Flexible Voluntary Contribution (FVC)

Farmers and forest producers from Tanzania urge the government to fight climate change impact


In the first week of October 2021, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in Tanzania, organized a workshop for Farmers and Forest Producers Organizations (FFPOs) in Tanzania. This workshop was part of the Forest and Farm Facility (FFF) project of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) on which FAO is the lead implementing entity. The FFF project benefits from FAO’s Flexible Funding Mechanism (FMM). This global funding instrument receives and manages pooled flexible funding by catalyzing initiatives to achieve transformative impacts. Thanks to its programmatic approach the FMM is more streamlined and more efficient which leads to improved resource allocation and reporting procedures.

The workshop focused entirely on discussing the challenges of climate change on the lives and livelihoods of FFPOs. At the end of the discussions, the FFPOs came up with a robust local climate change strategy and action plan that supports FFPOs in improving livelihoods, while safeguarding the environment and responding to climate change in Northern, Southern and Western Tanzania.

In addition, the FFPOs called on the Tanzanian government to ensure that preparation of climate change plans closely engage players at the grassroot level. In this way, it would become easier to tap into their knowledge and experience and to accelerate efforts aimed at fighting the impact of climate change. These measures would be beneficial for them too, since climate change affects everyone.

The latest edition of the State of Nutrition and Food Security in the World (SOFI) 2021 demonstrates that climate change is currently negatively impacting agriculture, livestock, forestry, beekeeping, water resources, as well as the coastal and marine environment. These are the largest contributors to the country’s economy and support more than 80 per cent of the population in Tanzania. According to the SOFI-report, Tanzania is ranked 26 on the list of countries that are most impacted by climate change.

Besides the FFPOs the workshop also brought other relevant stakeholders to the table. Such as government actors, the private sector, NGOs, CSOs and farmer groups. These stakeholders are integral to the discussion since they all are working on agriculture, forest landscape restoration and climate resilience from Morogoro to the Njombe and Rukwa regions.

IUCN- Programme officer Doyi Mazenzele opened the workshop by saying that “we have met here today to discuss how climate change is affecting us as FFPOs”. He added that, “later we will come up with a robust strategy for addressing climate change impacts in the landscape. We will also formulate action plans to guide efforts on enhancing climate resilience practices. This compliments the government’s efforts and goals that are highlighted in the national climate change strategy”.

Revocatus Njau, chairman of the Tanzania Community Forest Conservation network (MJUMITA) hinted that shifting cultivation contributes immensely to deforestation and forest degradation. Therefore, he called on the government and stakeholders to invest in educating farmers on sustainable agricultural practices. On this topic, Lukas Payovela, chairman of Ukombozi Tree Planting Group in Njombe, said that “school children should be groomed as champions of change on environment conservation and climate change through curricula and extra-curricular activities”. He added, “if we teach our children about climate change and how to fight its impacts, we will have a strong generation that values and conserves nature for the country’s sustainable development.”

Eva Msella, Project Officer from IUCN, cited both national and international sources in stating that unsustainable agriculture, deforestation, land use change and industrial activities are major factors fueling the increase of greenhouse gases (GHGs) in the atmosphere. She said that “the meeting will thus have to come up with an action plan to guide the implementation of the climate change strategies in a coordinated manner to help the FFPOs overcome the impacts of climate change and limit the emissions of GHGs.”

The fact that urgent action is needed to build resilience to the changing climate is widely understood by stakeholders that were part of this workshop. All noses point in the same direction, which leads to the government. Public and private actors need to work towards a holistic plan of action, that covers sectors in the whole Tanzanian society. This plan should make the Tanzanian society more resilient and sustainable in order to minimize the effects of climate change, which remains a vital to all.

2. Zero hunger

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