Usimamizi Endelevu wa Maliasili is a multi-sectoral five-year intervention implemented by Lawyers’ Environmental Action Team (LEAT) together with one Rukwa Sustainable Development Organization (RUSUDEO). The intervention is designed to tackle threats on biodiversity through the use of multiple natural resources governance tools. In particular, the project intends to conserve land, wildlife, forests, and water resources on one hand and build the resilience of local communities and ecosystems in Rukwa through improved natural resources governance on the other.
LEAT envisions for communities in Lyamba lya Mfipa in both Nkasi and Sumbawanga districts, Rukwa region, with increased knowledge and skills on management and governance of public resources; effective natural resources governance frameworks; ability to willingly participate in natural resources management and the adoption climate change risk-reducing practices; eagerness to question and demand accountability from duty bearers and institutions with the mandate to manage the natural resource, leading to equitable benefit sharing, stronger governance systems, reduced conflict over natural resources, and increased oversight.
To achieve the aforementioned project results, LEAT and the sub awardee will directly strengthen the capacity of 2311 community members and local government officials including district officers (forest, environment, land, water, beekeeping, planning, community development, fishery, agriculture, mining), division officers, ward councilors, ward education coordinators, ward executive officers, ward community development officers, ward tribunals, village councils, village natural resources committees, village land councils, community-owned water supply organizations, water users associations and villagers. The Activity will similarly reach 5,000 villagers (in school and out of school) through public sensitization meetings on natural resources management, climate change, and social accountability monitoring.
Likewise, to adapt and mitigate climate change effects, the project will work with Rukwa community to plant 400,000 environmental friendly trees; facilitate 300 households with energy-efficient stoves; form 15 Social Accountability Monitoring (SAM) teams; support the promulgation of 15 village by-laws; facilitate the development of 5 land use plans from the 15 targeted project villages and assist the provision of 1,000 Certificates of Customary Rights of Occupancy (CCROs), and work with 15 income-generating groups to derive income from environmentally friendly natural resources activities.
In all phases of project implementation, LEAT will ensure proper engagement of like-minded stakeholders including USAID’s Lishe Endelevu Project, Land Tenure Assistance (LTA), Jane Goodall Institute (JGI), Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), media outlets, small-scale producers and other NRM projects and thus enhance collaboration, learning, and sharing of experiences for the integrated environment and natural resources management. All project activities will be publicized through the use of Rukwa based community radios.