project news

Stakeholder Training in the Kilombero Valley

News item submitted by Ben Margerison
News item dated 11 Nov 2010

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The Kilombero Valley, located in Southern Tanzania, between the Selous game reserve and the Udzungwa National park is undergoing a dramatic period of change. An increasing population, as well as a population influx into the region from more arid parts of Tanzania, is having a marked effect on the land use in one of the most fertile unprotected areas in Tanzania. An area that up until very recently contained important migratory corridors for large mammal populations travelling between the two protected areas.

An influx of people into a highly biodiverse region containing large numbers of large mammals will inevitably lead to important human-wildlife conflicts. Farmers will want to gain as much productivity as possible from their land, and perhaps later expand into the surrounding areas. Their children are also likely to establish their own smallholding in the area, and the transition from a largely undisturbed ecosystem to one dominated by human interests will be unavoidable.

Understandably, small subsistence farmers want to protect their livestock from predation and their crops from being eaten or trampled. When living so close to or below the poverty line, protecting what little resources you have can make all the difference. However, many are not aware of the disruption that this can cause to entire ecosystems, or of the low impact alternatives that could help to mitigate the impact humans have on the environment.

Frontier is currently working with local stakeholders in the Kilombero valley, with the aim of promoting less disruptive farming practices for the wildlife and drawing up plans to protect one of the last remaining wildlife corridors. By getting village leaders on board, listening, providing training and feedback to the members of the community, it is hoped that the local populations will also engage in the effort to conserve wildlife in the region.

 


Learn more about the Frontier Tanzania Savannah project .