The Global Environment Facility (GEF) has presented the results of a project to protect the Eastern Arc Mountain forests of Tanzania, which over seven years increased the protected area coverage by 500,000 hectares and achieved a significant drop in deforestation rates.
18 August 2011: The Global Environment Facility (GEF) has presented the results of a project implemented by the UN Development Programme (UNDP) to conserve biodiversity in the Eastern Arc Mountain forests of Tanzania, which, over seven years (2003-2010), increased protected area coverage by over 500,000 hectares and supported the creation of protected forest corridors in sensitive areas, including in the Derema area and Bunduki Gap in the Ulugurus.
In addition, a Nature Reserves Unit was established within the Forestry and Beekeeping Department (FBD) of Tanzania to strengthen the country’s institutional capacity to manage nature reserves. Among the project’s results, the annual average percentage of forest loss dropped from 15.7% in 1990/2000 — before the project’s work — to 2.8% in 2007/2008. It is also estimated that, in 2000, the Eastern Arc Mountains stored 151.7 million tons of carbon—91.7 million tons of which were found in the existing reserves, and that the project was instrumental in Tanzania’s inclusion as a Quick Start country under the UN-REDD programme. [GEF Press Release]