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Tanzania

Bumbwini-Mkokotoni Bay

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Conservation benefit: Conservation and restoration of a 1,507-acre mangrove forest for 14 years

Community benefit: Information and training center, support for alternative livelihood projects, and restoration of degraded sites

Date Approved: 06.2011

Mangroves

This project protects mangroves, which trap more CO2 than any other kind of forest and as a result, slow global warming.

The Bumbwini-Mkokotoni Bay is located on the north coast of Unguja Island, in the Zanzibar region of Tanzania. The bay is host to the 1,507-acre Bumbwini-Mkokotoni mangrove forest. The forest is an important ecological site and nourishes rich fishing grounds for the local community. The site also has important animals including red colobus monkeys, chameleons and other reptiles, and several species of birds. The mangrove forest has faced increased degradation from waste disposal, clear-cutting, farming practices that increase erosion and sedimentation, and overfishing.

The Society for Natural Resources Conservation and Development of Zanzibar is working with with a number of community-based organizations to conserve and manage the mangrove forest.

The community has agreed to conserve and restore 1,507 acres of mangrove forest for at least 14 years. In return, Seacology is funding the construction of an information and training center, alternative livelihood projects (such as basketry and beekeeping), and mangrove restoration.

Project Updates

April 2013

There has been ongoing replanting of mangroves in degraded parts of the forest. In addition, mapping to establish current status of the mangrove forest was completed. The community information center provides crucial services to the community as a training center with committee members and village elders being trained at the center in beekeeping and mangrove forest conservation. However, improper disposal of plastic waste still continues to pose a challenge to the project. Seacology Program Manager Karen Peterson and East Africa Field Representative Dishon Murage visited the project in March 2013 to meet with the community members and discuss the successes and challenges regarding the conservation area. Seacology has since provided a small grant to the community for safety equipment so that village women can safely harvest the honey from the hives provided as part of the project’s sustainable development initiative.

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May 2012

A total of 50,050 mangrove seedlings have been replanted in Makoba, Fujoni and Mafufuni Villages, while a total of 28 people from Muwanda and Mafufuni Villages have been trained in beekeeping and provided with protective gear for honey harvesting. Construction of the information center in Mafufuni Village is complete; the official opening of the center was attended by the Hon. Vice President of Zanzibar Seif Ali on March 1, 2012. The replanted mangrove site continues to serve as an area of interest for local communities and schools, with a number of students, especially from Muembe Makumi Primary and Secondary Schools, visiting the site. The project also continues to provide support to enforcement of regulations regarding harvesting of mangroves; infractions have reduced noticeably, with only a few minor cuttings of small-sized mangroves observed in a few villages.

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January 2012

Progress has been made in the following areas: mangrove replanting, monitoring of the community forest, site selection for the information center, and development of alternative livelihood programs. Meetings and training sessions have been conducted in the seven villages where village leaders were taken through a one day training on mangrove replantation. As a result of this exercise, replantation activities have already been initiated in Makoba and Mafufuni villages with a total of 2,050 seedlings planted by 33 community members. Monitoring of the community mangrove forest close to three villages of Makoba, Mafufuni and Fujoni has been conducted and minor destruction of the mangroves has been noted through cutting of small poles mainly for fishing dhows. Previous cutting down of tall trees has reduced as the patrol didn’t note new cuttings except as reported above. A number of beehives have been brought and distributed to Fujoni and Makoba villages. However, the project is not able to assess their performance as they are still at infancy stage. Site selection and clearing has been done for the community information center. The project team has already started the process to procure materials and other requirements. It is planned that actual construction should start in December, 2011. Albeit the project has made some progress, there are a few challenges noted. These are availability of mangrove seedlings since the period from September to October is not the season for natural seed propagation by the mangroves. Signs of encroachment into the protected mangrove forest were noted in Mafufuni and Makoba villages. There is a recommendation that the project leaders consult with the village elders to clearly demarcate the extent of the mangrove forest in the two villages.

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January 2007

In late 2006 a small engine was purchased for the boat and a professional sailboat builder replaced sails, repaired masts and repaired small leaks in the hull.

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