Jane Goodall Institute to Expand Conservation with USAID Grant

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) awarded a four-year $5.5 million grant to the Jane Goodall Institute to expand its community centered conservation programs in western Tanzania, home to chimpanzees and other endangered species.

The work will be done in partnership with the Tanzanian District Councils of Kigoma and Mpanda, The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and the Frankfurt Zoological Society.

"We are truly honored that USAID has awarded us this grant," said Jane Goodall, Ph.D., DBE, founder of the Jane Goodall Institute and UN Messenger of Peace. "These funds will allow us to broaden our efforts to help local people in an underdeveloped area improve their lives and thus enable them to become our partners in protecting valuable ecosystems and the chimpanzees and other species that depend on them.  The award speaks to the professionalism and dedication of our Tanzanian team on the ground."

Since 2003, with the support of USAID and other major donors, the institute and its local and international partners have invested more than $7 million into landscape-scale community-centered conservation projects focused on the Greater Gombe Ecosystem (GGE) around Gombe National Park and the Masito-Ugalla Ecosystem (MUE) directly to the south. These resources supported efforts to collect baseline biological and socio-economic data; develop detailed Conservation Action Plans; help villagers develop land-use plans; assist communities in implementing conservation-friendly methods of farming, cooking and other practices; and employ threat abatement initiatives that support the conservation of endangered species, particularly chimpanzees, and their habitat.

To date, the institute's efforts have resulted in:

  • More than 87,000 hectares of village forestlands being placed under protection by villagers;
  • The development of detailed land-use plans by residents for 21 villages across the two ecosystems;
  • The adoption of more sustainable agricultural practices by 40 percent of the farmers in the GGE;
  • The generation of more than $400,000 in additional income for coffee farmers organized in cooperatives around Gombe National Park;
  • The creation, training and support of 17 micro-credit associations; and
  • The creation of more than 70 school-based environmental education clubs involving more than 5,500 young people.

The Greater Gombe Ecosystem and Masito-Ugalla Ecosystem initiatives are both concluding their first phase of implementation.  Despite the achievements the two projects have made, there is still considerable need for community support in the region focused on both biodiversity preservation and the promotion of livelihoods that will lead to successful long-term conservation and economic development.

In the next four years, the program will focus on improving forest management; creating income-generating opportunities that are compatible with conservation objectives; promoting sustainable agricultural practices; expanding HIV/AIDS awareness and education; and reducing fire incidences.  In addition, the program will involve educating local stakeholders about climate change and helping them to develop mitigation strategies.

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