Combining REDD, PFM and FSC certification in South-Eastern Tanzania


The project “ Combining REDD, PFM and FSC certification in South-Eastern Tanzania” aimed to introduce Community Based Fire Management (CBFiM) and thereby use any REDD+ payments to cover the transaction costs of establishing PFM supported by FSC in five new villages and 5 existing PFM villages in Kilwa District, Tanzania. It was designed and implemented by Mpingo Conservation and Development Initiative, MCDI, in collaboration with several academic and non-academic partners, and the private companies Carbon Tanzania and Maliasili Initiatives.

At Laseg, in partnership with the University of East Anglia, we conducted a governance and livelihood assessment based on panel data, in order to understand the project’s effects on the participant communities, using nearby villages as control groups. Overall, we found that:

  • Improvements to forest governance were substantial in MCDI operational villages compared to control villages. There was therefore a change in process that we would expect to lead to increasing improvements in the sustainability and equity of forest management;
  • Knowledge of forest management operations and institutions in the prooject's villages increased over time;
  • Income increased in project villages relative to control villages, but this difference was not statistically significant. This had to do with the fact that most project monies were invested in collective goods, rather than distributed across households;
  • Forest resources extraction increased over the project years, most likely as these acted as a safety net given the collapse of sales of maize, millet and rice due largely to drought; and
  • Livelihood diversification and increased adaptive capacity were not observed.

These results are more elaborated and discussed in the publications below.


  • Sowing the seeds of sustainable rural livelihoods? An assessment of Participatory Forest Management through REDD+ in Tanzania Corbera E, Martin A, Springate-Baginski O, Villase├▒or A (2020). Land Use Policy, 97: 102962.
  • Fire is REDD+: offsetting carbon through early burning activities in south-eastern Tanzania Khatun K, Corbera E, Ball S (2017). ORYX, 51 (1).
  • Carbon offsets: Accommodation or resistance? Corbera E, Martin A (2015). Environment and Planning A, 47 (10).
  • When Participatory Forest Management makes money: insights from Tanzania on governance, benefit sharing, and implications for REDD+ Khatun K, Gross-Camp N, Corbera E, Martin A, Ball S, Massao G (2015). Environment and Planning A, 47 (10).

Project dates

 January 2010 - December 2014


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Research area

Team members

ICREA Research Professor
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