Zanzibar, Tanzania

Area Protected

82,753 hectares

Emission Reductions

8.9 million tons

Project Type


Project Start


Expected 1st Verification


Market Standards


HIMA (Hifadhi ya Misitu ya Asili ya jamii) REDD+ Program, Zanzibar, Tanzania

About the Project

The HIMA Project is located on the Zanzibar islands of Pemba and Unguja, located off the coast of Tanzania in East Africa. Although once heavily forested, Zanzibar’s forests have been subject to widespread exploitation, and remaining forests are being lost at a rate of 1% per year. As the population in Zanzibar continues to grow, now at 3.2% per annum, and people rely on charcoal and firewood as their main source of energy for cooking, deforestation rates are expected to increase. A consortium of government agencies in Zanzibar, including the Department of Forestry and Non-Renewable Natural Resources (DFNR), have partnered with Care International to initiate the Hifadhi ya Misitu ya Asili (HIMA) REDD+ Program, which translates to Conservation of Natural Forests. The HIMA Project emphasizes the importance of community-based natural resource management, a practice used across the Middle East and North Africa for more than 1,500 years. In Arabic “Hima” means “protected place” and is an Islamic traditional system of community-based natural resource management for the protection of nature. The tradition of the Hima system is to have humans and nature harmoniously coexisting through the sustainable use and extraction and promotes food, energy and water security.

The REDD Project will benefit 38 Community Forest Management Areas (COFMAs) to develop and strengthen the capacity of COFMAs as a means of supporting the co-management of existing forest resources. An aggregation entity, called Jumuiya ya Uhifadhi Misitu ya Jamii Zanzibar (JUMIJAZA), has been established by the communities to support project wide governance, implement the Project, and manage the finances of emission reductions.

Specific Project activities include 1) maintaining transparent and equitable benefit-sharing mechanisms, 2) strengthening of land tenure status and establishment of forest governance structure, 3) forest protection through demarcation and community patrolling, 4) reducing fuelwood/charcoal demand and consumption through increasing energy efficiency, 5) creation of alternative sources of fuelwood through establishment of woodlots, 6) sustainable intensification of agriculture on existing agriculture lands, 7)providing alternative livelihoods to the agents of deforestation, and 7) promoting Assisted Natural Regeneration (ANR) and Enrichment Planting.

These activities are intended to address the key drivers of deforestation including shifting cultivation for agriculture, fuelwood gathering for use and charcoal production, and timber extraction for local use in construction of boats and buildings, and unsustainable collection of non-timber forest products (lime, honey, and hunting).

The emission reductions generated from the climate component of the HIMA REDD+ Program will be used to provide revenue to support the climate, community and biodiversity objectives. The main objectives of the Project are three-fold: 1) mitigation climate change by reducing carbon dioxide emissions from land use activities that result in deforestation and forest degradation, 2) improve community livelihoods, especially women, by strengthening community land use rights and through alternative livelihood activities and carbon finance, and 3) contribute to biodiversity conservation by protecting standing forests and assisting in natural regeneration of forests as a means of improving wildlife habitat in the Project Area.

Community Benefits

The project will build on CARE’s progress achieved so far in developing sustainable community forest management in Zanzibar, aiming to pilot and test pro-poor Community Forest Management (COFM) and REDD over 27,650 ha of forest, comprised of 22,650 ha of upland forest and 5,000 ha of mangrove forest on Unguja and Pemba Islands. The project will also aim to successfully scale-up COFM and REDD approaches in at least 60,000 ha of forest in Zanzibar beyond the pilot phase.

Target groups/beneficiaries include:

  • 16,600 rural households (estimated 99,000 men, women and children) living adjacent to the forests in seven districts of Unguja and Pemba Islands;
  • 49 Village Conservation Committees (VCCs) and their members;
  • 30 Village Savings and Loan (VSL) groups and their members;
  • 3 umbrella organizations of VCCs namely JECA, SEDCA, and NGENARECO;
  • the Department of Commercial Crops, Fruits and Forestry (DCCFF) staff;
  • 59 Shehia authorities; and approximately 7,000 households in Zanzibar town and township.

Biodiversity Benefits

Zanzibar’s forests form part of the East Africa Coastal Forests Eco-region, one of the world’s 200 biodiversity hotspots. Mangroves are one of the most important forest resources in Zanzibar, and provide high quality construction materials and fuelwood. They protect seashores against waves and help the sedimentary stability of the coasts, and provide important breeding sites for fish and other marine animals. There are ten species of mangrove trees found in Zanzibar.

Zanzibar is home to a number of rare and threatened species, including the Zanzibar red colobus (Procolobus kirkii), which is endemic to the island of Unguja; Ader's duiker (Cephalophus adersi); Pemba flying fox (Pteropus voeltzkowi); two species of sea turtles; and several endemic birds, including the Fischer’s turraco, brown headed parrot and Pemba owl. The forests of Zanzibar harbor a wide range of other endemic plants, mammals, birds, reptiles, and birds. These species have significant ecological value, and some of them are listed in the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) threatened species red list and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) Appendices II, a list of species requiring protection.