Community Conservation Work in the Serengeti Ecosystem
The Serengeti ecosystem is a mosaic of protected areas and community land. Wildlife traverses each of these areas throughout the year. Protecting wilderness and promoting sustainable development of the local communities go hand in hand.
The Frankfurt Zoological Society works with the people living in the ecosystem to become actively engaged in conservation and find sustainable livelihood opportunities.
Local people often rely on natural resources and ecosystem services, but unsustainable resource use is contributing to the loss of biodiversity and wildlife habitat.
The Serengeti Ecosystem Management office works to promote alternative ways for communities to earn an income and benefit from the area’s protection by creating incentives to conserving the Serengeti ecosystem.
- Project name: Serengeti Ecosystem Management Project
- Program Manager: Masegeri Rurai
The Frankfurt Zoological Society works closely with local partners to ensure that conservation efforts extend beyond the National Park. Our partners include Serengeti National Park (SENAPA), Tanzania National Parks (TANAPA), the Wildlife Division, Tanzania Wildlife Authority (TAWA), the Serengeti, Ngorongoro and Meatu District Councils, and the Tanzania Wildlife Research Institute (TAWIRI).
At the ecosystem level, we are implementing diverse strategies aiming to achieve positive conservation impacts while improving livelihoods from household to village levels.
FZS is also facilitating community-managed forest areas in the Loliondo highlands. These forests are an important water catchment area and the source of the Grumeti River, a year-round source of water for wildlife in the Serengeti. Through participatory forest management, FZS works closely with the communities to recruit and facilitate the training of Village Forest Guards who act as the guardians of the forests that are a crucial part of the Serengeti ecosystem.
FZS provides technical assistance to engage local communities in ecosystem conservation and management. Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) are protected areas established by communities on village lands. Communities are able to generate revenues through wildlife tourism. FZS assisted in establishing two WMAs in the Serengeti ecosystem (Makao and Ikona) and is now working to ensure good governance and protection of these areas.
FZS is also facilitating community-managed forest areas in the Loliondo highlands. These forests are an important water catchment area and the source of the Grumeti River, a year-round source of water for wildlife in the Serengeti.
FZS is working with the Serengeti National Park and District Councils to develop mechanisms for improving benefit sharing. The “Serengeti Conservation for Development Challenge” is a way to improve the equitability and transparency for the allocation of benefits to communities. It is a competitive program to reward villages that are demonstrating their commitment to conservation.
FZS works with villages and District Councils adjacent to protected areas to develop scientifically informed land-use plans. Participatory land-use planning can address multiple socio-economic and conservation objectives by strengthening the community’s property rights and increasing benefits from natural resources, as well as reducing human-wildlife conflict.
Successful conservation is always the result of great teamwork. We collaborate with local communities, national authorities, and conservation organizations. Our partners make our conservation work possible.
- Serengeti District council
- Government of Tanzania
- Meatu District Council
- European Union
- Tanzania National Parks (TANAPA)
- Ngorongoro District Council
- National Geographic
- Tanzania Wildlife Research Institute (TAWIRI)
- Community Wildlife Conservation – Makao Wildlife Management Area (WMA)
- Elephant Crisis Fund
- National Land Use Planning Commision
- Community Wildlife Conservation – Ikona Wildlife Management Area (WMA)
- Grumeti Fund
- Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority (NCAA)
- Tanzania Wildlife Authority (TAWA)