Over 20 million Tanzanians depend on Non-Timber Forest Products (NTFPs) for their livelihood, but the extent to which NTFPs and community livelihoods are vulnerable to climate change is not well established. The coping strategies of these communities have not been fully documented either. Climate change threatens the livelihood security of millions of rural Tanzanian households that rely on natural resources and rain-fed subsistence farming . Women are especially affected, because their livelihoods are vulnerable to climate hazards that are expected to become more frequent. Deforestation is a major problem in Tanzania, and contributes to a loss of biodiversity and a decline in environmental benefits and services, including NTFPs for food and healthcare.
A majority of global efforts, including the Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) initiative, have focused on developing appropriate mitigation measures to reduce the intensity and rapidity of climate change impacts. However, the need to develop adaptation strategies to cope with climate impacts is increasingly recognized. Adaptation strategies that enhance the resilience of ecosystems, ensuring the continued provision of goods and services, can be particularly important for poor people who depend on natural resources for their livelihoods, and who tend to have low adaptive capacity and high vulnerability to climate change.
This project seeks to understand the ability of forest dependent communities to respond to climate change. The aim is to reduce livelihood threats and forest degradation through vulnerability and adaptation assessments within the NTFPs context. The project will contribute relevant information to policy makers, particularly in the current implementation of climate change mitigation and adaptation tactics through REDD initiatives in Tanzania. The expected outputs will contribute towards efforts to adapt to the impact of climate change, while ensuring sustainability of livelihoods and forest resources. -

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United Republic of Tanzania