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REDD in the Yaeda ValleyHB

Carbon Project Type: Reduced Emissions from Deforestation
Location: Yaeda Valley, Tanzania
Standard: Plan Vivo

This project improves the livelihoods of hunter-gatherer Hadza (or Hadzabe) and pastoralist communities in Mongo Wa Mono and Domanga villages, Northern Tanzania – an area recognized for high biodiversity and home to elephants, kudu, impala and many other animals.

In recent history, several forces have threatened the cultural survival of the Hadza. Their livelihood is based largely on subsistence hunting of animals and birds, which has been effectively prohibited by the 1974 Wildlife Conservation Act, pushing them into more remote and marginal habitat types.

With the help of Native, the REDD in the Yaeda Valley Project received a 2019 Equator Prize for protecting traditional livelihoods and mitigating climate change.

Additionally, the areas that the Hadza do maintain are under increasing pressures from human population growth and increasing land encroachment and conversion.

By working in conjunction with traditional leaders, the elected village governments, and a team of community members, Carbon Tanzania and Ujamaa Community Resource Team established a system of Payments for Ecosystem Services through the sale of certified carbon offset credits. This REDD project strengthens land tenure, management capacity, and local natural resource management, enhances and diversifies local incomes, and contributes to local, national, and global environmental conservation aims. Successful avoided deforestation is being achieved through a series of interventions including reinforcing the implementation of the approved village land use plan and associated village by-laws, improving forest conservation and management activities, and addressing the primary driver of deforestation: slash and burn agriculture.

In 2018, Native took the project a step further. The programs funded through Plan Vivo Credits sales previously were constrained by the fluctuations of the carbon credit markets and struggled to make long term investments for lasting change. Native, using the principles of Help Build,TM committed to purchasing five years of credits, allowing the Hadza community to count on reliable income. This reliability will give them the ability to invest in education and employment to ensure long term territorial security and governance capacity, to commit to regular health clinics, and to expand the benefits to each community member protecting habitat through direct household payments.