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Sustainable Charcoal

The Tanzania Forest Conservation Group (TFCG) in partnership with the Tanzanian Community Forest Conservation Network (MJUMITA) is implementing a project with the goal that: "Commercially viable value chains are established for legal, sustainable sourced charcoal". The project is financed by the Swiss Agency of Development and Cooperation (SDC) as part of a broader programme "Transforming Tanzania's Charcoal Sector". The project is proposed to extend for six years, comprising a two year inception and design phase and a four year period of expanded implementation. 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

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.