Green Resources’ plantation operations in Tanzania, is called Green Resources Limited (GRL). GRL manages three plantations in the Southern Highlands, Mnyera plantations (including Uchindile), Idete Plantation, and Mwenga Plantations (including Mapanda), with approximately 17,000 ha of standing forest. GRL has set aside land for conservation purposes, buffer zones and infrastructure. The land areas used for planting are low-value grassland that has almost entirely been acquired from local villages.
The objective is to grow trees for a wide range of forestry products. The Southern Highlands of Tanzania already have East Africa’s largest concentration of plantation forests and the largest wood processing industry. The plantations and industry is focused on Mufindi District, but increasingly also in neighbouring areas, such as Kilombero District.
There is a good road connection to the main population centres in Kenya and Tanzania, which represent the home markets for the Southern Highlands’ wood products. Dar es Salaam port is the export hub. The Southern Highlands have the potential to become a large producer and exporter of wood products. However, the combination of strong regional demand and supply limitations make it likely that most of the products will be sold locally.
Mnyera Plantations span a total 42,656 ha, and are located in the villages of Kitete, Taweta and Uchindile in the South-West corner of Kilombero district in Morogoro region, Tanzania. The plantations (including Uchindile), comprise about 19,000 ha of plantable land, with the rest set aside for conservation, infrastructure, buffer zones or steep terrain. Approximately 40-50% of the total area will be converted to plantations; these areas are currently unproductive grasslands with no prior economic activity. Uchindile, along with Mapanda Forest Plantation, has been FSCTM certified since 2008, the first certified forest plantation in Tanzania. In 2009 the two plantations were successfully registered under the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) and the Climate, Community and Biodiversity Standard (CCBS), and became the world’s first VCS registered forestry project.
Idete is part of GRL’s Lower Escarpment plantations. The plantations are established to produce a wide variety of wood products, from sawn timber and electricity poles to panel board, energy production (including charcoal) and for supply to the existing and future pulp industries. There is a long term target of a 50/50 mix of eucalyptus and pine. Most of the seedlings have historically been supplied from Idete’s own nurseries, but the planting material is now supplied from Green Resources’ Makungu nursery. Idete Forest spans a total 15,966 ha of which at least 6,450 ha are plantable; the remaining land is set aside for conservation, buffer zones, and infrastructure. In 2011 the plantation received FSCTM certification and also became validated according to the CCBS.
The Mwenga plantation (including Mapanda) is located on top of the Mufindi Escarpment, in the Eastern corner of Mufindi district, Iringa region. The plantation was initially started in the villages of Chogo and Mapanda, but now also includes areas in Ukami village. The Mgugwe plantation covers 16,228 ha, out of which at least 8,563 ha are plantable, with the remaining land is set aside for conservation, buffer zones, and infrastructure. The seedlings are supplied by Green Resources’ Mapanda nurseries, but in the future, some of the planting material will also be supplied from Green Resources’ Makungu nursery. The plantation is located within 60-70 km from the main centre of the private sawmilling industry in Mufindi district, the largest in East Africa. The plantation is 80 km from the main tarmac road to Dar es Salaam. Mapanda forest, along with Uchindile, achieved FSCTM certification in 2008 and in 2009 the plantation was registered under the VCS and CCBS schemes together with the Uchindile plantation.
GRL’s Uchindile and Mapanda forest carbon project was the world’s first registered and (VCS) forest project in 2009 and 2010, respectively. Under the Carbon certification, the Uchindile/Mapanda projects are reforesting 10,000 ha of land, with 7,000 ha coming from Uchindile, whilst contributing to sustainable development in the region. The project is validated under the CCBS, which certifies that the project delivers net-positive benefits across these aspects. A CCBS verification will take place at the next VCS verification later this year. The project has shared 10% of the carbon revenues from the first carbon sale with local communities, which has been used for additional community development initiatives.
GRL’s Idete Forest Project has been developed under the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) and is reforesting more than 5,000 ha of land whilst contributing to sustainable development in the region. GR is in the process of gaining verification for the project under the Gold Standard scheme.
GRL has contributed to a number of community development projects, covering education, health, infrastructure, and development. Education activities: outreach days (on health and gender equality); building of schools, classrooms, dormitories, teachers offices and housing. Health projects: construction of healthcare facilities, dispensaries, nurses/doctors houses; distribution of health-care products such as medication. Infrastructure: Construction of village halls, village meeting rooms, and vilalge offices; improvement of roads and bridges.