Forest Project

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Support protection of a Zanzibar forest by creating a buffer zone & create environmental awareness

Zanzibar (Tanzania) is famous for its beautiful beaches, Swahili heritage and culture, but there is much more. Only 8 km from the world heritage site Stone town there is Masingini Forest NP, a forest of breathtaking beauty, with an abundance of flora and fauna, little fresh water streams. This gem is highly overlooked, tourists simply don’t know about this forest.

 

Unfortunately, the forest is under threat; the population of Zanzibar is increasing fast and urban desertification and deforestation and poaching are happening at an alarming speed. The areas surrounding the forest were once covered by forest and have now become residential. This is becoming a real threat to the forest.

There is an oppurtunity to diversify the tourism offer, most tour operators offer the same activities, giving visitors the impression that 4 days on Zanzibar is enough. Zanzibar has much more to offer and many more sustainable tours; nature based experiences and cultural tours can be developed. More tours and good marketing thereof will encourage tourists to stay longer on Zanzibar, resulting in more revenue for the Island, more work opportunities for Zanzibari and more protection of Zanzibar’s natural heritage. Local communities will now have alternative ways to gain an income and the pressure on the forest will be reduced and in addition, the community will be ready to protect it.

We aim to create a buffer zone between the forest and the growing residential areas by purchasing land bordering the forest, restore and reforest the land and provide nature education in an outdoor classroom to create awareness about the importance of the forest among youth and the community and to create sustainable income generating activities like eco/community-tourism.

Here we will work closely together with Masingini Forest National Park (MFNP) and their rangers to select and prepare locations in the forest for tree planting. MFNP will also be involved to train the Forest Protection Unit who will patrol the forest border by bicycle, help plant threes and monitor the three planting progress.

Project mission: protect the forest borders & herewith protecting Zanzibar’s natural heritage. By acquiring land bordering the NP we strive to protect 1 section and developed a plan contributing to this goal from a Kawa viewpoint (protecting heritage, using education as a tool to empower youth & surrounding communities to bridge knowledge and skills gaps) & create a wider range of impact.

Project proposal:

Creation of buffer zone

  • Purchasing plots bordering the forest, which are currently not yet developed with houses, though where many trees and plants have been cut already.
  • Preferably let the semi undisturbed plot re-wild itself and use only a small part of the plot as outdoor classroom and observation viewpoint.
  • Consult with the Masingini Natural Forest Reserve Rangers how to re-wild the plots in the right way to create a suitable buffer zone.

Educational activities

  • Outdoor classroom for environmental education
  • Starting point for Masingini National Forest Reserve fieldtrips for the students by the MNFR-Rangers to broaden their knowledge, without disturbing the present Masingini National Forest Reserve activities & tours.
  • (Tree)plant-activities to re-wild the area suitably as a buffer zone protecting the Masingini Forest Reserve
  • Study the development and recovery of the area.
  • Offering the present students to develop tour-programs & nature walks on private property as homework activity.
  • Develop & offer specialization course for graduates
  • Together with the local community and the Forestry department create sustainable tourism activities that benefit the region
  • Offer these tours and activities through Bluebikes Bike Rental & Tour Operator so income is generated to secure steady continuation of the project.

Funding sources

  • Initial funding from project start-up fundraising activities.
  • Flight compensation plan for people who visit Zanzibar and like to compensate their footprint locally. This includes a website app that links donations to the project.
  • Income from tours and activities organized through a social enterprise, which has the objective to provide training and experience to students and graduates. This income also consists partly of a contribution to Masingini National Forest reserve.

Stakeholders involved

  • Forestry Department
  • Communities in neighbouring shehia’s
  • Zanzibar Commission for Tourism
  • Ministry of Education & Vocational Training
  • Donors & supporters

Way forward

  • Ensure income from tourism activities in this buffer zone also include payment of entry fees to Masingini Forest.
  • Ensure environmental education is done for both KF students, as well as children from surrounding communities.
  • Knowledge sharing between Forestry Department and Kawa Foundation for the benefit of this project.
  • Public support from the Forestry Department and Kawa Foundation to support creating environmental awareness and promotion of Masingini Forest as a touristic attraction

 

Project Status

The idea came in November 2022 and a campaign was launched in December 2022 and we secured donations and loans to purchase the first part of the land.

TUI Forest Project

In the beginning of June 2023 a partnership agreement was signed between Tui Care Foundation and Kawa Foundation. The partnership envisages forest protection, rewilding, tree planting, awareness creation and  creating nature-based tourism experiences.

Currently we have purchased 1.5 hectare of land bordering Masingini Forest.

Made a temporary fence, this fence will be removed once the natural fence has grown.

Purchased 26 bicycles for the forest Protection unit and painted them green

The outdoor classroom is under construction.

Next steps

Build a nursery

Build a toilet and water tower and rainwater catchment system

More news coming soon

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