Core area “Conserving nature and natural resources, protecting life on Earth” Conserving protected areas, securing water supplies

Conserving biodiversity in Tanzania is of great significance for preserving global biological diversity. However, population growth is leading to increased use of natural resources. In addition, Tanzania is one of the countries that are most affected by the impacts of climate change. Germany is assisting its partner country in its efforts to conserve biodiversity and adapt water supply strategies to the impacts of climate change.

Area of intervention: biodiversity

Zebras and wildebeest in the Serengeti in Tanzania

Zebras and wildebeest in the Serengeti in Tanzania

Zebras and wildebeest in the Serengeti in Tanzania

Tanzania’s natural resources offer great potential for the country’s economic development. The Tanzanian government is undertaking considerable efforts to protect these assets and conserve biodiversity: 40 per cent of the country’s surface area (land and water) has been designated as protected areas.

However, pressure on these natural resources is increasing – also in the protected areas on land and sea. The results of this pressure include overfishing, unchecked expansion of agricultural land, overgrazing because of a growing number of cattle, illegal logging, water shortages and poaching.

Furthermore, the conflicts between humans and wild animals have increased: elephants are destroying fields, lions are snatching cattle, sheep and goats, crocodiles are attacking women who are fetching water.

German activities

Still from the BMZ video "Biodiversity in Tanzania"

Video Protecting biodiversity in Tanzania

The focus of German-Tanzanian development cooperation is on the UNESCO world heritage sites in Tanzania: the Serengeti National Park, the Selous Game Reserve and the Nyerere National Park and the Mahale and Katavi national parks in western Tanzania.

The aim is to improve the management of the protected areas and the living conditions of the local population. To that end, Germany is investing in social infrastructure like schools and health care facilities, and in dams for improved water supply and rural roads. In addition, people are also being given help to find alternative ways of earning a living. Development cooperation efforts also include the development of participatory land use planning. This is an opportunity for people to participate in shaping land use planning. Land titles are issued on the basis of these plans, giving people legal certainty as regards the private and the commercial use of land. Pasture management and community forests play an important role in that context.

In addition, Germany is developing effective measures together with Tanzania to mitigate human-wildlife conflicts. Population growth is forcing people and wild animals to live together in ever closer proximity. Climate change is exacerbating this competition for space. There are frequent incidences on the edges of protected areas and wildlife corridors in particular, with wildlife causing material damage and injuries or loss of life. The people affected are given the means and shown ways to avoid conflicts with wildlife and to get assistance before the situation escalates.

At the same time, Germany is giving the Tanzanian authorities assistance with regard to various aspects of managing protected areas, for example preparing management plans, providing vehicles and constructing administrative buildings and accommodation for park rangers.

The COVID-19 pandemic caused a dramatic drop in tourism revenue in the protected areas. In order to mitigate the impacts of the crisis and ensure that public facilities are able to continue operating, in 2020 and in 2021, Germany made commitments to its partner country of 35 million euros altogether for Emergency and Recovery Support for Biodiversity in Tanzania.

Area of intervention: water

Improving the currently inadequate drinking water supply and wastewater management system is an important task for the government of the country (see also Social situation). Providing the growing population with a reliable supply of drinking water is only possible if water resources are protected on the one hand and the impacts of climate change are taken into account on the other hand.

German activities

Public water supply in Tanzania

Public water supply in Tanzania

Public water supply in Tanzania

German development cooperation with Tanzania in this area of intervention focuses on water supply and sanitation in small and medium-sized towns that are growing strongly, and on water resource management.

Using Financial Cooperation resources and working with the Green Climate Fund, the BMZ is financing a project for a year-round, climate-smart water supply to serve 400,000 people in the region of Simiyu by Lake Victoria. This project includes the construction of a 100-kilometre-long water pipeline from Lake Victoria into the interior of the country.

A project under Technical Cooperation is supporting authorities in the water catchment areas in carrying out climate-smart water resource management and is strengthening local water utilities and municipal administrations in their planning for improved water supply and sanitation.

Water supply is also the focus of development cooperation with Zanzibar. Germany’s activities are aimed at facilitating participation, thus promoting social cohesion.

As at: 30/03/2023