Tanzania: rufiji, ruvu and wami

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Land Tenure

Land tenure is another policy issue related to biodiversity loss. It is generally believed that lack of tenure security discourages long-term investment in land. However, security of tenure is not a guarantee that long-term investment will be undertaken or that such an investment will not cause biodiversity loss. Various development policies and programs in the country, such as the villagization program, concentrated on methods of production rather than forms of land ownership (United Republic of Tanzania, 1994). This has resulted in acute land problems and conflicts. The new land policy contains some passages that may lead to the conservation of biodiversity.12 It states that, “[a] mechanism for protecting sensitive areas will be created. Sensitive areas include water catchment areas, small islands, border areas, beaches, mountains, forests, national parks, rivers, river basins and banks, seasonal migration routes of wildlife, national heritage and areas of biodiversity.” Of particular interest is the concern raised in the policy regarding areas of multiple land uses. The Rufiji Delta is such an area. Currently, there are many land-users in the Rufiji Delta. However, no multiple land-use management system is in place. REMP, an IUCN-supported project, intends to work on this aspect. It is important for the responsible ministry to take a leading position while working with other stakeholders in developing this multiple land-use management system. Alongside REMP, Tanzania Coastal Management Partnership (TCMP) has just started coordinating various programs operating along the coastal areas of Tanzania. Together with these efforts to address better coordination and sustainable utilization of natural resources, a body responsible for resolving conflicts over multiple land uses should be established.

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