In the Ihemi Kilombero Cluster, SUSTAIN’s implementing partner African Wildlife Foundation is working in 4 landscapes:

 A: the Udzungwa/Magombera Landscape.  It has ecological significance and the potential to demonstrate pathways for building the resilience of agricultural systems and the local economy while maintaining and restoring the ecological integrity of the forest and wetland systems. Mwanihana wildlife corridor connects Udzungwa National Park and Selous Game Reserve. The corridor is dominated by sugarcane cultivation owned by Illovo Sugar Ltd and out-growers.

B: the Kilombero Valley Landscape, designated in 2002 among four wetlands of international importance in Tanzania listed under the Ramsar Convention on wetlands. The Kilombero Valley flood plains Ramsar site (KVRS) is divided by the Kilombero River. Agriculture (especially rice farming) has rapidly expanded over the last 5-10 years, with both locals and immigrants cultivating land and commercial operations intensifying production in the area. This trend leads to environmental degradation and threatens the survival of certain species and populations.

C: the Lukosi sub-catchment, an important wildlife corridor known as the Udzungwa-Ruaha that offers ecosystem services to migrating Elephants and other wildlife as well as to people’s livelihoods in the areas. The river is under constant pressure due to chemical pollution caused by improper disposal of chemical containers/packs throughout the area. Those chemical containers are those used to spray to kill weeds, insects and other pests. Another threat is due to pollution caused by water pumps powered by diesel generators

D: the Mngeta Corridor, which generates the ecosystem services essential to the livelihoods of small-scale farmers in the Kilombero Valley and Udzungwa Mountains, to the productivity of rice plantations (KPL), hydropower and fisheries. It suffers from deforestation and land degradation caused by timber, farm expansion, and livestock grazing. 

Ihemi Kilombero Cluster Map Transparent

Activities and progress to date - 2016

SUSTAIN is continuing to build and implement collaborative arrangements that showcase integrated management of business, land, water and ecosystems.   In Ihemi-Kilombero, these include:

  • a tri-party public-private partnership with the Kilombero Valley Teak Company (KVTC) and the Belgian Development Agency (BTC)-funded Kilombero and Lower Rufiji Wetlands Ecosystem Management Project. The partnership is bringing together private sector know-how and community capacities in demonstrating collaborative forest management and development of forest-based value chains.

  • an agreement among Illovo Sugar company, communities and the Tanzania Forest Service to upgrade the conservation status of Magombera Forest Reserve.

  • introduction of payments for ecosystem services in the Mngeta sub-catchment in a co-investment partnership with the Tanzania Forest Conservation Group (TFCG) and Kilombero Plantations Ltd. to support sustainable and participatory land, water, soil, and forest management

In addition, concepts are being developed with Illovo Sugar on conservation covenants with outgrowers and participation in a PES scheme to support community-based control of soil erosion in the Lukosi sub-catchment.