The Udzungwa Forest Project is a conservation project based in southern Tanzania, aiming to better protect tropical forests through environmental education, community support, data collection, and lobbying for conservation action. UFP is based mostly in the Magombera forest, on to the east side of the breath-taking Udzungwa Mountains in Tanzania.
UFP has ten key objectives for helping tropical forests:
1) Providing education to local villages and the general public;
2) Providing training and capacity-building;
3) Management of habitats for biodiversity;
4) Improving income generation in villages;
5) Mitigating human-wildlife conflict;
6) Improving protection of forests;
7) Environmental and livelihood monitoring;
8) Biodiversity conservation research/exploration;
9) Lobbying for conservation action;
10) Annual re-evaluation and revision of workplan
The main emphasis of UFP is on the monitoring and management of indicators of forest conservation and the sustainability of human natural resource use. Education and capacity building in local villages is central to this, as many of the local people were previously unaware of the value of forests for water and biodiversity prior to commencement of the project.
Practical activities of the project include assistance for villages in natural resource acquisition. The biggest current threats to the forest are cutting of small trees for poles and the gathering of firewood, hence most emphasis is placed on tree-planting and finding alternative sources of fuel. The forest is also routinely monitored for threats, wildlife populations and tree biodiversity/structure.
Outreach to the general public in both Tanzania and the UK has included classroom teaching, film, newspaper articles, internet and a pedal-powered cinema. A large number of peer-reviewed scientific publications have been produced.
Our mostly-Tanzanian team ensures that the project has a strong local connection. This allows us to integrate fully with the communities and managers. Ultimately the goal is to develop sufficient in-country income generation and capacity among villages and management authorities, such that forest conservation can continue without external support.
If it was not for your efforts and that of your teams I am sure
there would have been very little left of the remaining portion
of the Magombera forest by now!
(Head of Security, Kilombero Sugar Company)