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Loliondo Forest Conservation

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Sarian Forest, Loliondo Highland - Tanzania - Photograph Norbert Guthier

FZS provides technical assistance to enable local communities to play a central role in ecosystem conservation and management through Community-Based Natural Resource Management institutions including community-managed forest areas.

 

Since 2008, FZS is supporting community-based forest conservation initiatives in the Ngorongoro District to the east of the National Park. The Loliondo forest highlands are an important water catchment area and the source of the Grumeti River, an important year-round source of water for wildlife in the Serengeti, and a tributary of Lake Victoria. Additionally, the forests are important to local communities as a source of natural springs, firewood, medicinal plants, cultural sites and dry season refuge for livestock.

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Dr. Karaine Kunei (FZS Technical Advisor), Lazaro Msowelo (FZS Field Officer) and the Village Scouts of Sarian Forest, Loliondo - Photograph Norbert Guthier

However, the forest is being devastated by illegal timber harvesting and land clearing as forest land is converted into agricultural fields. The community and the district have joined hands to take action to conserve this forest for their own heritage. FZS is helping to facilitate the establishment of community forest areas, data monitoring and demarcation of boundaries to reduce conflicts. FZS is also supporting local Village Forest Scouts in protecting and monitoring natural resources of the community-based forest areas by providing training and equipment. FZS and the forest scouts have recently launched an initiative to promote beekeeping as a sustainable source of revenue from the forest.