WakK | Stichting Welstand aan kinderen Kagera
WakK | Stichting Welstand aan kinderen Kagera

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Planting trees between crops.

Forestry program in Kagera

Stichting WakK | Ons verhaal
Quick overview

By allowing local farmers to plant trees on their fields, fertile soil does not wash away during the rain. Fruit trees provide extra yield after a few years and harvesting is better protected. Farmers receive education and a reward if the trees stay there longer. The projects are carried out and co-financed by local entrepreneurs, organizations, sister monasteries and scientists. As a result, there is a good transfer of knowledge and the projects are also understood and implemented by the farmers themselves.                 

We are currently taking inventory and certifying.

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Overgrazing and cutting


Livestock farmers allow cattle to graze everywhere and set the prairie on fire in the dry season to encourage growth of young grass.


Recovery and therefore income


Agro-forestry (Here you see young trees between pineapples). So it is possible!


Projects supporting forestry.


Palm trees grow in abundance. Lets use them!

Local partners

Trust and long term


Joseph Sekiku, local entrepreneur and employee of FADECO, with whom we work together.


In depth information.

Stichting WakK - bosbouw en educatie in Tanzania


Foundation WakK is among others supported by  the Energy Company Greenchoice, which sells only renewable energy and sustainable carbon off set gas.
Greenchoice provides – as the main financial supporter - support to the WakK Foundation since 2004 for afforestation and reforestation in the Kagera region in Northwestern Tanzania. The main interest for Greenchoice is the CO2 storage in the forests. Greenchoice supports a variety of forestry projects worldwide, based on its policy to offset the CO2 emissions from the sale of its natural gas product. All of the natural gas that Greenchoice sells is made carbon neutral through forestry carbon credits. The WakK forest projects in Tanzania are not (yet) certified and are not used for carbon offsetting, but are additional measures by Greenchoice to create extra impact with forests.

Background WakK Foundation

WakK Foundation started in 2004 by supporting local organizations in Northwestern Tanzania with tree planting activities. The first trees were planted with the Theresian Sisters. Other organisations that were later involved are Fadeco, GEPAT and the Catholic Diocese of Bukoba. Since 2016 WakK is also working with other Dioceses along the Western boundary of Tanzania (Sumbawanga, Kigoma). WakK Foundation has also planted on “own land” in Tanzania (i.e., land purchased with funding from WakK). Afforestation and reforestation is mainly reached by establishing nurseries, promoting the establishment of nurseries and advocating tree planting by farmers. There is follow up with farmers that have planted trees, but not structurally and not with all farmers. Training to nursery keepers and farmers is provided on a case by case basis, but also not structurally. The organisations don’t work with contracts, since the programme is about incentivizing tree planting by offering low cost or free seedlings, without formally making an agreement on the permanence of the forest in return. However, usually a verbal agreement is made with the planters that if a farmers harvests one tree, they will replant three trees. The report will now mainly focus on the approach by GEPAT.

GEPAT – Green for Education and Poverty Alleviation Trust

Organizational Structure

GEPAT is a trust fund, with about 1.700 members. Nursery keepers and farmers can become member of GEPAT. The trustees are prof. Aurelia Kamuzora and her husband Fausto Kamuzora. The members are the trusted. GEPAT has a board, with the recently appointed chair Salvatory Maganga. The structure of a trust implies that members are entitled to dividends, if this is issued.

GEPAT works on the basis of a grassroots approach. It explicitly chooses to play a facilitative role. Participants are encouraged to come up with own ideas and their preferences are taken serious. GEPAT has also adopted an informal approach without written contracts. There is limited administration of project results and working procedures. As part of the grassroot approach GEPAT does not prescribe the farmers and nursery raisers which species they have to plant; this is left to the farmers themselves. However, until 2014, GEPAT has not encouraged and financed the planting of eucalypt and pine.

GEPAT has employed staff to manage the nursery keepers and the tree planters. Koku is the person in charge of coordinating the nursery and tree planting activities. Apart from the forestry project, GEPAT also provides education, mainly for girls and women. Its aim is to improve gender equality in the region. Education is provided at the GEPAT centre. There is also a forest established at the centre and this functions as a model forest: a broader variety of tree species is planted here. GEPAT has hired professional foresters in the past to provide guidance and direction to the nursery keepers and the farmers. Currently there is no professional forester or extension workers hired. GEPAT staff mainly works at the GEPAT centre. Koku works in the whole region with farmers. The focus area of GEPAT seems to be too large in relation to the limited staffing of GEPAT.

Since 2016 nurseries have been established in cooperation with the Diocese Kayanga. In 2016 23 nurseries were established by the catholic church, supervised by the priest of the parish. By August 2017 GEPAT had 73 nurseries. Awareness raising happens through radio Fadeco and sensitization of communities is done by Koku.

Community engagement

GEPAT is well experienced in working with local communities. The membership model works well; by becoming a member the people commit to the mission and ambition of the GEPAT and are part of a structure that provides interaction between members. The seedling distribution scheme does not require intensive management of the forestry projects. The actual planting and maintenance is the responsibility of the farmers and it is in the own interest of the farmers to take care of the planted seedlings. Koku is experienced in dealing with nursery keepers and farmers. Farmers are entrepreneurs and make their own decision whether they want to plant trees, where to plant trees and which species to use.

Land tenure

Most of the lands are privately owned without formal land titles. A few land parcels are officially registered with a land title. From the interviews with farmers there was no conflict about boundaries or land ownership mentioned. The farmers who plant the trees own the land and own the trees.


The nurseries are owned by one person or a group of owners. Everyone can make a request to GEPAT to become a nursery raiser. They have the nursery on their own land, or they are renting land for a nursery. A part of the nursery keepers only sell and don’t plant themselves. Other nursery keepers also produce seedlings for their own plantations.

Children are involved in working in the nurseries, e.g. they help with filling pots. This is common practice in Tanzania. This is something to pay attention to: working at the nursery should not go at the expense of their education opportunities.

Experience has been developed with nursery management. There are meetings with the nursery owners to exchange knowledge and experience and to come up with new ideas. One of the new ideas tested was making seedling pots from banana leaves. After a few months the conclusion was that it is not a suitable innovation, because the pots started to rot.

With GEPAT there is no restriction to whom receives the seedlings and how many seedlings a person can get. Also relatively large landowners can buy or raise the seedlings they want. Nowadays the seedlings are sold at a low price, for the nursery keeper to get revenues. Before, the seedlings were given for free and the nursery keepers got a monthly payment from GEPAT. Because of limited funding GEPAT decided to stop the monthly payment and asked the nursery owners to sell the seedlings. The mainstream seedlings of eucalypt and pine are sold for a maximum of 50 TZS. In some cases a nursery owner decides to sell at a lower prices in order to get rid of his stock if there is a risk that the seedlings are not sold in time. Fruit trees are mostly sold at a higher price.

The nursery keepers are entrepreneurs. They know the conditions of working with GEPAT and are themselves responsible for running the nursery and the sales of seedlings. A requirement for them is to keep a registry of who has bought the seedlings and how many. These data are collected by GEPAT’s forestry and nursery coordinator (Koku).

The seeds are obtained from the Tanzania Tree Seeds Agency in Morogoro. Seeds are first sown in a seed bed and after germination transplanted in a plastic pot. Small pots are used for the forestry trees and larger pots for fruit trees. The small pots have no bottom.

Nursery owners create their own shades with local material. The availability of water is critical, so most nurseries are located close to a stream. The mortality of seedlings in the nursery is limited. Only with poor management or lack of water there is an increased risk of mortality in the nursery. Based on personal observations of about a dozen of nurseries and the stories of the nursery owners, the occurrence of pests and diseases inside the nursery is limited.

The buyers of the seedlings are responsible for transporting the seedlings to the field.

Tree species

The main tree species planted are eucalypt and pine. However, until 2014 the planting of these species was not supported by WakK and GEPAT. WakK Foundation prefers to plant native or naturalized tree species. Farmers have a preference for eucalypt and pine, because these trees are strong and have a high survival rate in harsh conditions. The growth is good and the wood can be used for many purposes. Since 2014 WakK and GEPAT decided to also promote and finance seedlings of eucalypt and pine. Other species planted are mainly Measopsis eminii (Mihumula) and Grevillea robusta. The Table 1 below provides an overview of the species planted.

Table 1 Tree species planted by GEPAT


Usually farmers have good knowledge about which locations are suitable for which species, although most of the farmers restrict themselves to only eucalypt, pine and sometimes maesopsis and grevillea. Eucalypt is planted on hilltops and in drier areas. Maesopsis is usually planted in somewhat richer soils. Grevillea can grow in poorer soils. GEPAT has hired professional foresters in the past to provide guidance and direction to the nursery keepers and the farmers. Currently there is no professional forester or extension worker hired.

A common practice is that farmers clear the land of vegetation before planting. Most of the farmers plant straightforward by digging a hole and planting the seedling. Some farmers create a sort of depression at the planting spot in order to keep more water for the seedling after rainfall. At the GEPAT centre the practice of terracing is introduced, to retain rainwater and to prevent erosion. The planting distance varies; for eucalyptus the spacing is typically 1 x 1 meters to 1,5 to 1,5 meters. The spacing for pine has a larger variation per woodlot, ranging from 1 x 1 meters to 3 by 3 meters. Wider spacing is usually applied in case of intercropping.

Some farmers have started to plant the trees including with the plastic pot around it. They claim that this helps in dry areas to keep moisture around the roots. The roots will easily grow through the plastic. Unless biodegradable plastic is used, this practice pollutes the environment.

The growth and survival of eucalypt trees is generally good. The same applies to pine, but the quality of the trees (stem form, crown) differs between woodlots. In some areas the pines are not performing very well. There is also room for improving the maintenance of the plantations in some of the plantations (thinning and pruning). Weed management after planting seems to be sufficient, although in some woodlots there is competition between weeds and young trees. Survival of trees is not recorded by GEPAT.

Baseline Scenario and Additionality

The baseline scenario is the forestry and land-use scenario in absence of the project activity. A project activity is additional if the tree planting as a result of the project would not have happened otherwise. There is a clear additionality of the project when no tree planting takes place in the baseline scenario, and the project overcomes barriers to tree planting by e.g. providing knowledge, capital, seedlings, techniques. A project activity lacks additionality if the tree planting or significant part of the tree planting would also have happened without the project.

Climate finance, like the funding by Greenchoice, is directed to additional project activities, in order to make sure that the climate impact is attributable to climate funding and it has real added value. Additionality is therefore an important condition for climate finance. If afforestation is profitable and it is a common practice in the region with no or limited barriers to tree planting, or if this is expected to happen in the baseline scenario, there is no need for climate finance.

The central question therefore is whether tree plantations would have occurred in the Kagera region without the carbon finance support by WakK Foundation.

According to WakK Foundations’ report of 2016 and explanation by Jos Duindam during the visit, many of the eucalypt trees planted by GEPAT members are done without WakK. Only since 2014  GEPAT has really started to allow eucalypt and pine; most eucalypt and pine trees that were planted before that moment were planted without support by WakK / GEPAT. If farmers have been planting eucalypt and pine by themselves on a large scale until 2014, financing of eucalypt and pine plantations by the project has limited additionality. This is especially the case for the larger and wealthier landowners. Supporting poor families that cannot afford to buy seedlings of eucalypt or pine, is on the other hand additional to what already happens. Without support they will not be able to plant those trees, in contrast with the farmers that apparently have already planted on a large scale without climate finance. The GEPAT project lowers the barrier for creating woodlots by providing seedlings initially for free and currently at a very low price. In addition the NGO has invested in convincing farmers on the importance of tree planting for the environment and for their own economic benefit. 

Table 2 Planted seedlings reported in the Eight Years Progress Report of GEPAT, October 2016

According to the Table 2 above (Eight Years Progress Report of GEPAT, October 2016) 4.3 million eucalypt trees have been planted until 2016. Most of it is done by farmers themselves, without support from WakK / GEPAT.

In the Karagwe / Kyerwa region most of the hilltops are deforested and degraded. The lands are used as grazing areas or not used. It is worth to investigate the types of vegetation cover in the baseline. This is relevant for assessing the carbon stocks in the baseline scenario. If the original vegetation is savannah, and grasses are still present in the baseline scenario, there might be significant amounts of carbon in the soil, that can disappear when plantations of especially eucalypt are planted. Recent research shows the importance of soil carbon stocks in grassland and savannah .

In the Bukoba region tree plantations is a common practice. Large scale pine plantation are established by companies and large land owners. This is a profitable business. The study by Mwanukuzi in 2009 shows that out of 160 km2 of grassland 44% was converted into eucalypt and pine farms.

The tree seedling scheme by the Bukoba Diocese focuses on poor families that cannot afford purchasing seedlings. The seedlings are distributed through the parishes and the pastors and nursery keepers know the people to whom the seedlings are provided, as to avoid dispatching seedlings to people that take advantage of the free seedlings and that would buy the seedlings anyway, in absence of the project nurseries. The additionality of the project in the Bukoba Diocese is in its focus on poor families that would otherwise not have planted trees on their land, or only to a limited extent.

The socio-economic baseline has not been well researched during the visit. However, the region is characterized by poverty and low literacy. The quality of the schools is sometimes low. Employment opportunities are very limited. Most people in the region rely on their farms for subsistence and sell a share of the yields. Some beneficiaries in Karagwe / Kyerwa are better off. 103  farmers (24%) have planted 80% of the seedlings. These farmers own relatively large areas of land. The main crops in the region are beans, maize, matooke (banana), sweet potato, coffee, pineapple, g-nuts, cassava and yams. Coffee is a cash crops and there is factory in the region. Sugarcane is also cultivated as a cash crop. Small animal husbandry is also very common in the region. Some families own cows.

Mapping of the woodlots

A team of GEPAT has made an effort to map the woodlots in Karagwe / Kyerwa that are established as part of Greenchoice funding through GEPAT. The members of the team are Frank Avitus and Adelina. A database with woodlots and coordinates has been shared. The same team has also worked on mapping in the Bukoba Diocese. These data are not yet available. A training was given by prof Fantozzi from Sienna University in Italy during the ACE summerschool at the GEPAT centre to prof Aurelia Kamuzora and M.Sc. student Adam Minzi. The mapping team has been trained by Aurelia and Adam.

The main conclusion of the visit is that the current quality of the mapping is too low. Prof. Fantozzi already communicated beforehand that the quality needs to be improved. With the current quality of mapping it is not possible to accurately determine the boundaries of the planted areas with the help of satellite imagery.

Carbon inventory

The mapping team of GEPAT has also started a carbon inventory. Currently the data cannot be used for calculating the carbon stocks. This is the reason to first start with a sound monitoring plan, based on a reliable monitoring methodology that is suitable within the specific context of the afforestation projects.

Permanence and risks

Permanence of carbon storage is an important condition for climate forestry projects. The investor in those projects is paying for the long-term, i.e. permanent, storage of carbon in trees. If an investment is done in forests that run a high risk of deforestation, the carbon will very likely be emitted back in the atmosphere. In that case the investment in carbon will be lost.

Climate forestry projects are therefore assessed on the risks that affect the permanence of the carbon stock in the forests. Table 3 below presents a brief assessment of the main risks for carbon permanence.

Table 3 Risk assessment

Management and organizational capacity of NGO

Capacities of nursery keeper

Capacities of woodlot owner

Tenure and Land Ownership

Quality of contracts

Opportunity costs / Alternative land-uses

Double counting of carbon impacts

Pests and diseases


Other natural hazards

Impact assessment and monitoring

Carbon impact

For estimating the carbon impact the following data are required:

  1. Area of forest (number of hectares)
  2. Age of the forest (planting year)
  3. Type of forest (e.g. based on species, purpose of forest, altitude, rainfall)
  4. Harvesting regime (the pattern and / or cycling of harvesting and replanting  / recoppicing)
  5. Duration of forestry as land use (for how long the area will be forested)
  6. Growth data
  7. Baseline carbon stocks (original carbon stock before conversion into plantation, and during the baseline scenario)

There are several files available with data on number of seedlings or trees planted and area of forest. In this section we will first try to make an estimation of the afforestation area that has been planted with support from Greenchoice in Kagera.

According to the Eight Years Progress Report of GEPAT (October 2016) the number of seedlings planted by GEPAT members is more than 7,000,000 since 2008. In 2016 GEPAT prepared 900,000 seedlings to be planted in October. Most of the trees reported here are eucalypt trees that have not been provided by GEPAT, according to an added remark in the report by WakK. Table 2 gives an overview of number of seedlings counted per species. The number of planted seedlings mentioned in the report seems contradictory. The number in Table 2 deviates from the 7,000,000 mentioned on page 1 (Policy Brief) of the report. In the table on page 5 of the same report, the number of seedlings planted by the 103 largest farmers is presented, which altogether planted 80% of all the seedlings. Based on the data presented in this table, the total number of seedlings planted is around 6,700,000. Probably this is the sum of the 5,216,538 presented in the table above and the 1,500,000 seedlings pledged to be planted in the season Oct 2016 to May 2017. On the other hand, at the time of reporting these 1,500,000 seedlings still had to be planted, while the table on page 5 is about already planted trees. In the summary on page 11 it is stated that 83% of the nearly 7,000,000 seedlings is eucalypt and 15% is pine. These are the same proportions as in the table above, although there the total number of seedlings is 5,216,538. The total share of eucalypt and pine combined is 98%.

In the GEPAT report of January 2017 it is stated that the target for May 2016 to May 2017 has been achieved within the first half year, i.e. 1,423,282 out of the targeted 1,500,000 seedlings, of which eventually 1,359,361 seedlings were transplanted from the nurseries to the local growers. The same report presents in figure 2 a number of 1,910,000 available seeds / seedlings. A challenge for the project is that a part of the nursery owners provide incomplete information on the number of seedlings distributed to the planters. According to the report a well drafted data enquiry form will be given to the clients.

The mapping of woodlots by GEPAT in 2017 covers also the plantations with exotic trees (eucalypt and pine) that were not part of GEPAT funding and WakK / Greenchoice funding. The purpose is to determine the impact caused by funding from Greenchoice, which means that woodlots that were not funded with support from Greenchoice need to be left out from the carbon impact.

Funding for the afforestation activities implemented by GEPAT comes from different sources. The main funding is provided by WakK, and some funding is provided by the founders of GEPAT and by private individuals from Tanzania. The funding from WakK consists of funding by Greenchoice and other sources, like Stichting Bouwkamp, the founders of WakK and donations from private individuals, including for carbon offsetting. The carbon impact caused by Greenchoice is the part that can be proportionally related to the funding by Greenchoice.

In order to determine the number of hectares forested in Kagera as a result of WakK funding, we use the data provided in the file ‘Bosbouwprojecten in Excel 2014’. In the period 2002 – 2014 377 hectares of forest has been planted. The area in the period 2015 – 2017 can be assessed by using the number of seedlings from the GEPAT reports. This is a total number of seedlings of 3,031,820 (1,423,282 and 1,500,000 seedlings). Assuming a planting density of 4,500 trees per hectare and a loss of 10% of seedlings (loss can happen when sowing, potting, planting in the field, first years of growth), this would result in 606 hectares of trees. The total number for 2002 – 2017 is then 983 hectares.

A large part consists of fruit trees (at least 976,205 trees, according to the GEPAT January 2017 Report). Those fruit trees have not been mapped like the woodlots. It will be challenging to map and or monitor the fruit trees, since planting is much more dispersed than the woodlot trees and they typically mixed with other crops, like banana. It also hard to identify the trees that are planted with support from GEPAT in comparison with trees planed without support. Some fruit trees, like papaya, have a hollow stem, remain small and don’t sequester significant amounts of carbon. Mango trees can sequester more carbon, but are often planted as single trees or in small groups and it is therefore not efficient to identify and monitor these trees. Plantations with avocado on the other hand could be useful to monitor.

If eucalypt and pine are filtered out, because of the limited additionality in some cases, the carbon impact can be based on the other tree species. Through GEPAT this is 429,352 (2008-2015, REPORT_DEC_2015_sub), 1,267,611 (2016-2017) and 218,018 (2017, based on incomplete data), totalling 1,914,981 seedlings. With a planting density of 4,500 trees per hectare, this is equivalent to 425 hectares.

The maximum carbon stock in the woodlots that can be claimed as long-term impact is the so called long-term average carbon stock. Because of the harvesting cycle, the carbon in living biomass will be back at zero after each harvesting moment. This is in contrast with forests without harvesting and where natural regeneration is taking place; in these forests the carbon stocks will accumulate over time until they reach the ceiling of the maximum carbon stock and it will stay at that level. An example of the long term average carbon stock is provided in the graph below. In this example the harvesting cycle is 15 years (this is an assumption, in reality it will very strongly per woodlot owner, and it might be much shorter than 15 years, especially for eucalypt it can be just a few years), with an annual growth of 10 ton of CO2 per hectare per year. The maximum carbon stock is then 140 ton CO2 per hectare, while the long term average carbon stock is 70 ton CO2 per hectare. The value of 70 ton CO2 per hectare is what can be claimed as the carbon impact.

If we assume that in the period 2002 – 2017 an estimated area of 500 hectares of measurable forest has been funded by WakK and that the long-term ASC is 70 ton of CO2 per hectare, then the total long-term carbon impact is 35,000 tCO2. The assumption is made that the baseline carbon stock is zero. If the total area is 1,000 hectares, the long-term carbon impact is 70,000 tCO2. Depending on the share of funding provided by Greenchoice, this figure can be recalculated for exclusive Greenchoice carbon impact. E.g. if 55% of funding is provided by Greenchoice, than the total long-term impact is roughly between 20,000 to 40,000 ton CO2. Potential soil carbon losses from conversion of grasslands is not yet included in this estimation.

It can also be argued that the funding provided by Greenchoice is co-funding, specifically for the carbon impact. In that case all the carbon impact can be claimed by Greenchoice. One important exception is the funding from other sources with a specific carbon claim attached to it (e.g. for carbon offsetting by entities / individuals other than Greenchoice, like carbon offsetting directly through WakK). For estimation of future carbon sequestration: if 5 million seedlings per year are planted (provided this is additional), with planting density of 4,500 and 90% survival, this is 1,000 hectares per year and a long-term carbon impact of 70,000 ton CO2 per year. It is important to note that the carbon impact is not reached instantly with planting, but is gradually realised with the growth of the trees.

It is recommended to look further into the carbon stocks in the baseline situation. Grasslands and savannahs can contain significant amounts of carbon in the soil, which could be lost when trees are planted, especially eucalypt, since it suppresses grasses. For those areas where grasslands with high soil carbon are replaced with eucalypt, the carbon impact can potentially be limited or negative.

Additional impacts

In addition to assessing the carbon impact of the tree planting programmes, it is recommended to identify and monitoring other types of impacts, especially the environmental and social and socio-economic impacts. There are several additional impacts realized by GEPAT:

The socio-economic impact for nursery keepers and woodlot owners. The revenues from the sale of seedlings and wood provides opportunities that would otherwise not have occurred. Farmers explain that the revenues allow them to provide education for their children or to enable better quality education, which increases the opportunity for better employment and improved livelihoods. Another benefit is the possibility to buy and cultivate new land, as an investment, which creates new future revenues. It’s important that this does not lead to clearing of natural vegetation / forests on those lands, because of the negative environmental and carbon impact. The chance is not very high, since most of the forest and natural vegetation in the region seems to have disappeared. Still this is something to take into account. Farmers were also able to buy livestock and fertilizer. Farmers also mentioned that revenues were invested in building new houses, for own accommodation or for renting out. The woodlots can also function as a long-term investment for when the farmer retires.
The economic impact can be improved by doing a study on the wood market opportunities. Currently the wood is sold locally. Probably there are opportunities to increase the quality of the wood, carry out wood processing within the region and sell the products beyond the own region.

In a study by Mwanukuzi of 151 households it was observed that eucalypt and pine planting in the Bukoba region has resulted in change of land ownership whereby “communal grasslands turned into private property for the wealthy individuals who had means to occupy a relatively large tract of land at the expense of the poor majority”. The project should be careful to avoid these types of impact, e.g. by focussing on the poorer households. The same study found a reduction of food production due to impoverishment of home gardens, because of less nutrient mobilization from grassland to home gardens, as grasslands were replaced by the woodlots. In his study he concluded that eucalypt and pine products do not produce significant income for the community. In order to better assess the socioeconomic impact of the project, it is strongly recommended to do research on those impacts.

The environmental impact. Partly there is positive impact on the environment. If the plantations are well established and the right species are planted, it prevents erosion and might even improve the condition of the soil. Another benefit is the improvement of biodiversity when local species are planted (e.g. birds, antelopes, monkeys, snakes, rodents). Farmers also claim that the presence of forest has attracted more rain in the region. It might be hard to scientifically prove this relationship in this specific region, and 2016 was a very dry year, although this can possible be attributed to the El Nino climate effect. At least it is a benefit perceived by the farmers. We were told that many of the woodlots are planted on wastelands that are hardly used for other purposes. There is not much natural vegetation left, without shrubs or even grasses in some areas. However, in order to get a reliable picture of the environmental impacts, it is recommended to look for natural vegetation maps of the area.

On the other side there could also be negative environmental impacts, due to the use of exotic species. Especially eucalypt species can have a negative effect by draining the available water, reduce soil fertility by consuming a lot of nutrients due to its fast growth, and it does not allow for undergrowth of other species and herbs due to allelopathy effects. It is unclear yet to what extent the planted species of eucalyptus is having those effects in this region. The allelopathy effects however could clearly be observed in the field: the eucalypt woodlots did not show the presence of other vegetation. On the other hand eucalypt can be beneficial for bees and other pollinators, because of flowering. At the same time eucalypt plantations do not host much biodiversity, compared to other land-uses; for example a study in Tanzania showed that breeding by birds in eucalypt plantations is very low . A negative environmental impact can also happen when native shrubs and trees are removed before planting with exotic species.

The environmental impact can be strongly improved by planting typical agroforestry trees like Sesbania, Markhamia and Maesopsis, or indigenous species. The philosophy of GEPAT is not to prescribe which species should be planted by the farmers. However, there are positive examples of farmers that create more variety of tree species in their woodlots, including intercropping. One of the best examples is the variety of species in the Magdalena forest at the GEPAT centre. These plantations are instrumental in promoting the use of other trees that are better for the environment and could also potentially provide higher quality wood. In addition to providing positive examples, another option is to financially encourage the planting of native trees of typical agroforestry trees. If seedlings of eucalyptus and pine are not subsidized or encouraged by the project, because farmers already find them very attractive and the environmental impact is limited or even negative, and other species can be offered at a low price and additional training is given, this might create the right incentive for at least a part of the farmers to adopt those new trees. It is legitimate for farmers to choose for tree species that have a reliable survival and performance and generate useful energy wood and timber, like pine and eucalypt. Especially since the farmers need to avoid risks, because they cannot afford losses within their often poor livelihoods. On the other hand, if it can be demonstrated that other species are more beneficial than eucalypt and pine, this will only improve the livelihood condition of the farmer. Earlier efforts to work with local trees failed; the trees did not grow well and were affected by termites. The challenge is to find out which species perform well and have a positive environmental and socio-economic impact, and under which physical conditions, and to encourage and support farmers to start planting those trees. One of the experiences is that it is possible to enrich pine plantations with local tree species, which can possibly replace the initially planted pines. This is not possible in eucalypt plantations.

The position of women. GEPAT has an active approach on improving the position of women in society by setting positive examples. Many staff employed by GEPAT are women. At the GEPAT centre girls and women receive education.

Position of disabled people. GEPAT encourages nursery owners to employ people with disabilities, since these people are among the most vulnerable in the society.

The provision of solar lamps. The intention is to enable children to do school homework in the evening.

It is recommended to develop a monitoring framework that captures the many impacts of the project activity. This should include both positive and negative impacts. Negative impacts can be addressed with mitigation measures, and the effect of those measures need to be monitored as well. Straightforward and quantifiable indicators of impact can be monitored by well trained staff in Tanzania. The cooperation with several universities in the ACE summer school programme provides an opportunity to carry out in-depth studies on specific project impacts, like livelihoods impact assessments.

Mwanukuzi. 2009. Impact of Eucalypt and pine growing on rural livelihood: the lesson from Bukoba area, north western Tanzania. African Journal of Ecology 47 (Suppl. 1) 105 – 109.

Mwanukuzi. 2009. Impact of Eucalypt and pine growing on rural livelihood: the lesson from Bukoba area, north western Tanzania. African Journal of Ecology 47 (Suppl. 1) 105 – 109.

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