Project Implementation of Concrete Adaptation Measures to Reduce Vulnerability of Livelihoods and Economy of Coastal Communities of Tanzania

Project General Information


Tanzania AF project


Climate change

Climate Change



1.5 Key aspects of vulnerability – the coastal zone as priority area

Tanzania will be impacted by climate change mainly through its effects on rainfall patterns, temperature extremes and sea level rise. The direct impacts of these changes are likely to result in more frequent and intense droughts, the destruction of infrastructures in the coast and inland through flooding, inundation, erosion and storms; if no action is taken, the socio-economic impacts will include agricultural yield decreases, decreased water availability and quality, and losses of lives and livelihoods, as well as the accelerated degradation of ecosystems that form the basis of the Tanzanian economy.

The coastal zone of Tanzania was selected as a priority area for adaptation investment in the NAPA and National Communications because it is home to the 75% country‘s industries and at least 32% of its national income, because at least 25% of the country‘s population depend on its resources, and because it represents an area where all aspects of vulnerability can be found – and addressed - simultaneously. The coastal zone is also home to some of the most ecologically fragile areas, such as mangroves, wetlands and reefs, which are vulnerable to climate change and human pressures but also represent opportunities for adaptation.

The coastal zone can be divided into North and South, with the north experiencing (under normal conditions) bimodal rains, and the south under unimodal rains. The mainland coastline extends about 800 km excluding near shore islands, bays, lagoons and estuaries. Ten major rivers drain into the Indian Ocean, of which Pangani in the north, Rufiji in the middle and Ruvuma in the south are the main ones, and smaller rivers such as Zigi, Wami, Ruvu, Matandu, Mavuji, Mbwemkuru and Lukuledi. These rivers influence the coastal environment through the creation of productive brackish water environments in estuaries, maintenance of deltas, tidal flats and 12

shorelines, and nourishment of mangroves and seagrass beds. This in turn has a positive influence on fisheries.

The coastal and marine environments include major estuaries, mangrove forests, coral reefs, sandy beaches, cliffs, seagrass beds and muddy tidal flats that provide key livelihoods and environmental services. Sandy-muddy flats or rocky reef platforms are found in the intertidal zone, while the sublittoral zone consists of extensive seagrass beds and coral reefs. These coastal ecosystems interact with each other and together sustain a tremendous diversity of marine life, which is an important source of sustenance for coastal communities. For instance, a wide range of important and valued species are found, including an estimated 150 species of coral in 13 families, 8,000 species of invertebrates, 1,000 species of fish, 5 species of marine turtles, and many seabirds.

21 The map in Figure 3 below illustrates the key ecological features of the Tanzanian Coastline. In the coastal regions overall, agriculture is the most important sector in terms of employment and income. Most men and women are farmers but the agricultural potential remains to be harnessed as productivity is low, mostly due to lack of appropriate technology, extension service support, and supply of inputs.

All Tanzanian land is a public owned property but it is given to people for occupation. There are diversified land tenure systems in the coastal regions. As an example, in one survey undertaken in rural coastal settings, 54.5% households surveyed bought the lands from previous occupiers 22.2% obtained land through government allocation, 21.7% inherited the portions of land from their ancestors and an insignificant part of population (1.6%) are renting premises where they live


Fishing is the second most important livelihood activity and source of income for inhabitants of coastal villages. Artisanal fisheries contribute more than 96 percent of total marine fish landings and 60% of protein intake for coastal populations. Fish and mollusks are the main source of protein for coastal people. An estimated 30% of coastal households also engage in seaweed farming. The number of artisanal fishermen in the coastal regions is estimated to have grown by an average 40% over the past 2 decades in all coastal regions. The number of people employed in fish processing and marketing it estimated to be five times the number of fishers, which would be about 96,465 people or 2.17 % of the population in the coastal districts22.

Demand for forestry products in coastal regions is growing rapidly, especially due to population increases and to increasing costs of other fuels. Because it is largely unlicensed and traded informally charcoal remains considerably less expensive than other sources of energy since its price does not reflect the full cost of production. Timber cutting, and sale of wood or charcoal is an important economic activity for villagers, one that allows for generation of income without any capital investment (since wood is harvested for free). Forests in coastal regions are cut for household cooking; for fuelwood in the production of lime, salt, and charcoal; construction; boat building; crafts; and to clear land for low input, extensive agriculture. Wood and charcoal are the source of energy for most residents of coastal regions including Dar Es Salaam city, in Tanzania. 13

It is estimated that per capita use of wood fuels in coastal areas is 1 to 1.5 ton per year (1998, Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism) 23.

The tourism industry, which depends on coastal resources and ecosystems, is already a major source of foreign exchange, accounting for about 16% of national GDP. A large proportion of total tourism infrastructures are located along the coast in areas close to major urban development and are vulnerable to coastal erosion.

Other economic occupations in the coastal regions include salt-making (in and around mangroves), lime-making, and stone-quarrying. Tourism, an increasingly important industry in Tanzania, is based on the preservation of natural resource and biodiversity assets. Tourism operations in Tanzania coastal zones consist mostly in diving and snorkeling. Tanzania receives more than 600,000 visitors annually, mostly due to its natural resources and wildlife. Most tourism (more than 80%) in mainland Tanzania is concentrated inland, whereas coastal tourism infrastructure is less developed as compared to Zanzibar. In 2000, tourism employed 28,000 people, with most of the posts created in wildlife reserves

24. Coastal tourism remains relatively under-developed, other than in Zanzibar, where it is the chief touristic product.

Full Size Project(FSP)




Adaptation Trust Fund

Stage Grant to UNEP Grant to other IA Co-Financing UNEP Fee Other IA Fee
$ 4,616,188.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 392,376.00 $ 0.00




Executing Agency Category
National Government Agency

Partner Category

Name Category Period
Ermira Fida

Low Risk


Fiscal Year Project activities and objectives met

$ 0.00