African Rainforest Conservancy (ARC)

ARC's mission is to conserve Tanzania's Eastern Arc Mountains and Coastal Forests by raising the capacity of local conservation networks and encouraging sustainable economic development. Current projects are being implemented in two of Conservation International's "ten most threatened forest hotspots" - the coastal forests of Eastern Africa (#8) and the Eastern Afromontane (#10). These forest hotspots have as little as 10 percent of their original forest habitat remaining, yet are home to at least 1,500 plant species found nowhere else in the world. The Eastern Arc Mountains and Coastal Forests are globally important for their biodiversity values; nationally important as the water...
Apr 28, 2015

West Usambara Updates and New Initiatives for 2015/2015

West Usambaras:

The team has been finalizing some of the construction work and following-up on the various water, micro-finance, agriculture, and bee-keeping initiatives.

Gorta, the previous donor, has indicated that it is unlikely that they will resume funding in the near future due to a shift in their organizational focus: away from water and into improved seeds.  As such, we still urgently need funding that will enable us to support the communities to demonstrate, for the first time in Tanzania, a successful integrated forest and water resources management plan!

New initiatives for 2015 - 2016:

The Forest Justice in Tanzania initiative is back in action with an ambitious work plan for this year that aims: to set forest conservation issues firmly on the nation's agenda as we get ready for elections; to tackle the current systemic distortions that result in the government spending almost nothing on the management of the nation's most important forests;  and to empower communities to benefit more from their forests through sustainable forest-based enterprises.

With agriculture being the main cause of deforestation in Tanzania, we are also on track to help communities in South Ngurus, East Usambaras and Rubehos to adopt more sustainable and more climate resilient agriculture in ways that avoid deforestation.

Jan 22, 2015

Achievements and Challenges of TFCG-West Usambara

The African Rainforest Conservancy's (ARC's) field partner, the Tanzania Forest Conservation Group (TFCG), has been working in the West Usambaras in Tanzania for the past 15 years in participatory forest management and income generating activities. The West Usamabaras are very important due to a high presence of endemic species and water catchment areas. But more than 90% of the forests have been cleared for on-going agriculture practices and timber logging. In addition, people are very poor and don't have access to reliable, safe water.


  • 11 villages established participatory forest management
  • 380 bee hives distributed to 15 villages and about 500 beekeepers benefited
  • 929 litres of honey harvested by beekeepers and a total of $10,400,000 TZS ($5,675 USD) earned between June 2013 and October 2014
  • One beekeeping cooperative has been registered by Tanga Cooperative and a total of $963,000 TZS ($525 USD) in shares and registration fees collected by members
  • About $136,000,000 TZS ($74,223 USD) worth in shares contributed by village saving and lending groups
  •  42 tree nurseries established and about 500,000 tree seedlings planted annually
  • Fire campaigns conducted in 21 villages every year
  • 2,200 improved stoves distributed in 21 villages
  • 60 fish ponds established in 10 villages
  • Two Water User Associations formed and social assessments conducted
  • 10 domestic water supply projects constructed in 11 villages benefiting 12,000 people
  • Construction of rain water harvesting infrastructure in 15 primary schools
  • Training and installation of 10 low cost rainwater harvesting tanks
  • 2000 farmers stopped shifting cultivation after being trained on improved agriculture techniques through farm field school
  • Introduction of conservation agriculture techniques: raising horticultural crops, kitchen gardens, terracing, agro-forestry and drip irrigation
  • Water management using drip irrigation techniques introduced to 10 villages

 Challenges and Lessons Learnt:

  • Lack of continued funding in 2015
  • Lack of reliable market for agricultural produce
  • Pest and disease for agricultural crops
  • High cost of materials for construction of water projects
  • Illegal harvesting of trees for timber and poor communication between community and forest officers
  • Lack of infrastructure for irrigation
  • High demand for establishing more village saving and lending groups
  • Lack of equipment for processing other bee products, such as bee wax and proporis

Thank you for so generously donating to this project to conserve Tanzania's rainforest. We are so grateful for the outpouring of support we have received and are grateful for this opportunity to partner with GlobalGiving to mobilize a network of people who so passionately care about the future of Tanzania's forests and the people who call them home. It is humbling to know that real progress is being made, but we are always mindful of all that still remains to be done.

Please forward this email - tell your friends why you chose to support this project and ask them to make a gift too. It is amazing what we can accomplish when we all do our small part!

Please also follow us on Facebook (African Rainforest Conservancy) and Twitter (@EasternARC) to get more up-to-date information on events and projects on the ground.

Dec 9, 2013

Tanzania's Vanishing Rainforest

Tree which was felled illegally and burnt
Tree which was felled illegally and burnt

Did you know that the Coastal Forests of Tanzania are among the ten most threatened in the world? We're not talking about the most threatened in Africa or East Africa for that matter, we're talking about the entire world. This is huge and this is why for over twenty-three years ARC has been at the helm to conserve Tanzania's forests. And thanks to people like you who support and champion our work we are currently working to conserve over 250,000 acres of high-biodiversity forest in eight mountain and coastal regions throughout Tanzania (this encompasses nearly 150 villages and 300,000 people). 

One of the Coastal Forests we are currently supporting is the Ruvu South Forest Reserve (RSFR) - one of the most extensive areas of coastal forest in Tanzania. The government of Tanzania has long neglected the reserve, which has allowed illegal charcoal production to take off due to the forest's proximity to the major urban center of Dar es Salaam. While working hard to advocate for joint management of this forest (national policy and law support community participation in the management of government forest reserves), ARC's field partner the Tanzania Forest Conservation Group (TFCG) has been supporting a variety of forest management, advocacy, and development activities with the ten villages that neighbor RSFR to help mitigate forest loss (remote sensing analysis and field surveys indicate that this forest will be gone in less than 20 years if loss continues at its current rate). 

Give today to help us save what is left of Tanzania's rainforest!!! On behalf of all of us at ARC, THANK YOU for helping us conserve Tanzania's forests for generations to come. 

If you live in or near New York City, we would love for you to join us at our 23nd annual Artists for Africa Benefit this January 29th at The Bowery Hotel, where you can learn even more about our mission to support grassroots community development and conservation projects in Tanzania. We will be celebrating Thomas Kaplan, the founder of Panthera, and Sarah Collins, the inventor of Wonderbag, by honoring them with our New Species Award and Environmental Innovation Award.  More details about this special event for our cause can be found here or purchase tickets here

Asante Sana! 



Teak trees
Teak trees
Kaeco group forest borders Kanga FR
Kaeco group forest borders Kanga FR
Artists for Africa fundraiser Invitation
Artists for Africa fundraiser Invitation

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