Tanzania: rufiji, ruvu and wami

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Figure 14.4 Conceptual Model for Mangrove Biodiversity Loss in Tanzania


This study has identified several key factors that threaten or cause the loss of biodiversity in Rufiji, Wami, and Ruvu Deltas. The following are some of the recommendations that address those key issues.

In order to reduce biodiversity loss in the deltas, it is important focus not only on management but also, and more importantly, to provide economic alternatives and opportunities to the local communities that will discourage them from over-harvesting natural resources. This will require immediate action from the central government because some of the alternatives, including farming and fishing, demand improvement in infrastructure support. Negotiations between the central government and local authorities and the people must be undertaken to identify suitable areas for farming.
In addition, since fishing is affected not only by lack of fishing gear, but also by the activities of large commercial fishing vessels, we recommend that the government reassess its policies regarding permits to international fishing companies and commit itself to ensuring that all parties respect procedures.
Not all the farmers in the deltas can access alternative areas for farming. Therefore, it is recommended that farmers in some villages in Rufiji Delta be allowed to continue to use their existing land for farming and that the decision to plant mangrove trees on the farms be reconsidered. Alternatively, if these people have to be moved, plans have to be openly discussed and known beforehand. Although this is an issue that requires immediate attention, negotiation must be carried out among the MNRT, villagers, the Rufiji District council, and NORAD, which supports the mangrove project. These negotiations are important because the MNRT has already prohibited further expansion of farms and demands that existing farms be planted with mangrove trees.

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