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Uluguru Mountains Biodiversity Conservation Project
The Uluguru Mountains in eastern Tanzania are one of the most important mountains in Africa for the conservation of biological diversity. They are also the source of the water supply for the largest city in Tanzania, Dar es Salaam, which has between 3 and 4 million people. In addition to these global and national values they are also home to over 100,000 people in the Luguru tribe who prefer to live on the mountains because of the favourable climate which allows them to grow crops through much of the year, including fruits and temperate vegetables which they can export to the townspeople of the lowlands.
Conservation of the Uluguru Mountains first started during the German colonial period, when several forest reserves were established for the protection of the water supply and to slow erosion from the steep mountain slopes. These efforts complemented those of the chiefs of the Luguru people, who protected forest areas for their ancestors to live in.
In the early 1950s the British colonial government tried to force 'improved' agriculture onto the Luguru people through a large authoritarian project. The Luguru people rejected the project and set fire to the mountains in protest. These actions sparked some of the first elements of revolt which culminated in the Independence of Tanzania from Britain in 1964.
In the mid-1990s the European Union started conservation work on the Ulugurus, and this has been followed by several years of support by the Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA).
The current project started as a collaboration between the Danish Ornithological Society and the Wildlife Conservation Society of Tanzania, both partners in BirdLife International. The collaboration applied to DANIDA for funds in 1998 and these were granted from early 1999.
In Tanzania the project operates in partnership with the Regional and District Natural Resources Offices of the Tanzania Government, the Catchment Forest Project of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism, and the Uluguru Mountains Agriculture Development Project which is based at the University of Sokoine. Together these partners are trying to understand the biological and water catchment values of the Uluguru forests, protect the Forest Reserves which contain most of the remaining forests, and work with local populations to improve their livelihood without further impacting on the forest resources.
For more information on the work in the Uluguru’s see:
BirdLife Denmark and Wildlife Conservation Society of Tanzania, in cooperation with Tanzanian Government and DANIDA.
WCST Main Office: 39 Garden Avenue, P.O. Box 70919, Dar es Salaam. Tel. (+255) (0) 22 2112518. Fax. (+255) (0) 22 2124572. Email. WCST@africaonline.co.tz
WCST Morogoro and Uluguru Biodiversity Conservation Project Office: Pamba House, P.O. Box 1668, Morogoro. Tel. + 255 (0) 23 23122 (Morogoro Office). Fax. + 255 (0) 23 23766. Tel. + 255 0811 531002 (mobile). Office email: WCSTMORO@mail.suanet.ac.tz .
Forest Reserves of Tanzania - Morogoro
The Bugwood Network
The University of Georgia
College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and Warnell School of Forest Resources
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