In Tanzania, biodiversity is under increasing pressure. Over the past years, the migration of people and cattle to the Southwest of the country has strongly increased. There has also been major economic development in the region. As a result, the region is facing depletion of natural resources, such as drinking water and fertile soil. Degradation of these resources also causes the region to be less resilient to climate change.
Local laws and regulations for land use are unclear, contain contradictions and are poorly enforced. Many companies do not comply with legislation and the local population is poorly informed of it. Because of this, harmful practices such as land clearing using fire and illegal logging occur regularly. The increase of cattle raising by migrants also causes further degradation of soil and river beds. Additionally, the rivers, on which many local communities depend, are polluted by the use of pesticides and small-scale gold mining. This causes an increasing water shortage.
A coal mine is active in the region and there are concrete plans for helium extraction. To avoid exhaustion and pollution of water resources, these plans need to be executed in a sustainable way.
To safeguard the biodiverse ecosystems in Tanzania, IUCN NL has been working with local partner organizations since 2015. The main goal is to help them advocate more effectively for better compliance and enforcement of current legislation. The local population needs to be informed about the rules, so they can better abide by them. Additionally, the organizations work towards increased involvement of the local population, to encourage them to cultivate and manage their land in a more sustainable manner.
We encourage funding for projects that ensure sustainable development and climate resilience. In this way, we make sure that economic growth in Tanzania does not come at the expense of nature, but instead improves the quality of the soil, water and wildlife.