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by Portal Web Editor last modified Jan 10, 2013 12:09 PM

Country Program: Tanzania



Tanzania's 800 kilometers of coast is of critical importance to the development of the country. It contributes one-third of the national economy, houses 75 percent of the country's industry, is the location of the largest urban centers, and supports a quarter of the country's population. This is a population that is growing rapidly and inhabits a coast with high biodiversity and productivity. The concentration of people and economic opportunity poses a real threat to the ecosystem services that are so important. The challenge is to balance the conservation and sustainable use of the resource base on which the rural coastal economy depends, while developing new economic opportunities in a way that benefits the people of the coast and the nation as a whole.


Tanzania is a leader in both regional policy development and field application of ICM. Over the last 20 years, Tanzania has built a strong foundation for coastal management. Interest and capacity in marine science was built through a long-term bi-lateral program with Sweden. A mandate for coastal and marine management in the region and an agenda of priority actions was framed through a series of regional and national Ministerial Conferences known as the Arusha Process. When the Coastal Resources Management Program (CRMP) began in 1997, there were a number of site-based programs demonstrating how ICM principles and processes can effectively address coastal problems and opportunities in specific locations. What was lacking was an enabling framework of policy and interagency collaboration at the national level. The National Environment Management Council (NEMC) in the Vice President's Office joined forces with CRMP to create the Tanzania Coastal Management Partnership (TCMP), in order to establish the urgently needed national framework for coastal management.




The Tanzania coast, such as this site in Kilwa, is high in biodiversity and productivity. However, the rapidly increasing population poses threats to the region's valuable ecosystem services.


A National Coastal Management Strategy for Tanzania

Through a highly participatory, two-year process, a National Coastal Strategy was developed. Key steps in the process included the development of a Green Paper that presents arguments on the need for and recommended scope of a national coastal program, as well as options as to how to implement and institutionalize the program. A series of working papers produced by the TCMP provided technical input to the Tanzania strategy. The National Coastal Strategy, which now awaits formal adoption by the Tanzanian Cabinet, sets forth an action plan for how Tanzania will achieve its goal: To preserve, protect and develop the natural resources of Tanzania's coast to ensure food security and support poverty alleviation and economic growth. Central to achieving this goal are four strategies:


  • Enabling and supporting local management initiatives. The TCMP is building from the lessons of the Tanga Coastal Conservation Development Programme to prepare guidelines for district ICM action planning. Three pilot districts --Bagamoyo, Pangani and Mkuranga --are spearheading the implementation of this essential aspect of the national strategy.
  • Facilitating formulation, adoption and implementation of guidelines for emerging economic activities. When the TCMP was launched, the development of an integrated approach to the siting and development of mariculture projects was a high priority for all stakeholders. The preparation of a Mariculture Investor's Guide and  Mariculture Guidelines Source Book became early examples for how the Tanzania program will approach major coastal development activities. Both were prepared through an intersectoral working group, then adopted by the 10 government agencies involved in permitting this activity. Coastal tourism is the next sustainable development issue being tackled by the TCMP. A Coastal Tourism Situation Analysis was presented to District Executive Directors in 2001. Development guidelines, similar to those for district action planning and mariculture, are now being developed.
  • Building a broad, enthusiastic and capable constituency. Building a constituency and enhancing national capacity for the program has been key within government, among other coastal projects and, most importantly, with the people of the coast. All of the coastal programs are learning from one another, and sharing expertise, information and ideas. The partnership's work is regularly featured in the media.  The TCMP video, Voices from the Coast, features coastal residents and community leaders discussing in their own words the problems and challenges they face in striving for successful, locally beneficial coastal management initiatives. At the grassroots level, over 50,000 people took part in the  Coastal Environmental Awards Scheme.  This program involved people from schools, government institutions, civic groups and the general public in eight coastal districts who competed for prizes, raised awareness and promoted environmentally sound activities. The program is in its third year and is implemented with assistance from GreenCOM.
  • Building a scientific consensus to inform the management process. The Tanzania coastal program is being built on a strong foundation of reliable knowledge. The Scientific and Technical Working Group has been charged with linking science to management. The Tanzania State of the Coast report was released in 2001. It is the first of its kind in East Africa, and combines the knowledge of the nations' scientists, its government, and the people of the coast to present a shared view of the nation's coastal situation. It is a shared platform from which to both measure change and inform management actions.


Women harvesting seaweed along the Tanzania coast. Mariculture is a primary focus for economic improvement in the country, and CRMP has been assisting by creating guidelines for investors and government.






 Over 50,000 people took part in the Coastal Environmental Awards Scheme. Schools, civic groups, goverment organizations and individuals competed for prizes while raising public awareness of coastal issues.



In the long term, the TCMP's primary aim is to develop the human and institutional capacity to sustain ICM in Tanzania. After strategy adoption there will be a transition of evolving the TCMP into a national Coastal Management Office. Implementation structures within the government system will be established, including national and district ICM committees, and working groups will be formalized. Building human and institutional capacity for these newly established ICM structures will be a priority for ensuring future, long-term success.



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