The Tanzanian NCAP focused upon the production of technical adaptation policy options based upon the vulnerabilities and adaptive capacities of local communities. Tanzania saw a substantial field effort during the summer of 2007. Building on fieldwork on 2006 in the Rufiji valley, CEEST lead a team to look at adaptation on Kilimanjaro.
Kilimanjaro is in many ways an icon of the climate change debate, where some suggest that the melting of the glaciers is a direct consequence of climate change. Others disagree and think it might be a consequence of deforestation and a consequent lower level of humidity on the mountain. Using a team of 5 people from CEEST, 5 European postgraduates and a team of 22 enumerators, CEEST conducted a 1000+ survey of adaptation practises. What emerged from this work was that adaptation to climate change was less important than adaptation to maintaining household livelihoods.
There were several pressures on livelihoods, including the inability to access land outside of the home gardens of the Chagga households. There was no ability to go further up the mountain because of the existence of the national park, which was a major revenue generation activity for government, and no ability to go down the slope because that was increasingly occupied by large scale farming that prevented Chagga households from maize growing opportunities.
There was the impact of a significantly larger population within the constrained area of the Chagga gardens, in addition to the impact of HIV/AIDS and other infectious diseases. The major source of additional income was off farm employment but that in turn lead to a decrease to labour availability within the Chagga home gardens. Off farm income was never guaranteed, and it certainly wasn’t available if those seeking work did not have significant levels of education. The obvious response was one of cutting down the larger trees within the Chagga gardens, but this in turn could perhaps lead to the local acceleration of climate change impacts. What was obvious however, was that coping mechanisms, such as tree cutting, might be acting against longer term adaptation.
Summer fieldwork ended with a symposium with local actors and NGOs, a summary of which is available electronically.
Since that time, CEEST has gone ahead and completed a national survey of the impact of climate change on agriculture in Tanzania, by ecological zonation. This forms part of their analysis of technical and policy options for adaptation to the consequences of climate change in Tanzania. There are plans for a national seminar in late spring 2008, which will include efforts to generate analysis that will inform the second national communication to UNFCCC.
Mr. Stephen Mwakifwamba
Centre for Energy, Environment, Science and Technology (CEEST)
P.O. Box 5511
Dar es Salaam
Phone: +255 22 2667569