Tanzania’s government through its Minister of State in the Office of the Vice President (Union and Environment), Selemani Jafo said that the country is on track to raise USD 1 Billion through carbon trading.
“Up to now, 39 carbon projects have been registered and 12 projects have already received no objection,” said Jafo in parliament on Friday, February 9, 2024.
“If things go well this year, we plan to raise about USD 1 billion from carbon trading,” added Jafo.
Minister Jafo went on to provide some of the recent gains from carbon trading including Sh. 14 Billion expected by the Tanganyika District Council and 4.8 Billion received by the Mbulu and Kiteto District Councils.
One of the major players in the carbon trading business in Tanzania is Carbon Tanzania, in Dec 2023 government signed a deal that will see the company have projects in six national parks, spanning 1.8 million hectares. The national parks include Burigi-Chato, Katavi Plains, Ugalla River, Mkomazi, Gombe Stream, and Mahale Mountains.
In February 2023, the Tanzania Forest Services (TFS) an agency that manages over 15 million hectares of forest land signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with a Dubai-based company, Blue Carbon, which committed to invest over US$450 million in the African carbon markets.
The partnership targets eight million hectares of forest in the first phase, including 56,000 hectares of mangroves for carbon markets.
While the government and other players in the private sector have continued to show great interest in seeing projects come to fruition, some actors have expressed doubt over the schemes, with many citing their integrity and the future of the residents in the project areas. Others are also worried that the projects risk robbing Tanzanians’ right to development.
For example, in their 2023 report titled Green Colonialism 2.0: Tree Plantations and Carbon Offsets in Africa, a US-based environmental think-tank Oakland Institute warns that thanks to carbon markets projects implemented in Africa, communities have become the targets of “carbon cowboys.”
“These unscrupulous actors frequently coerce local groups into signing opaque and exploitative deals, seizing their carbon and land rights for periods that can last over 100 years,” notes the group in its report.
In the carbon investment forum, which was held on November 16, 2023, Tanzania Minister of Natural Resources, Angela Kairuki said that Tanzania will seek win-win business situations in carbon trading and that it will not allow for the country to be swindled with middlemen.