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The Eastern Afromontane Conservation Network Monthly Bulletin: April 2016

Dear <<First Name>>,
We are very excited to present the third edition of the EACN monthly bulletin.
We hope this documentation provides good insights on the conservation progress of the hotspot, and we look forward to sharing your stories in our upcoming bulletin.

Any feedback on this issue and contributions to future issues of the bulletin are most welcome. Please forward them directly to the network manager:
alumni@tropical-biology.org

Enjoy your reading
The TBA team
A proper win for AWF Tanzania
 
Congratulations to the African Wildlife Foundation (AWF), Tanzania, the winners of the 2016 CEPF Photo Contest, People’s Choice Award. The contest which was open to all CEPF grantees aimed to showcase the work of grantees on the ground in terms of biodiversity conservation and to promote awareness on the importance of protecting critical ecosystems to achieve sustainability.
 
                                                  Practicing conservation-friendly agricultural techniques in Mount Rungwe, Tanzania. Photo courtesy of Isangati Agricultural Development Organization (IADO)
 
Through a grant from CEPF, AWF in partnership with the Isangati Agricultural Development Organization (IADO) is conducting a project to enhance conservation and improve environmental-friendly agricultural practices at Tanzania’s Mount Rungwe. This is a significant area in the hotspot as it serves as a home to key biodiversity species including the Kipunji, one of Africa’s most endangered primates. AWF and IADO’s initiative provides the required training to local farmers on important and proper agricultural practices for increased output and enhanced sustainability.

Good job AWF!

 

 
Building sustainable  livelihoods for conservation 
 
 Forests in Africa are increasingly facing   multiple threats mostly brought about  by human activities and the case is  no different for Njombe forest in  Tanzania. Illegal exploitation of forest  resources  coupled with poor    agricultural and  land use practices have  made this rich  biodiversity hub an area  of focus for  conservation organisations. One such  organisation is SATAFO (Save Tanzania Forests), a CEPF grantee that works hand in hand with the local communities in the region to promote sustainable livelihoods for improved conservation of Njombe Forest. Spearheaded by Pendo Niyukuli, a Community Development Officer with the organisation, SATAFO seeks alternative means of livelihood for the locals such as promotion of beekeeping and also conducts biodiversity surveys in the region. By attending TBA trainings which focus on providing capacity development for CEPF grantees, Pendo has managed to improve more on her engagements with the local community and made huge progress in achieving conservation and sustainability in the area.
“After attending the training organised by TBA in Mbeya, Tanzania, I am now using a ground to top level approach when engaging with the local community and especially the village elders which has greatly facilitated information sharing. I have requested for monthly reports from Village Environmental Committees, which has made me more aware of what is going on at the ground level and this makes it easy for me to identify things that need improvement. Information on the progress of the project is sent to the district environment office, making them more aware of activities in place.
 
I have also learnt a lot on equal distribution of benefits and engaged the community and its leaders on this so as to get their insight on how best to share the resources. Frequent monitoring of activities in the forest (particularly where bee keeping is conducted) is very important and the community members have been tasked with this so as to involve them more and create awareness on conservation. This is what enabled us to see the need for placing fire-breaks in the forest which has led to a huge decrease in forest fires. Monitoring and evaluation was one key topic learnt that has been very helpful to me. I am now able to identify problems and potential solutions which is really important because without the proper follow-up, community members may place bee-hives in the wrong places.
Distribution of beehives in Mambegu village
 
One of the biggest achievements of the projects has been the increasing awareness on forest conservation among the locals. Incidences such as Forest fire outbreaks have greatly reduced since Oct 2015 and deforestation is taking a downward shift which shows in the increasing natural forest cover. The local leaders have also been trained and now possess the proper management and communication skills which enable them to communicate better with the community members.  This has greatly increased their capacity as leaders. We have also managed to distribute 80 beehives to 40 households which was our initial target and made sure that the hives are well monitored. The village environmental committee has taken up this initiative and is willing to ensure continued protection of the forest.

The trainings have made it possible for me to meet and network with other CEPF grantees implementing projects similar to mine which has been very useful in providing insight especially on how to solve challenges. The network formed is a great platform for us to share ideas and improve on our projects.”
 
Pendo Niyukuli, Community Development Officer, SATAFO

Opportunities


What: The GEF small Grants Programme 

This programme provides financial and technical support to projects that conserve and restore the environment while enhancing people's well-being and livelihoods.  Details

What: Cargill  Environmental stewardship grants
Cargill partners with organizations that demonstrate global leadership in protecting natural resources and promote sustainable agricultural practices in local communities and supply chains.  Details

Events


What: UNEP Science-Policy Forum
An event designed to engage a wide audience of policy-makers, scientists, researchers, major groups and stakeholders in supporting the delivery of the environmental dimension of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Details
When: 19-20 May 2016 

What: International Day for Biological Diversity 2016

The theme for the 2016 Day, to be celebrated globally, will be 'Mainstreaming Biodiversity: Sustaining People and their Livelihoods'. Details
When: 22 May 2016

 

Resources



What: A self-assessment checklist- Integrating financial management into organisation culture

Proper management of finances is a very important aspect of project planning and implementation and this tool can help identify ways of improving how financial management integrates with the overall structure of an organisation. Download

Our mailing address is:
alumni@tropical-biology.org 
 
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