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A woman wearing a blue and white head covering smiles in front of a small hotel.

Photo credit: Georgina Goodwin / Shoot The Earth / WWF-UK

Photo credit: Georgina Goodwin / Shoot The Earth / WWF-UK

Nachingwea’s miombo forest is near the Selous, one of Africa’s largest and most threatened forest reserves.

About Nachingwea, Tanzania

Nachingwea, a district in the uniquely biodiverse Ruvuma landscape, is one of Tanzania’s poorest regions. Its communities rely largely on subsistence farming and are increasingly subject to the impacts of climate change, such as erratic rainfall resulting in droughts and floods. Women are especially vulnerable to these events due to the gender roles and socioeconomic marginalization that reduce their access to information, resources, and decision-making power— and thus, their ability to contribute to climate change resilience. Climate change also affects food security. In a 2016 baseline survey, under 1% of households reported enough nutritional diversity in their diet; 8% reported inadequate dietary diversity; and 91% reported very inadequate dietary diversity.

The CARE-WWF Alliance project sought to address these environmental, economic, and social challenges through an integrated initiative that promoted climate-smart poverty alleviation approaches to natural resource management and economic development.

The project ran in six villages from December 2015 to June 2019 to achieve the following objectives:

  • Resilient agriculture. Poor smallholder farmers, especially women, adopt climate-smart agricultural practices, increasing production of nutritious food and reducing impacts on water, soil, and forests.
  • Financial inclusion and diversified livelihoods. The rural poor, especially women, engage in diversified, sustainable livelihood activities to earn and save more income.
  • Sustainable community-based conservation. Community-based organizations enable local, sustainable management of Miombo woodlands, freshwater resources, and wildlife.
  • Inclusive and effective governance. Poor women and other citizens hold community and district authorities (duty-bearers) accountable for decisions that affect ecosystem integrity as well as their livelihoods and well-being.

About Nachingwea’s miombo forest

The miombo forest is part of a vital woodland network that houses some of Africa’s largest elephant herds. Unfortunately, it is also subject to illegal logging and poaching activities due to high poverty rates. Because the communities surrounding the forest rely on it for food, shelter, and income, the Alliance centered its work around four main outcomes:

  • Community-based conservation organizations demonstrating more equitable access to and sustainable management of miombo forest
  • Women smallholder farmers adopting climate-smart agriculture practices on their farms
  • Local communities engaging in diversified, sustainable livelihood activities
  • Local communities, especially women, demonstrating a greater ability to hold duty bearers accountable for decisions that affect ecosystems.