Ruvuma Region



Community-based natural resources management, institutional support and capacity buidling, beekeeping, non-timber forest products, economic development.


  • Community- Based Organizations (CBOs) of Wildlife management Areas of Nalika and Mbarangandu


  • District Councils of Tunduru and Namtumbo
  • Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism (MNRT)


The Ruvuma region, located in southern Tanzania, is one of the poorest and most landlocked in the country. Its local economy depends on a combination of slash-and-burn agriculture and direct exploitation of natural resources. Game hunting, the main formal economic activity, exploits the majority of the region’s forest space as hunting blocks. However, recent discoveries of numerous mineral deposits in the region (diamonds, uranium) and the advance of pioneer agricultural frontiers (tobacco, rice farming) directly threaten the conservation of these natural spaces. The illegal extraction of natural resources manifests itself through illegal logging and poaching of protected species like the elephant.
Human pressure on natural resources increases due to migration, natural population growth, and the introduction of new hunting techniques (fishing, introduction of automatic weapons in poaching). Both agriculture (conversion of ecosystems into agrosystems) and mining have a strong environmental impact but ultimately contribute little to poverty reduction.
This is why several villages in the region have joined forces to set up community Wildlife Management Areas (WMA) to secure conservation and the sustainable use of natural resources in the corridor. They identified beekeeping as a potential source of additional income to game hunting revenues. More recently, collecting and marketing mushrooms have also been identified as a potential source of income.
The attempt to formalize diversified exploitation has been a first in Tanzania but presents important challenges.


The “Selous Niassa Beekeeping Support Program” supported the development and formal integration of village beekeeping activity into the management of Wildlife Management Areas (WMA). The program existed in 17 villages, in the districts of Namtumbo and Tunduru. These 17 villages participated in the management of two WMAs, that of Mbarangandu in Namtumbo and that of Nalika in Tunduru. The area covered by these two WMAs totals more than 5’000km2 and covers the entire northern part of the Selous-Niassa corridor.
The program, with offices in Namtumbo, existed in coordination with two other international cooperation initiatives. The goal was to secure the conservation of the ecological corridor linking the Selous wildlife reserves in Tanzania to those of Niassa in Mozambique. The Selous Niassa Wildlife Corridor Project was a UNDP and GEF initiative implemented by GTZ-IS that supported the establishment of WMAs on the Tanzanian side of the Selous Niassa corridor. KfW supported the Corridor Conservation Initiative through aid to corridor districts, put in place by the Wildlife Conservation Society of Tanzania.
ADAP provided logistical support (supply of equipment, participation in the building of offices, etc.) from 2006 to 2011 to community-based organizations (CBOs) in charge of managing WMAs. ADAP also supported the development of the community beekeeping activity as follows:

  • Organization and formalization of groups of beekeepers
  • Delimitation of areas within the WMA’s, favorable to beekeeping
  • Technical training in beekeeping and the construction of modern beehives

ADAP helped identify new practices as alternatives to environmentally destructive activities. It particularly supported the mushroom sector.

The project then pursued its initial objectives to develop beekeeping at the village level and improve the quality and quantity of bee products through numerous training sessions. Beekeeper groups at the village level received technical and/or management training. Gradually, identification and organization of market access received more attention during the training sessions.

At the institutional level, the project supported efforts to formally integrate beekeeping into WMA management.

Envisioning sustainable income-generating resource management for local communities, ADAP supported a marketable quality mushroom initiative. For this, it relied mainly on grassroots community management organizations, districts, and other Tanzanian partners. Finally, ADAP worked closely with UNDP’s and KfW’s cooperation projects in the region.


The central government formally registered and recognized both CBOs of Nalika and Mbarangandu. The process of creating WMAs has been completed, since the two CBOs received their Authorized Association status, allowing them to enter into a contractual relationship with hunting operators for the promotion of WMAs. Further partnerships resulted in the creation of the CBOs offices in Namtumbo and Tunduru.

Beekeeping has been integrated formally into the functioning of WMAs, with specially dedicated, demarcated zones in each. Beekeeping production requirements (presence of mostly melliferous trees, proximity to water resources) and management (accessibility, proximity to villages) are at the base of demarcating these zones.

The groups of beekeepers were organized, registered, and trained thanks to our partner TAWIRI and fruitful exchanges with our partner in western Tanzania, the Inyonga Beekeepers Association. More than 1000 beekeepers have organized themselves in 40 groups from the 17 villages in the intervention zone. And more than a thousand modern beehives were built in the WMAs. From a marginal production during its infancy, the project’s production has grown to more than 12 tonns of honey in the last year of the project.

An early study on edible mushrooms revealed the significant potential represented by this sector. This triggered our partners UNDP and KfW to invest in a mushroom sector, which resulted in training courses for the collection, drying, and storage of mushrooms for producer groups.

At the turn of 2010, ADAP learned that mining companies had identified a large uranium deposit in the areas covered by the WMAs. Strongly backed by the Tanzanian government, the first wells were drilled in 2011, with many located in beekeeping production areas. The first reaction was to remove and salvage the beehives.
Pressures quickly increased and tensions appeared with the District and the Region since foodstuffs production is incompatible with uranium production. Faced with the growing uranium mining project and the subsequent declassification of a part of the Selous Game Reserve, ADAP started a dialogue with the government and the Swiss embassy. ADAP decided to terminate its project by the end of 2011.



Project duration
17 villages in the Namtumbo and Tunduru Districts, Ruvuma Region.
809’000 CHF, of which 720’000 came from FGC and 89’000 from KfW, PNUD-GEF, and ADAP.
Project beneficiaries
35’000 persons
Local partners
Community Based Organisations (CBOs) of the Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) of Nalika and Mbarangandu
ADAP CH project officer
Mr. Yves Hausser
Please contact us for more information


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