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Transforming Tanzania's Charcoal Sector

The Tanzania Forest Conservation Group (TFCG) in partnership with the Tanzanian Community Forest Conservation Network (MJUMITA) and the Tanzania Traditional Energy Development Organisation are implementing the Transforming Tanzania's Charcoal Sector project. The project aims to establish commercially viable value chain for legal, sustainably produced charcoal. The project is financed by the Swiss Agency of Development and Cooperation (SDC). The project began in March 2012.

Sustainable charcoal


In spite of Tanzania's heavy dependence upon biomass energy, the sector is weakly governed and under-valued, historically marginalised in official policy and public perception. Weak law enforcement means that the harvesting and processing of biomass fuels is largely unregulated and contributes significantly to land use change through the degradation of tree cover. This has climate change implications as sequestration capacity is reduced by harvesting rates that exceed sustainable yield.

The biomass energy industry is characterised by skewed value chains in which producers are marginalized. In addition, woodfuel economy measures and investments in production and conversion systems that would be more efficient and less environmentally damaging still needs to be further developed.

Project objectives

Improved climate change adaptation and mitigation, enhanced environmental sustainability and leveraged returns on biomass resources, delivering sustainable development to Tanzania and its people.

Project outcomes

Outcome 1:

Sustainable charcoal Production (SPC):

Commercially viable value chains established for legal, sustainably sourced charcoal

Outcome 2:

Knowledge management & communications

Credible data and analysis communicated through coordinated advocacy leading to more biomass-friendly governance of the energy sector

Project area

The project will operate in Kilosa Districts in Morogoro Region, where TFCG is already engaged with 18 villages in the PFM process that forms part of the pilot REDD programme.

Project beneficiaries

The project aims to benefit rural communities in Kilosa District, particularly in/around those areas where PFM processes already forms part of the pilot REDD programme. Sustainably charcoal production and support for forest-friendly agriculture will be introduced in eight villages in Kilosa District, four within the existing REDD area and other four in the REDD leakage belt.


TFCG and MJUMITA 2015. The MJUMITA Sustainable Charcoal Model. 2.5 MB

TTCS Project Leaflet 2014 FINAL.

Quantis 2014. Transforming Tanzania's Charcoal Sector: Life Cycle Assessment Component

TFCG, 2014. Mapendekezo ya utaratibu utakaotoa motisha kwa jamii kuendelea kusimamia misitu yao. Poster.

Camco 2013. Market research for sustainably produced charcoal. TTCS Consultancy Report. 1- 146

National Workshop for Exploring the Evidence, Mapping the Way Forward and Planning for Future Actions for Developing Biomass Energy in Tanzania

Between 26th and 27th February 2015, the TTCS project hosted a national workshop that brought together a wide range of stakeholders to discuss the status and future of biomass energy in Tanzania. The workshop report, presentations and photographs can be downloaded below:


Mwampamba, T. 2015. National workshop for exploring the evidence, mapping the way forward, and planning for future actions for developing biomass energy in Tanzania. Workshop Report.

Photo Gallery

TFCG 2015. Photo Gallery. National workshop for exploring the evidence, mapping the way forward, and planning for future actions for developing biomass energy in Tanzania.

Day 1 TTCS wshop

Keynote Speech: National trends in biomass energy in Tanzania by Professor Ishengoma, Sokoine University of Agriculture

The Kilosa Sustainable Charcoal Model: achievements, lessons learned and future plans by Charles Meshack, Executive Director, Tanzania Forest Conservation Group

Tanzania's Biomass Energy Strategy (BEST): Key lessons, recommendations and the Action Plan by Mr. Paul Kiwele, Acting Assistant Commissioner (Renewable Energy) Ministry of Energy and Minerals

The growing role of biomass as a modern, "green" and sustainable energy source in a broader context by Mike Bess, Senior Consultant, CAMCO

Day 2 TTCS whop

Key Stakeholder: Biomass energy and the National Forest Policy by Mrs. Gladness Mkamba, Director, Forest Beekeeping Division, Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism

Key Stakeholder: TFS and its role in governing the biomass energy sector: achievements and lessons learned. By Mr. Juma Mgoo, Chief Executive Officer, Tanzania Forest Services Agency

Key Stakeholder: Local government and its role in governing the biomass energy sector: achievements and lessons learned. by Dr. Lucy Ssendi, Prime Minister’s Officer for Regional Administration and Local Government

Transforming Tanzania’s Charcoal Sector: Potentials, limitations & impacts of Biomass Energy in Tanzania by Dr. Josiah Katani, ForConsult & Quantis Research Team

Relevant technical reports

BEST 2013. Proceedings of the Stakeholders Workshop on Biomass Energy Finance and Revenues "How to Formalise the Informal - Formalising the Commercial Woody Biomass Sector". 1 - 10

Camco Clean Energy Tanzania 2014. Tanzania biomass energy strategy and action plan. Final Report p. 1-123.

Kilahama, F. Impact of increased charcoal consumption to forests and woodlands in Tanzania.

Malimbwi, R.E., S. Misana, G.C. Monela, G. Jambiya and E. Zahabu. Impact of charcoal extraction to the forest resources of Tanzania: the case of Kitulangalo area, Tanzania. Chaposa.

Malimbwi, R. E., E. Zahabu, G.C. Kajembe, E.J. Luoga. Contribution of Charcoal Extraction to Deforestation: Experience from CHAPOSA Research Project.

Monela, G.C., E. Zahabu, R.E. Malimbwi, G. Jambiya and S. Misana. Socio-economics of charcoal extraction in Tanzania: a case of eastern Part of Tanzania.

Mwampamba, T. 2007. Has the woodfuel crisis returned? Urban charcoal consumption in Tanzania and its implications to present and future forest availability. Energy Policy.

Nyoni, J. 2014 Mandate 2: Knowledge, Attitude and Perception Study of the Biomass Energy Sector.

Peters, C. 2009. Environmental crisis or sustainable development opportunity? Transforming the charcoal sector in Tanzania: A Policy Note. World Bank pp 1 - 72.


Incentivizing communities towards sustainable charcoal production in Tanzania.