Tackling climate change in Igoda – By Alpha Three

5th August 2016

In 2000, the United Nations introduced the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which set targets to be met by the year 2015. When the goals were revisited, they were found to be broadly half-way completed.

Extreme poverty was halved, and there were many other success stories. However, there was clearly more work to do, so a new set of 17 Global Goals for Sustainable Development were created.

Many of Raleigh’s projects are aimed towards achieving these goals, and alongside their project partners they aim to work towards continuing and improving the work of the original MDGs. Alpha 3 are currently in Igoda working with TFCG (Tanzanian Forest Conservation Group) to plant tree nurseries and contribute to the success of Global Goal no. 13 Climate Action.

Deforestation is a huge problem. Worldwide, we have lost enough forest to cover an area the size of South Africa (129 million hectares) (UN, 2015). In Tanzania, the problem is even more pronounced. Tanzania is currently losing between 300,000- 400,000 hectares of forest each year (NEMC, 2012), a rate of approximately 1.1% which is more than twice the global average (SHIPO, 2015).

Not only are forests home to many of the world’s most threatened and endangered animals, but perhaps most critically, forests play a pivotal role in climate change mitigation through their oxygen production and storage of carbon dioxide as biomass. Increased deforestation and forest degradation is reducing global forest biomass storage capability and it is currently estimated that 15% of all greenhouse gas emissions are the result of deforestation (World Wildlife Organisation, 2016).

Additionally, deforestation is contributing to changes in local and regional climate which in turn is negatively impacting systems upon which humans depend, e.g. Ecosystems services and temperature regulation for agricultural production, and watershed management (Duffy et. al., 2016).

The Paris Agreement, signed on 22nd April 2016 by 175 countries, identifies the key role that the preservation of global forests must play if we are to succeed in limiting global warming to 2 degrees above pre-industrial levels (UNFCCC, 2016). With proper management, forests could remove significant quantities of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, thus making it much easier to limit global warming and the devastating and irreversible effects it will otherwise likely have (Duffy et. al., 2016).

Clearly, Tanzania’s forests are a vital resource. Through direct and indirect means, they are a vital source of income for many rural Tanzanians. This is also the case in Igoda village. Protecting the forest therefore means protecting the future of Igoda. Alpha Three have seen how much the local people rely on the pine forests and therefore we are working very hard to construct a sustainable tree nursery that will benefit current and future residents of Igoda.

At the same time as working on the tree nursery, our Venturers are working in local schools to raise awareness amongst local young people on why it is important to build and use the trees growing in the nursery rather than relying on the depleted natural forests. Adam Mgovano, the head of Raleigh’s project partner TFCG (Tanzania Forest Conservation Group) explained to us the importance of communities developing sustainable timber harvesting plans. Building and maintaining a tree nursery whereby trees are transplanted into the local forests, and timber harvesting is rotated in a systematic way, ensures the long survival of Igoda’s forested areas. This will not only contribute to sustainable natural resources for Igoda’s residents, but will also play a role in the reducing the amount of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere, vital in this global fight against climate change.

teaching in schoolAlpha Three speaking about the Global Goals in a local school

Blog_TacklingClimate_Planting2Tom working in the tree nursery with local community members

Planting with local childrenAlpha and a group of children from the local area filling poly tubes with soil

group shotGroup shot of Alpha Three with members of the Igoda community

By Alex and Alice – Alpha Three

Photos by Steve Freeman

Climate and Conservation Tanzania