VCS: Reg. and issuing ID 142, July 2009
CCBS: Validated, October 2009
Carbon credits for 2012—2013 sold
Co-ordinates: 8°52'41.62"S, 35°32'25.99"E
Average annual rainfall: 1,220mm
Mean temperature: 16°C
Main rains: December-April
Pine: 21 m3/ha/yr MAI, 21 year rotation
Euca: 23 m3/ha/yr MAI, 13 year rotation
The Mnyera plantations (including Uchindile) spans 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, an area with exceptionally low population density. 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. The average altitude is 1,100 m with an average rainfall of 1,220 mm, with the rainy season falling between December and April. Out of the total project area, 6,647ha is under the Uchindile Forest Plantation, where GRL holds a title deed (no.50742) on a renewable 99-year lease obtained from the Ministry of Lands and Human Settlements valid from 2000, while the remaining land is approved by local and district authorities subject to final issuance of title deed from the central government.
Uchindile, along with Mapanda Forest Plantation, has been FSC 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.
Uchindile I was the first of Green Resources Tanzanian planting activities in 1997. Uchindile I is now fully planted, and development of the rest of the Mnyera Plantations will continue in the planting season of 2012/2013. Most of the seedlings and planting material will be supplied from Green Resources modern Makungu nursery.
To the south and west, the Uchindile plantation borders Division IV of Sao Hill Forest Plantation (SHFP), a Government owned plantation of mature eucalyptus and pines, exhibiting high growth rates. SHFP is East Africa’s largest forest plantation. The plantation is at the closest 5 km from Uchindile Tazara railway station which runs to Dar es Salaam (500 km away) and 70 km from the main tarmac road at Mafinga, the main road running south-west from Dar es Salaam, and 25 km from Mufindi Paper Mills, the largest pulp and paper mill in East Africa. Some of the mature stands have been sold on stump to local sawmillers.
Following a setback in 2009, when a large fire significantly damaged large parts of the Uchindile I forest, a record 1,355 ha of new plantation was established in 2011 and an additional 394 ha in 2012. The main pine species in the project are P. patula, P. caribaea, P. elliottii and P. taeda representing 54% of the total planting. The main Eucalyptus species in the project are E. saligna, E. grandis, and E. tereticornis contributing to 45% of total planting, 9.6% of Eucalyptus’ are various GC and GU clones. Other species such as Croton megalocarpus, Grevillea robusta and other indigenous species (Syzygium and Albizia) are being planted on a smaller scale.
Pine is grown for sawn timber on 21 year rotations with an expected MAI of 21 m3/ha/yr, while Eucalyptus is grown on 13-year rotations with an expected MAI of 23 m3/ha/yr. The current planting is expected to yield 176,000 m3 of wood products over the next 10 years. Green Resources aims to reduce the rotation by 10-20% over the next few years.
Green Resources is in the process of establishing a 4,000 tons per year retort charcoal plant in Uchindile for start up in 2013, which will be fed with raw material from thinnings in Green Resources’ own forest and from small private forests established in Uchindile and surrounding villages with support from the company.
GRL’s Uchindile plantation is part of the flagship Uchindile and Mapanda forest carbon project, which became 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. It has so far issued and sold approximately 140,000 tCO2e of carbon credits (100,000tCO2e from Uchindile). A carbon volume of more than 200,000 tCO2e is expected to be delivered from the project between 2012 – 2015, with 110,000 tCO2e from Uchindile. 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.
Green Resources initiated the establishment of Uchindile Secondary School and built two of four classrooms and one of two girl’s dormitories. Green Resources rebuilt Kihata Primary School, Uchindile by constructing five out of eight classrooms, a teacher’s office and four semi-detached teacher’s houses.
In Kitete village the company constructed the healthcare facilities, a dispensary and two nurses’ houses. The company has also constructed a village hall, compromising of a meeting room and three offices.
In Masagati a new secondary school with 8 classrooms, named Tree Farm Secondary School has been constructed. Green Resources has built two primary school classrooms at both Ibaku and Taweta schools.