Tanzanians urged to engage on carbon trade

TANZANIANS have been urged to engage in the newly introduced carbon trade, killing two birds by one stone — conserving the environment and earning extra income from carbon credits.

Carbon trade is the process of buying and selling of credits that permit a company or other entity to emit a certain amount of carbon dioxide or other greenhouse gases. The carbon credits and the carbon trade are authorized by governments with the goal of gradually reducing overall carbon emissions and mitigating their contribution to climate change.

Principal Forest Officer in the Vice-President’s Office, Union Affairs and Environment, Dr Fredy Manyika told journalists in Dodoma recently that engaging in conservation means the country will get good weather, more rain, sustainable water and leap forward in development.

Speaking during a visit organised by the Journalists’ Environmental Association of Tanzania (JET) and funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Dr Manyika noted that it is pertinent that Tanzanians grab the opportunity as a means to mitigate climate change and earn a living.

“Carbon trade is a new business and Tanzanians are well placed to do it if they are willing to. It has a lot of advantages, two of which are to safeguard the environment that is our agenda and second to earn some money. Billions have been paid already to some communities on this but some people are not aware of this, we should let them know,” said Dr Manyika.

He mentioned Dareda administrative Ward and a town in the Babati Rural District of Manyara Region as well as Tanganyika District in Rukwa region as areas with people who have already tapped the opportunity and benefited from thickening the forests and hence reduce carbon effect to the environment.

“People are paid for thickening forests, Dareda and Tanganyika are just few examples; let other follow suit. Some have been paid a lot of money in this trade. Almost 3bn/- have been paid in Tanganyika and now there is a pilot project in Kondoa District, Dodoma Region,” said Dr Manyika.

It has emerged that the money funds are paid from carbon trade have had positive effects in communities in constructing schools, health facilities and water infrastructure. The funds have also been used to pay for health insurance cover. Tanzania aims to reduce carbon emissions to a great extent.

Recently, Vice-President, Dr Philip Mpango directed the State Ministry (Union Affairs and Environment) to work on shortfalls in the policy that administers carbon trade in the country so that the nation benefits from the business.

Dr Mpango also instructed the ministry to embark on public sensitisation programmes that will create awareness on opportunities that are being brightened by carbon business for individual and national development.

There are pilots using the carbon credit model to pay smallholder farmers to adopt climate-smart agricultural practices. The model works by tracking the amount of carbon sequestrated in soil or crops over time utilizing climate-smart agricultural practices.

Another emerging segment for carbon credit application is the Blue economy, producing Blue carbon credits that are generated as blue ecosystems such as mangroves, seagrasses, and salt marshes sequester carbon from the atmosphere.

Carbon trade agreements allow for the sale of carbon credits in order to reduce total emissions. Several countries and territories have started carbon trading programs. Carbon trading is adapted from cap and trade, a regulatory approach that successfully reduced sulfur pollution in the 1990s.

These measures are aimed at reducing the effects of global warming but their effectiveness remains a matter of debate. Rules for a global carbon market were established at the Glasgow COP26 climate change conference in November 2021, enacting an agreement first laid out at the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement.

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