Govt spends half of climate funds
Dar es Salaam. Tanzania has only spent half of Norwegian funds on Reduced Deforestation and Land Degradation (REDD), the ambassador of Norway, Ms Ingunn Klepsvik has said.Speaking to The Citizen recently, Ms Klepsvik said despite halfway expenditure on Norwegian REDD funds, the country has performed well in terms of preparedness in absorbing REDD funds in the future.
According to her, since 2008 the country has received Sh136 billion ($85 million), but it has spent only Sh68 billion ($42.5 million).“Norway has allocated about $85 million and only approximately half of this amount has been disbursed,” she said.
“A significant amount of Norway’s support to REDD+ targets villagers, especially community-based pilot projects and REDD policy development consultation processes,” she added.
The Norwegian ambassador also said at Cop 17 Durban conference on climate change, Norway pledged up to $500 million each year globally for REDD, to be used as fast-start funding and payments for reduced emissions.
She said Tanzania was among countries that would benefit from the funds, adding that other countries were Indonesia, Guyana and Ethiopia.The recently sponsored World Bank survey has shown that it was only through effective community participation that REDD funds can bear the desired results, especially under Participatory Forest Management (PFM) system.
“Although it is not completely clear how this would be managed in practice, the implication is that REDD+ funding would be used to speed up the rate of expansion of land area under PFM,” reads part of the World Bank report.
According to the report, currently only 12.8 per cent of the country’s forests, which amount to 4.3 million hectares are under PFM and is a potentially new finance stream within community forestry systems. Latest data of the UN Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) shows that total forests cover in the country is 33.4 million hectares with 2,019 million metric tonnes of forest carbon.
The World Bank report also distinguishes between two forms of forest ownership in the country, that is Joint Forest Management system (JFM) which falls under the rights of government, and Community Based Forest Management (CBFM), under which communities are the right holders and duty bearers.
Opening the REDD workshop for Members of Parliamentary Committees on Lands, Natural Resources and Tourism and Finance and Economic Affairs in Bagamoyo at the end of last month, the permanent secretary in the Vice President’s Office (Environment), Mr Sazi Salula, thanked the Norwegian government for REDD support geared to building capacity from local to national level of governance.
Mr Salula cited the achievements recorded from the bilateral co-operation between Norway and Tanzania as preparation of National REDD Strategy and the National Climate Change Adaptation Strategy.
The workshop host, who is also the Chairman of REDD Secretariat, Prof Pius Yanda told the MPs that funds for mitigating climate change was necessary given the fact that global warming was impacting negatively on various sectors of the economy, among others include agriculture and water sector.
Prof. Yanda listed other sectors affected as livestock, infrastructure, fishing, health and energy, which he said must be protected and improved through establishing the green economy.
The workshop Chairman, who is an MP for Kahama, Mr James Lembeli, said that climate change was also impacting negatively on the national development strategies, namely MKUKUTA of the mainland and the Zanzibar based MKUZA.