ONLY communities in Kondoa district in Dodoma region may get 80 percent of the payments from Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation for government forests when a post Kyoto Protocol carbon trading regimes starts next year.
An official from Africa Wildlife Foundation, Godlisten Matilya told the Daily News on Sundday that the arrangement was still under negotiation between communities in Kondoa district and forestry officials under joint forest management arrangement.
"In Kondoa district where communities are in the process of engaging into joint forest management for two specific forest reserves, there had been an informal discussion among JFM partners at the district level where District Forest Officer from Kondoa accepted to allow 80 percent of benefits to go to local communities," Mr Matilya said.
He said such arrangement is good for rewarding communities that have taken care of forests for years hence the need to award them and encourage conservation. "It's communities that guard these forests because the government
has inadequate forest officers to patrol all areas and it is therefore logical that REDD payments should benefit them," Matilya argued.
According to Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism, Tanzania has over 33.5 million hectares of forests of which 13.5 million are state owned while 18 million belong to communities and the rest are owned by private companies, institutions and individuals.
Experts estimate that when a REDD regime becomes effective next year after the expiry of Kyoto Protocol, the country may
earn up to 300 million US dollars (over 470bn/-) from carbon credits bought by polluting industrialized countries.
Debate is currently going on as to how REDD payments will be made with government officials preferring that Treasury handle the payments which will then be transferred to communities but environmental activists want such payments to go directly to communities.