REDD++ piloting process in the Zanzibar Islands, Tanzania: The assessment of the community's perceptions and attitudes
Introduction of REDD+ initiatives in Tanzania underwent a series of preparation activities including launching and implementation the National REDD+ pilot projects. While the piloting have now lasted for four years the local communities’ awareness, perceptions and their attitudes towards these initiatives have not been adequately studied in Tanzania. This study therefore was carried out to assess the community perception and determine social sustainability of REDD+ initiatives in Zanzibar Islands. Specifically the study aims to determine the levels of community awareness, perception, participation and attitudes towards this initiative. Five Shehia (Villages) which are Kumbaurembo, Muyuni C, Mtende, Chuchumile and Hanyegwamchana were involved in the study. Data were collected through key informant interviews, focus group discussions and household questionnaire survey. Content analysis was used to analyse qualitative information from focus group discussions and in depth interviews, while indexes were used to determine the levels of community participation, awareness and attitudes. Findings revealed a high level of community awareness (63.3%) with moderately high level of participation as shown by 47.8%. Results show a favourable attitude of about 77% despite the low levels of education, over dependence of forest resources and small size of land holdings that would be expected to affect communities’ perception, attitudes. The study concludes that communities in Zanzibar islands have positive attitude and perceptions on conservation initieatives which is a good indicator for sustainability of REDD+ initiatives. However, in a bid to sustain the communities’ continued involvement, there should be continued capacitation of the communities to be in full control of their resources as well as ensuring equitable benefit sharing.
Key Words: REDD+, Community perception, Attitudes, Zanzibar, Tanzania