USAID grant will expand Tanzania conservation programs

A new, 4-year grant from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) will allow JGI and its partners to expand community-centered conservation programs in western Tanzania, a region rich in biodiversity, including critical populations of chimpanzees. Our partners include the Tanzanian district councils of Kigoma and Mpanda, The Nature Conservancy and the Frankfurt Zoological Society.

The USAID grant, totaling more than $5.5 million, supports our work with communities to address the root causes of deforestation and forest degradation in the Greater Gombe and Masito-Ugalla regions. In the next four years we’ll focus on improving forest management, including helping communities reduce forest fire incidences through training, outreach and capacity-building. We also will educate localities about climate change and help them develop mitigation strategies; promote sustainable agriculture practices such as soil erosion control; and support creation of sustainable livelihoods, such as tree nursery management or forest-based activities like honey harvesting. In addition, we will expand our HIV/AIDS awareness and education projects.
Since 2003, with the support of USAID and other donors, JGI and its local and international partners have invested more than $7 million (USD) in landscape-scale projects in the two regions.
Our results include:
  • More than 87,000 hectares of village forestlands being placed under protection by villagers
  • The development of detailed land-use plans by residents for 21 villages across the two ecosystems
  • The adoption of more sustainable agricultural practices by 40 percent of the farmers in the GGE
  • The generation of more than $400,000 (USD) in additional income for coffee farmers organized in cooperatives around Gombe National Park
  • The creation, training and support of 27 micro-credit associations, and
  • The creation of more than 70 school-based environmental education clubs involving more than 5,500 young people
“These funds will allow us to broaden our efforts to help local people in an underdeveloped area improve their lives and thus enable them to become our partners in protecting valuable ecosystems and the chimpanzees and other species that depend on them,” said Dr. Goodall. “The award speaks to the professionalism and dedication of our Tanzanian team on the ground.”

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