Conservation efforts at Lake Natron
Nature Tanzania continues to take part in the global efforts to conserve birds and their habitats in Tanzania. Established in 2016, our membership base now stands at 185 members, and continue growing to support biodiversity conservation in the country. Over the past 4 years, we attained key milestones, including successfully supporting the delivery of the “Developing a Community Based Ecotourism Model at Lake Natron, Tanzania” a BirdLife project funded by the Darwin Initiative, which is highlighted below. The project was implemented between July 2017 and June 2020.
PROJECT GOAL AND OBJECTIVES
Among other things, the project aimed at addressing poorly coordinated tourism development, limited livelihood sources and capacity for communities for managing ecotourism business as well as limited awareness on the value of the Lake ecosystem which is the most important breeding site for Lesser Flamingos. The Lake supports the breeding of 1.5 – 2.5 million East African Lesser Flamingos, which constitute 75% of the global species’ population.
The project carried out training of local communities in ecotourism business management; supported the development of a A Tourism Development Plan; established a £6,500 Community Revolving Fund to facilitate small loans to small businesses; supported ecosystem restoration through tree planting at key catchments and raised awareness and disseminated project results through various platforms.
- The project improved the monthly income of 1,038 people: 757 women from of $52 to $72; 204 youth from $46 to $75 and 75 men from $31 to $68
- 7,500 trees planted, a Catchment Action Plan for the Ngaresero and Pinyinyi developed, the integrity of Lake as a breeding site for flamingos maintained and 10,000 ha of wetlands protected.
- A Tourism Development Plan was developed and endorsed by the government with participation of all stakeholders. The TDP is domiciled at the office of the Regional Administrative Secretary in Arusha Region.
- Two booths have been constructed at Ngare Sero and Oldonyo Lengai villages to help Maasai women to sell their beadwork in a sheltered environment.
- A total of 335 individuals (222 women, 153 young people and 23 tour guides) benefited from the CRF as at March 2020 and the revolving fund grew by 17% to £7,608 by end of project.
- A total of 252 people (152 women, 71 youths and 29 men) were trained in ecotourism management, business management; 106 tour guides were trained in tour guiding and 101 leaders (24 women, 30 young people and 47 men) were trained in natural resource governance and land rights.
Mama Esuphat Ngoyasi, the Chairperson of Ngare Sero Women, says: “We feel empowered and thank BirdLife International, Nature Tanzania and the Government for investing in women. We now have space to comfortably sell our beadwork to tourists. The women of Lake Natron are starting to enjoy the fruits of conservation”.
Collaboration and support.
The project worked with the following partners
- The project was funded by the Darwin Initiative, UK and was implemented in close collaboration with the Government of Tanzania
- Project partners on the ground were:
- Tanzania Wildlife Management Authority (TAWA)
- Engaresero Eramatare Community Development Initiative (EECDI),
- Tanzania Association of Tour Operators (TATO),
- Tanzania Tourist Board (TTB),
- Arusha Regional Government Office,
- District Councils of Monduli, Ngorongoro and Longido,
- Maasai Pastoralist Development Organization (MPDO-LARETO).
You can read the Swahili awareness raising poster here. This was developed during the project, in Swahili language