Posted on 19 July 2005
The Rufiji-Mafia-Kilwa Seascape covers an area of approx. 9,000 km2 on the central Tanzanian coast. It includes the largest contiguous block of mangrove forest (the Rufiji Delta ) on the Eastern African seaboard and extensive coral reef areas (Mafia and Songosongo Islands).
These habitats harbour the equal highest levels of coral & fish biodiversity in the region; highly important prawn, finfish & invertebrate fisheries; important turtle nesting sites and the only remaining dugong refuge in Tanzania. The area was selected as one of 8 high priority 'seascapes' under the Eastern African Marine Eco-region (EAME) planning process in 2001-2002.
The Rufiji-Mafia-Kilwa Seascape has a human population of approx. 140,000 and this social context governs the programme's strategy. The 'seascape' concept mirrors the terrestrial 'landscape' approach and recognises the need to look beyond protected areas to the wider geographic, social and economic context. It takes as its starting point the fundamental links between environment and poverty and between biodiversity conservation and sustainable livelihood development.
For more information on the programme's objectives and activities, please download the factsheet from this site.