Call to claim credit for protecting game reserves, national parks


Dr Diodorus Kamala, a newly-appointed Tanzania envoy to Belgium said recently that the world has the responsibility to pay Tanzania for protecting the environment, which benefits the universe. Tanzania has a surface area of 94.3 million hectares of which 22 million hectares about 23 per cent are allocated to reserves, the largest share of land resources allocated by any country in Sub -Saharan Africa.

The allocation includes National Parks (4.2 million hectares), Game Reserves (7.7 million hectares), and Forest Reserves (10.1 million hectares). "Since we cannot do cultivation or mining in these areas because of international agreements, we need compensation through carbon trading mechanism," Dr Kamala said at a press conference after visiting three national parks last week.

The envoy noted that although the country earns from the tourism sector but what the tourists pay to enjoy the attractions was not enough given its value and energy the country has been putting to protect these parks. Carbon trading is an idea presented in response to the Kyoto Protocol that involves the trading of greenhouse gas (GHG) emission rights between nations under Clean Development Mechanism (CDM).

This protocol defines CDM that allow industrialized nations to meet their GHG obligations by buying GHG reduction credits from other countries thus allowing third world countries to carry out projects under Clean Development Mechanism and make profit by trading the carbon credits with developed countries.

The total traded volume in the global carbon market grew from 1.6 Giga tonnes in 2006 to 2.7 Giga tonnes in 2007, an increase of 64 per cent. The value of the carbon traded grew even more, by 80 per cent in the same period, from 33 billion US dollars (52.8tr/-) to 60 billion US dollars (96tr/-).

Ambassador Kamala said as envoys they will try to build a case with the international community so that the country is finally rewarded for a job well done. According to Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Centre (CDIAC) Tanzania carbon emissions as of 2010 stood at 1.8 million metric tons.

Tanzania has several carbon credit projects at various levels of implementation such as those implemented by a Norwegian company, Green Resources. Another project is a Mpingo Conservation Development Initiative (MCDI) in Kilwa District which is funded by the Norwegian government's Climate Forestry Initiative to the tune of over 1.7 million US dollars from 2010-2013.

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