Tanzania’s northern rangelands stretch across more than 6 million acres and include some of the world’s most iconic landscapes: the Serengeti, Tarangire National Park and West Kilimanjaro.
Each year, migrating wildebeest, zebra and antelope thunder across the region’s long-worn pathways, moving between wet and dry season ranges in the largest mammal migration on Earth. For centuries, pastoralists have shared these same landscapes, whose connectivity they also depend on to raise their livestock. And two of last remaining hunter-gatherer tribes in Africa also share these lands, treading lightly through the bush adjacent to pastoralists and their herds. The wild, open corridors spanning the region’s renowned conservation areas are essential arteries of life here.
Today, driven by increasing human population and competing land use interests, these arteries are being squeezed. Wildlife habitat and traditional homelands are shrinking, and with them, the twin pillars of Tanzania’s economy—tourism and livestock. Farmland is rapidly replacing and fragmenting rangeland. And the people who have thrived on these lands for thousands of years often have no land rights or recourse.
The Northern Tanzania Rangelands Initiative is a partnership between The Nature Conservancy and eight other NGOs: Carbon Tanzania, Dorobo Fund, Honeyguide Foundation, Maliasili Initiatives, Oikos, Pathfinder International, Tanzania People & Wildlife, Ujamaa Community Resource Team, and Wildlife Conservation Society.
Through this partnership, we aim to secure five priority livestock and wildlife movement corridors in the northern rangelands while enhancing an ecologically and economically thriving landscape that supports people and wildlife and is resilient to future stress.
Our methods include:
• Conserving vital wildlife corridors
• Securing communal land rights and benefits for hunter-gatherers and pastoralists
• Increasing access to reproductive health education and services
• Providing security for elephants
Since 2011, The Nature Conservancy has supported hunter-gatherers and pastoralists in securing official title to 200,000 acres of traditional homelands. Enforceable land use plans developed with these communities will ensure the long-term integrity of this habitat for people, livestock and wildlife.
Nature-based enterprises are now bringing new income to communities that put conservation measures in place. For example, in 2014, two Hadzabe hunter-gatherer communities earned $75,000 USD in carbon revenues for protecting their forests.
In addition, we helped create a road map to turn Randilen Wildlife Management Area (WMA) into a model of strong conservation and community management that other WMAs in the region can follow.
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