sequestered vs. business as usual levels?
Tanzania contributes 0.2GtCO2 on GHG emission, 87 percent of all emissions results from land use and forest conversion (about 372,000 hectares annually) (Ryan, C, 2014, ALOFU, 2015), and under business-as-usual situation the economy is expected to grow at the expense of the environment hence the rate is expected to increase.
In a long term, our proposed initiative will manage about 17, 3 million hectares, a third of total forested land which are on village and general land with no properly defined management regime; (where deforestation and degradation is the most severe) (URT, 2012). The total emission reduced and carbon uptake basing on the FAO estimates measured in projects involving Land Use Change and Forestry varies from 40 to 108 tonnes per hectare from forest management (FAO, 2001). In relative terms our initiative will reduce approximately between 0.692Gt and 1.9 Gt measured in absolute terms.
What are other key benefits?
Close the information and capacity gap by employing open data and source by coordinating and developing data management systems that integrate spatial and non-spatial data from multiple sources
By improving communication, data integration and data access among various stakeholders is a key step towards identifying and formulating land-use policies that balance across-sector objectives. Up to date protected areas in Tanzania are established on the basis of only a few components of biodiversity (usually big game animals, and factors such as water catchment and historical heritage areas) only.
In the medium term, land use planning is one of the appropriate means of enhancing agricultural growth and productivity. In long term, it will contribute in regulating large-scale land acquisitions and wider commercial pressures on land.
In research domain it will provide unrestricted access to the information, an environment of unlimited experimentation and tinkering and collaboration and interaction.
What are the proposal’s costs?
The current cost for preparing a single Village Land Use plan stands at 8000 USD, about 60% of this cost is on data acquisition and analysis. We have not currently established the actual cost when open data, tool for analysis and expertise are utilized but we know that the will reduced greatly.
The strength of our initiative is that it will link Tanzanian institutions and networks from government ministries, local authorities and non-for-profit organizations. Such close technical and scientific collaboration between agencies and network sometimes competing spheres of influence has previously been very rare, and opens up entirely new avenues of cooperation and ability to influence the Government for implementation of rational land use policy.
Risk;Drop out of consortium organization or personnel in a network
Mitigation measure; Multiple collaborators in each partner means alternative personnel can be identified.
Risk; Logistics and communication problems across participating institutions
Mitigation;Multiple means of communication to be used. Close and regular communications maintained
Risk; Missing, reluctant in share data sharing due to issues of ownership and lack of awareness of the importance of data sharing, lost or inaccessible data
Mitigation; data providers will retain ownership rights and data users will acknowledge the data providers as a condition of access.
Risk; Multiple sites difficulty in management
Multiple sites difficulty in management; Multiple sites planned means that parallels can be drawn from other areas/work can be relocated, strong and transparency in coordination
Raising awareness among various actors and communities
Develop an data infrastructure networks, capacities and decision support interface
Participatory land resource use, management plans and policy options at village and district level
Identification of successful land use options and insuring that they are being applied to other areas with similar conditions
Fully functional and stable platform
strengthening incentives strategies for equitable benefits sharing
Alternative rural enterprises
Dissemination and support Network
Monitoring and evaluation
Our initiative is linked to Global 4C:Managing Land for Carbon Sequestration with Smart Money which set up mechanism for rewarding reforestation and forestry initiatives through open source systems by engaging rural communities.
Blomley, T. and Iddi, S. 2009. Participatory Forest Management in Tanzania 1993-2009: Lessons learned and experiences to date. Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism, Forestry and Beekeeping Division Dar es Salaam, United Republic of Tanzania.
United Republic Of Tanzania (URT). 2012. Division of Environment, Office of the Vice-President. National Strategy for Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+). Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
Ryan, C. M., Berry, N. J. & Joshi, N. Quantifying the causes of deforestation and degradation and creating transparent REDD+ baselines: A method and case study from central Mozambique. Appl. Geogr. 53, 45–54 (2014) accessed at http://www.buenosairesherald.com/article/198244/countries-reporting-the-greatest-annual-forest-area-reduction-in-hectares-%282010%C2%AD2015%29.
United Republic Of Tanzania (URT). 2015. National Land Use Planning Commission, ational Land Use framework Plan+). Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
FAO, 2001. State of the World Forest, accessed from http://www.fao.org/docrep/003/y0900e/y0900e06.htm on 25 march 2016.
Kerstin Canby K, Silva-Chávez G, Breitfeller J, Lanser C, Norman M and Schaap B, 2014.Tracking REDD+ Finance: 2009-2012 - Finance Flows in Seven REDD+ Countries, accessed fromhttp://www.forest-trends.org/documents/files/reddx_report_2014.pdf