|Hifadhi ya Misitu ya Asili (HIMA)|
Link to: HIMA Brief
The forests of Unguja and Pemba Islands in the Zanzibar archipelago lie less than 40 kilometers from the Tanzanian mainland and form an important part of the East Africa Coastal Forests Eco-region. The area is considered one of the world’s top 200 “hotspots” for biodiversity.
Today, natural forests are mostly found on rocky land or areas left behind during the establishment of coconut and clove plantations. Despite their global biodiversity and climate-regulating values, these forests are rapidly disappearing due to local people’s dependence on forest goods (especially wood for fuel) and an absence of ready alternatives to logging or clearing land for agricultural fields and infrastructure. This pressure is exacerbated by insecure land tenure and forest rights, which reduce people’s motivation for sustainable use.
For these island forests to survive, incentives for sustainable forest management and mechanisms for their fair and effective governance must be quickly put in place. This is the purpose of Hifadhi ya Misitu ya Asili (Conservation of Natural Forests), or HIMA. The four-year (2010-2013) project, which is supported by the Governments of Zanzibar and Norway, will explore how carbon finance can be used to tackle the underlying causes of deforestation and create an enabling environment for the sustainable management of forest goods and services.
Working in partnership with local civil society, government institutions and research organizations, the project is being implemented in seven districts of Unguja and Pemba Islands. More than 27,000 hectares of upland and mangrove forests will be secured during the pilot phase. Successful activities will then be scaled-up to conserve a total of 60,000 hectares. Experiences, lessons and methodologies developed by HIMA will inform the Government of Zanzibar’s strategy for reducing emissions from deforestation and degradation (REDD). They will also be shared with policymakers and development practitioners across Africa and the rest of the world. HIMA’s overarching goals are to:
• Reduce greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in Zanzibar;and