02 May 2021
TRADITIONAL KNOWLEDGE FOR A SUSTAINABLE FUTURE: HOW INDIGENOUS TRADITIONS ARE PROTECTING BIODIVERSITY IN THE SAVANNAHS OF TANZANIA

On a cloudy day in June 2020, dozens of herders dressed in brightly coloured robes gathered under the widely spaced trees that are typical of savannah landscapes in northern Tanzania. It was the beginning of the dry season in Kiteto district, which is home to a variety of Indigenous Peoples, including the semi-nomadic Maasai pastoralists that had congregated in anticipation: “We have been waiting for this event for a long time and we are relieved to see it happen today", said Kimirei Mathiaya, chair of the Partimbo grazing cluster.

On this occasion, local leaders from the community-conserved shared grazing area of OLENGAPA received nine legal documents that certify their right to use a territory of more than 7,000 hectares for their livestock and traditional ceremonies. This represented a major milestone in the efforts to address conflicts over land and natural resource use between pastoralist villages, farmers, hunter-gatherers and other groups in the region, while promoting biodiversity conservation, strengthening livelihoods and improving food security for sustainable rural development.

“The legal documents shield pastoral villages from land grabbing, which is affecting most communities in Tanzania”, explained Nehemiah Murusuri, National Coordinator of the Global Environment Facility's Small Grants Programme (SGP), implemented by the United Nations Development Programme in Tanzania. “We are quite excited by these outstanding results from these communities, which were supported through SGP’s partnership with the Global Support Initiative for Indigenous Peoples and Community Conserved Territories and Areas (ICCA-GSI), with funding from the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety of the Government of Germany”.

Read the full story to find out how SGP is supporting Indigenous Peoples and Community-Conserved Territories and Areas throughout Tanzania.

a female farmer in kiteto district shares milk from livestock with fellow community me 2560x1707