Beyond Rufiji-Mafia-Kilwa (RUMAKI) Seascape; Shaping the Future of WWF Tanzania’s Marine Programme | WWF
Beyond Rufiji-Mafia-Kilwa (RUMAKI) Seascape; Shaping the Future of WWF Tanzania’s Marine Programme

Posted on 28 November 2019

WWF Tanzania Country office in its process of putting together a 5 years Country Strategy has embarked the discussions that will facilitate the establishment of a Seascape conservation area. The RUMAKI plus strategy will be implemented for five years 2021 – 2026.
The Country Director, Dr Amani Ngusaru, emphasised the valuable roles that marine ecology plays in supporting the  livelihoods of coastal communities and economic development.Besides, he stressed the goal of aligning the Marine Programme Strategy to WWF Global practices and National Frameworks to assist in securing and establishing funds to invest in maritime and ocean education, training and capacity building.
Dr Ngusaru noted the vital role WWF has played in Marine capacity building and emphasised the importance of collaboration on training, research, and technical support with like-minded partners and the Government.
He noted that conservation of marine biodiversity is the bedrock to its sustainability and stated, “We want to see seascapes rich in biodiversity and providing benefits for people and nature. We are doing an impressive job in community-led conservation and blue economy is our focus – to restore, manage and protect the  natural habitats . We will leverage the Power of Three: Coral Reefs, Seagrasses and Mangroves. In the next five year our mission is to protect and increase climate change resilience of the coastal ecosystem.”
The Dr. Ngusaru  also raised the question as to what kind of transformation is needed in fisheries. He proposed that close collaboration with Government institutions in capacity development and documentation of success would be of great benefit, and stated, “We need transformative action within the sector that will allow improved management of marine resources. Active collaboration and partinership are important for   mainstreaming biodiversity into wider development policies, plans and projects to deliver the co-benefits of biodiversity conservation and improved local livelihoods.
The three-day workshop sessions guided discussions included: Geographical Scope, Seascape Situation Analysis, Strategy Scope, Targets and Vision, Threats, Drivers and Opportunity (SWOT analysis), Problem Analysis, Result Chain, Define Objectives and Indicators to mention a few. The focus of the workshop often turned to crosscheck the gaps in the Result Chain; Global practices, national priorities, social policies and ongoing initiatives.
Recurring discussions throughout the workshop focused on the need to diversify marine programmes by looking beyond building the capacity of Beach Management Units (BMUs). Instead focus on blue economy, promoting community-led conservation (CBNRM), climate change reliance and habitat restoration and conservation. Improving multi stakeholder’s engagement and increasing the public recognition of marine conservation also emerged as key to making the marine programme more relevant, and for the sustainability of the  marine resources, ensuring there are ample opportunities for women and youth.
Other challenges recognised included lack of emphasis in marine habitat conservation, fragmented national and regional marine legal frameworks, natural resource extraction (oil,gas,sand etc), plastic pollution, as well as the need to keep up with the ever-advancing technology in the industry. Suggestions for improving include identification of key species, conservation of marine habitat, National and Regional advocacy, investing in research as well as embedding land and marine programmes-integrated programming.
Dr Simon Lugandu, WWF Tanzania Conservation Manager, delivered Contextual Framework from Global Overview presentation for the workshop and emphasised the need align the Marine Programme Strategy to WWF Global goal, practices as well as the Regional and National Frameworks.
 “As we develop this strategy, we should take in to account the National and Regional Frameworks; one is the Tanzania Development Vision 2025 along with other sectoral policies such that we remain relevant in the Country and at the Regional Level. On the other hand, our marine interventions are expected to shape the global agenda- Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) - on economic, social and environmental development. “He further noted that discussions should focus on addressing main drivers of biodiversity loos. And, he suggested that Strategy needs more recognition on drivers and should formulate means to address them especially those related to climate change and food security.
In the 2015-2020 Strategy, WWF Tanzania marine programmes are categorized in two parts; nearshore fisheries that focus on management of the RUMAKI Seascape and Tuna in the Western Indian Ocean (WIO).With two distinct goals, both programmes complemented each other to promote conservation of National and Regional significant biodiversity and oceanic species.Of equal importance, contribute to improving the livelihoods of men, women and youth in coastal communities. With such a high internal consultation, the workshop will undoubtedly contribute to shaping the future of Marine Programmes beyond RUMAKI Seascape and Tuna and will help to set an agenda for fisheries biodiversity, habitat restoration and offshore fisheries.
A WWF team member presenting
© Diana Shuma