Sustainable use of mangrove forests

There are ten species of mangroves found in Tanzania. The conservation and management of these forests are guided by the Forestry policy and Forestry Act (2003) of the mainland and Environmental policy for Zanzibar.

“Mangrove forest occurs from the border with Kenya to the north to that of Mozambique in the south and fringes many of the islands off the Tanzanian coast. The main concentration is in the Rufiji delta. Since the beginning of the Century, Tanzania’s mangroves have been a territorial (state) forest reserve, but this has generally not prevented their use by coastal communities.

“Mangroves offer shelter, food and breeding grounds for a large variety of fish, shrimps and oysters for at least part of their life cycle.

“Villagers who depend on fishing are generally aware of this relationship. Mangroves provide an alternative source of food (herbs, honey, fodder), income and employment for the local fishing communities who use different mangrove species for fuelwood, fences, house construction and boat building, for making fish traps, and for tannin and for medicinal purposes (Nagelkerken et al., 2000).

“Mangroves stabilise the coastline, protecting it from erosion. Unlike man-made coastal defences, mangroves maintain themselves at no cost. They prevent the siltation of coral reefs by trapping sediments and build land through the accumulation of silt and detritus, and absorb pollutants washed from the land (Source: Blue Life Hub:

Travel with Endorphin Expeditions through Africa as we delf deeper into the sustainable utilisation of natural resources in Africa, and how local communities contribute towards biodiversity protection.


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