Our 2017 to 2020 goal: Increased resilience in more than 24 rural communities through the sustainable management of resources.
Decades of degradation of the world’s natural resources has caused major losses of biodiversity and wildlife as well as harm to the communities who are dependent on them. It is essential to change consumption habits everywhere to conserve the environment and its valuable resources. The onset of climate change threatens to do further damage as temperatures and sea levels rise, ecosystems are altered, and extreme weather events become more frequent and severe.
Challenge in Tanzania
More than three quarters of Tanzania’s population rely on crop growth and seasonal rainfall for their income. Agriculture accounts for a quarter of the Tanzanian economy, and it is these farmers who suffer the real, dangerous consequences of environmental degradation. Adverse impacts of climate change are already affecting livelihoods and the economy. Recent droughts and floods between seasons dramatically highlighted the food insecurity, water scarcity and power supply issues that the country faces. Raleigh Tanzania will focus on raising awareness of the importance of protecting the environment, working with communities.
Project: Youth for Community Conservation (Y4CC)
Forest and woodland occupy more than 40% of the total land area of mainland Tanzania and provide a vital resource to both humans and wildlife. In addition to being home to many different species, the forests are essential to the country’s water supply system and provide shelter, food and livelihoods to millions of people. Demands on the forest, however, are causing deforestation at an alarming rate with Tanzania losing between 300,000 and 400,000 hectares of forest each year – more than twice the global average.
2017 saw the continuation of Raleigh Tanzania’s Natural Resource Management (NRM) programme, delivered in conjunction with the Tanzania Forest Conservation Group (TFCG) in the Mufindi District of Tanzania. This programme focuses on tackling a key cause of deforestation in rural Tanzania – the high dependency of rural populations on natural forests to earn a living through charcoal and timber production.
Working alongside local communities and TFCG, Raleigh volunteers worked in four villages to create tree nurseries that will offer a sustainable alternative to harvesting natural forest over the long-term. Having created nursery beds and seedling tubes, over 370,000 seedlings were prepared for planting in village-owned land. It is anticipated that these newly planted trees will cover approximately 685 acres of land, offering the community a sustainable income source. Volunteers also conducted environmental education sessions in each village primary school. They raised awareness of the importance of protecting Tanzania’s natural forests and how sustainable forestry can benefit both people and the natural landscape.