Tanzania is uniquely rich in wildlife and natural resources, with over 28 percent of the country directly protected through national parks, game reserves, forest reserves and other conservation areas. Protected areas, however, are not sufficient to accommodate wildlife migration patterns, which often run outside protected areas causing conflicts with the populations settled there.
For more than a decade, USAID has partnered with Tanzanians to build livelihoods and manage natural resources by developing and implementing national environmental policies and supporting community-based conservation. USAID’s sustainable landscape approach targets critical ecosystems to sustain wildlife habitats, reverse land degradation, restore watersheds and improve community livelihoods through conservation enterprises. Activities also target sustainable agriculture and agroforestry, trade and private sector initiatives.
As a result of natural resource management activities in Tanzania, a total of over 7 million hectares of biologically significant land are under improved management for conservation, sustainable agriculture, and other land-uses based on general management plans over the past 10 years. Additionally, community-based conservation programs in wildlife management areas are building capacity for local management of key protected ecosystems with affected communities earning over $4.5 million from private investors. More than 2.2 million people have received an increase in economic benefits through sustainable natural resource management and conservation.
Sustainable Land Management
USAID natural resource management and economic growth assistance focuses on engaging with rural communities to boost agricultural productivity and incomes while improving landscape conservation. USAID helps Tanzania conserve its unique biodiversity by addressing policies, management practices, and livelihood options conducive to sustainable natural resource conservation.
In 2010, five community-owned wildlife management areas were established and received assistance on governance, management, land use planning, anti-poaching and conservation businesses such as tourism. Additionally, nearly 150,000 people—48 percent of whom were women—received increased economic benefits from U.S.-supported conservation enterprises in eco-tourism, seaweed farming, shell craft jewelry making, beekeeping, horticulture, and specialty coffee cultivation and marketing.
In Zanzibar, USAID is partnering with communities in the Menai Bay area to develop environmentally sustainable livelihood activities as a means to increase household income and quality of life while reducing pressure on the coastal resources and marine environment. USAID supports floating line seaweed farming to increase yields and reduce negative environmental impacts; pearl farming and jewelry making; and business development and entrepreneurship skills building.
Global Climate Change
Through the Global Climate Change Initiative, the United States is the leading donor in Tanzania supporting conservation of critical ecosystems through a livelihood-driven approach that seeks to reverse the trend of environmental degradation in threatened ecosystems nationwide. Assistance will emphasize local institutional support through collaboration with central, district and local governments. Community conservation advocacy activities include land-use planning and management, resource zone management plans, and support to zonal anti-poaching networks; research on key species including elephants, lions and chimpanzee; linking science and research to better policymaking; ecotourism and other tourism or natural resource based sustainable economic enterprise development; and support to reducing vulnerabilities to climate change.
USAID partners with Tanzanians to improve biodiversity conservation by building sustainable livelihoods and supporting natural resource management. The strategy involves developing and implementing key national environmental policies, and supporting community based conservation. USAID takes a sustainable landscape scale approach which targets critical ecosystems. Key objectives of assistance are sustaining critical wildlife habitats, reversing land degradation, restoring watersheds, and improving community livelihoods through conservation enterprises.
Last updated: May 10, 2013