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Project Name

Reversing Land Degradation trends and increasing Food Security in degraded ecosystems of semi-arid areas of central Tanzania (LDFS)

GEF Implementing Agency



To reverse land degradation trends in central Tanzania and Pemba (Zanzibar) through sustainable land and water management and ecosystem-based adaptation.


Joseph Kihaule


Project Targets

3,500 ha

land under integrated and sustainable management

1,222,854 MtCO2e

GHG emissions avoided or reduced


beneficiary households




Stakeholders engaged

Tanzania is home to nearly 600 terrestrial species that are classified as vulnerable, of which 291 are endangered and 91 critically endangered. However, land degradation, agricultural expansion, fires and unsustainable land use practices have resulted in significant degradation of flora and fauna, as well as the destruction and degradation of land for agriculture and livestock. Consequently, productive land is becoming increasingly scarce. 

Climate change is leading to prolonged dry spells, increasing temperatures, and decreasing total annual rainfall. Farmers are also reporting a delayed onset and increased intensity of the wet season. The unpredictability of rainfall has caused an increase in crop failure due to poor seed germination and seeds and crops being washed away. Similarly, livestock pastures are decreasing in size and the risk of parasites and diseases is increasing. 

The RFS Tanzania project supports farmers in 22 villages located in the Kondoa, Mkalama, Nzega and Magu areas in mainland Tanzania and the Micheweni area in Zanzibar (Pemba Island). These project sites are located in two of the country’s main biomes, the humid Miombo ecosystem and the Rift Valley Highland ecosystem, each with unique natural resources and biodiversity. 

The project is structured around three principal components:

  1. Building capacity of customary, village and district institutions in Natural Resource Management and joint village land-use planning;
  2. Supporting the sustainability of ecosystem services and food and nutrition security in five focus areas; and 
  3. Monitoring and assessing progress related to sustaining ecosystem services. 

The project aims to meet the following targets:

Capacity of customary, village and district institutions developed in Natural Resource Management and joint village land-use planning.

  • Establish at least 1 inter-village Natural Resources Management Committee per district. 
  • Train at least 10 staff per district, 5 staff per village, and 3,000 community members, with more than 30% of women and more than 30% of youth, in participatory joint land-use mapping, planning and regulation in support of sustainable land management, forest conservation and sustainable agropastoralism.

Sustainability of ecosystem services and food and nutrition security supported in five focus areas.

  • Enable 3,000 households to report improved soil health and increased productivity and income generation from agropastoral ecosystems.
  • Create 100 Farmer Field Schools with 25 participants each. 
  • Establish 20 tree nurseries. 
  • Place 25,000 ha under conservation and climate-smart farming and sustainable management. 
  • Reforest or afforest 4,200 ha of woodland, rangeland and degraded land.

Monitor and assess progress related to sustaining ecosystem services.

  • Strengthen district and national Monitoring and Assessment capacities to document progress in ecosystem services and household resilience. 

The project is coordinated by the Vice President's Office (VPO) Division of Environment. Major stakeholders of the project include the District Executive Directors of respective project districts; Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries (MALF); Ministry of Water and Irrigation; Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism; Prime Minister's Office Regional Administration and Local Government; Ministry of Finance and Planning; and the National Land Use Planning Commission.

Project Activities

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