Community-centered programmes enriching the lives of rural Africans
Inside Gombe National Park in Tanzania, site of Dr. Jane Goodall’s groundbreaking chimpanzee research, the valleys are thickly forested and the hillsides covered with trees and other vegetation. Chimpanzees, baboons, bush pigs, small antelope, and a number of other monkey and small mammal species can still be found in reasonable numbers.
JGIB supports the TACARE project by issuing tree certificates. With the contribution of each certificate a young tree planted by the local community in Tanzania. Order your tree certificates today.
But the park is rather small – only 35 square kilometer in size – and outside of it the forests and most wildlife have been almost entirely eliminated due to the demands of a rapidly growing population.
Recognizing that preserving the chimpanzees and other wildlife of Gombe would require the endorsement and the active participation of the people who lived and worked in the region, the Jane Goodall Institute initiated the Lake Tanganyika Catchment Reforestation and Education (TACARE) Project in 1994. TACARE seeks to address the rapid degradation of natural resources in the area around Gombe National Park by focusing on community socio-economic development and offering training and education in sustainable natural resource management. The programme offers an innovative model for community-centered conservation, one that effectively addresses human needs while promoting conservation values.
The TACARE, or “Take Care,” approach provides local communities the tools needed to manage their natural resources for long-term economic gain and environmental sustainability. Now with an all Tanzanian staff, TACARE helps more than 170,000 people in 52 villages manage their natural resources. We offer information on the best farming methods, especially how to control and prevent soil erosion and the resulting flash floods. Hybrid, higher-yield crops, are developed and distributed. TACARE’s forestry initiative has created more than 100 tree nurseries that distribute seedlings to further reforestation efforts while employing local villagers as village nursery attendants. With TACARE’s help, villages have planted more than 750,000 trees, and a major new effort has been launched to restore natural wildlife habitat in the areas outside the park.
Local residents start small environmentally sustainable enterprises with loans from nine community-run micro-credit banks and learn to reduce firewood consumption through the use of fuel-efficient stoves. The programme also offers vital family planning information and AIDS education. JGI’s environmental education and service learning programme, Roots&Shoots, reaches youth in every project village, and a girls’ scholarship programme has helped nearly 150 local girls to attend secondary school and college. Gender equity is a cross-cutting theme in the TACARE project, and women’s and men’s equal participation is encouraged and supported in all programme areas.
Building on more than 10 years of experience in Tanzania, JGI has begun replicating the TACARE Project implementing similar programmes in Uganda, near the Tchimpounga Reserve and Sanctuary in the Republic of Congo and in the eastern region of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
In the DRC, JGI is joining an effort of Conservation International and the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International in a 2.8 million-acre conservation corridor that is home to an estimated 15,000 chimpanzees and more than 5,000 eastern lowland gorillas. JGI will work with local communities to improve primary health care in this remote region, make available family planning training and materials, and help local people develop sustainable and more efficient agricultural and livestock practices.
The Greater Gombe Ecosystem Programme launched in 2005 is an outgrowth of TACARE’s success. In this ambitious undertaking, JGI and partners use sophisticated Geographic Information System and satellite imagery mapping to plan land use with local communities, including earmarking deforested areas for regeneration.
You can also can donate directly to this project by making a transfer with reference “TACARE Tanzania”. You will receive a certificate for your donation. All banking details are provided on our contact page.