Located along the Kenyan border, this arid landscape stretches from the shores of Lake Natron to rangelands dominated by the volcanic Ol Donyo Lengai mountain. The region is home to a variety of wildlife, including zebras, giraffes, and antelope, as well as predators like lions, hyenas, and leopards.
Rising temperatures and drought are pushing pastoralists and nature to the limit, making climate change mitigation a top priority. Our work in the Greater Lake Natron Landscape is driven by the multi-partner Land for Life project which aims to protect wildlife and natural resources, improve wellbeing through community-driven conservation, and develop sustainable and nature-friendly enterprises.
Through African People & Wildlife, the Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries has seen impactful efforts to ensure that pastoral livelihoods and rangeland management are improved by building educational capacity as well as assisting in implementing projects to mitigate the impacts of climate change.
Alfred Mushy, Senior Range Management Officer, Directorate of Grazing Land and Animal Feed Resources
On the Ground in Greater Lake Natron
The Land for Life project, funded by UK Aid and WWF-UK, is a collaboration between WWF-Tanzania, WWF-Kenya, African People & Wildlife, and the South Rift Association of Land Owners (SORALO) as the implementing organizations. Together with partners, government, and 20 communities in Longido District, we developed a multi-pronged approach to holistic conservation that leverages APW’s community engagement expertise and our experience building landscape-scale datasets.
In 2022, we integrated our data collection methods with SORALO's in southern Kenya to create one of Africa's largest transboundary human-wildlife conflict datasets, which is hosted on our Esri-powered system.
Connecting Conservation & Local Livelihoods
Finding the balance for communities and the environment includes supporting the livelihoods of those who depend on natural resources. As one example, the pastoralist economy in northern Tanzania is impacted by livestock diseases as a result of inadequate veterinary services and equipment. We collaborated with the Tengeru Livestock Training Agency (LITA) to provide a short course to 20 men and women to train them as community livestock health attendants.
The group studied a range of topics, including common diseases, livestock husbandry skills, and veterinary equipment use. All participants completed the two-week program, receiving certificates and veterinary kits, and can now pursue local employment opportunities that promote animal and human wellbeing.
From Retaliation to Peaceful Resolution
Warriors for Wildlife (W4W) are the protectors of predators in the Greater Lake Natron landscape, trained to use technology to record data on conflict events and respond to incidents in a way that deescalates tensions. In 2022, the 44 W4W located here responded to 18 attempted retaliation killings and prevented 100% of retaliations targeting lions – saving 7 lions! Unfortunately, lions are often targeted for revenge killings despite only causing 1.2% of depredation events.
As members of local communities, W4W's understanding of these factors helps reduce tensions and save predators, and by supporting local solutions and recording Indigenous knowledge, the program secures a brighter future for humans and wildlife.
Climate-Smart Rangeland Conservation
The destructive nature of climate change puts rangelands on a dangerous path: water scarcity, invasive plant species, and soil erosion. With human wellbeing and wildlife populations on the line, our team takes collective action with local communities:
- Educating local herders on drought preparedness with science-driven strategies
- Supporting community members in filling 371 gullies, slowing soil erosion
- Collaborating with ministry, district, ward, and village grazing committee officials and involving local community members to restore 2,454 acres of rangeland