Enhancing Tanzania's Enabling Environment for Sustainable Landscape Restoration

Published: 09 December 2023
Last edited: 09 December 2023
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The Restoration Initiative country team in Tanzania, in collaboration with key partners, has contributed to enhancing in-country enabling environment for sustainable landscape restoration (SLR) by strengthening relevant national policies, legislations and strategies, improving institutional capacity and incorporating cross-sectoral planning mechanisms supporting SLR. With these actions, TRI has directly contributed to the formulation of the National Forest and Landscape Restoration Strategy. This strategy is aligned to the newly launched policy milestones - the National Environmental Master Plan for Strategic Intervention, the National Forest Policy Implementation Strategy, and the National Environmental Policy. Together, the policies and strategies outline strategic objectives for landscape restoration, define priority measures and actions to be taken for FLR, set critical restoration targets, establish stakeholder roles on restoration, and establish financing and monitoring arrangements for restoration.


East and South Africa
Scale of implementation
Forest ecosystems
Temperate deciduous forest
Legal & policy frameworks
Erratic rainfall
Land and Forest degradation
Loss of Biodiversity
Conflicting uses / cumulative impacts
Lack of access to long-term funding
Lack of alternative income opportunities
Lack of public and decision maker’s awareness
Lack of technical capacity
Sustainable development goals
SDG 13 – Climate action
SDG 15 – Life on land
Aichi targets
Target 2: Biodiversity values integrated
Target 7: Sustainable agriculture, aquaculture and forestry
Target 15: Ecosystem restoration and resilience




The greatest challenges TRI Tanzania as well as other restoration projects are facing is competing and conflicting conservation and socio-economic priorities. Policy revision and reformulation has been slow, with existing frameworks about a decade older with limited potential to address emerging challenges and opportunities. Similarly, politicians’ priorities can shift during election cycles at the expense of conservation objectives. Producing policies that withstand transitions in regimes and priorities is essential in promoting FLR. The highest policy priority is often given to socio-economic development, which, without the sustainability lens, translates into incompatible land uses and degradation of forests and landscapes. Restoration policies aim to balance restoration goals with economic development and demonstrate how conservation can ultimately benefit and sustain socio-economic development.


The beneficiaries are ministries and agencies, which gain guidance on mainstreaming and mobilizing SLR implementation. Local authorities benefit as local plans integrate SLR aspects which will improve conservation and protection of the environment.

How do the building blocks interact?

By reviewing relevant national policies, identifying their gaps and providing recommendations, incorporating cross sectoral mechanisms, and building institutional capacity for mainstreaming SLR in sectoral and local action plans, TRI Tanzania successfully contributed to enhancing the enabling environment for SLR. The policy review resulted in the National Forest Implementation Strategy, which consists of reviewing an existing forest policy with a situational analysis and establishing restoration targets. Through the review and generation of concrete policy recommendations, TRI helped define priorities on policy making. TRI and its Government and CSO partners contributed to the preparation of the National Forest and Landscape Restoration Strategy, revision of the National Environmental Policy and formulation of the National Environmental Master Plan for Strategic Intervention and the National Forest Policy Implementation Strategy. Similarly, the greater consideration of cross-sectoral mechanisms in the review and extension of new policy elaboration to more stakeholders, ensured the policies considered cross-cutting issues. Ultimately, the provision of tailored training helped build institutional capacity for mainstreaming SLR.


The policy milestones facilitated by TRI and its partners in Tanzania are contributing to major differences with previous practice related to restoration, catalyzing a broader uptake of restoration goals and actions, and marking major steps towards the country and project’s ultimate restoration goals. While in previous frameworks issues of landscape degradation and restoration were addressed in silos, the newly established frameworks have promoted a more integrated approach that brings together stakeholders as well as different sectoral ministries, CSOs and the private sector. The current frameworks are transformative in that restoration is more prominent with clear targets and mechanisms on how to deliver on Tanzania’s restoration agenda. They outline the key drivers of degradation, degradation hotspots and priority restoration interventions, which will inform programming within and outside the government and facilitate the development of measures addressing the key drivers of degradation in the country. With enhanced  policy and regulatory framework that promotes restoration and sustainable land use, local actors will be better able to pursue restoration activities while securing their livelihoods. Additionally, the four frameworks policies will ultimately contribute to the realization of  Tanzania’s restoration, biodiversity and climate resilience commitments and targets.


“For many years, I have been living on subsistence farming. Due to low yields, I highly depended on forest resources for collecting firewood for household use and income. We have used a small number of cattle to graze freely in the forest reserve. We noticed the trend of a declining landscape but cared more about our well-being and our livestock.


As farmers, we had challenges – inadequate rains, poor farming practices, deteriorating soils and pests and diseases. All these resulted in very low yields. Our cattle did not increase in numbers as anticipated due to limited access to nutritious fodder and inadequate extension services. The combined income from crop and milk sales couldn’t help meet family needs. I heard about The Restoration Initiative at a community meeting organised to sensitise villagers on environmental protection and sustainable livelihood practices. TRI’s community development officer called for community participation in this project to help address land degradation and improve our livelihood. Through TRI, fellow members of our women's group and I were supported with three improved local cattle breeds and received training on raising them. We were trained to grow fodder for livestock and apply climate-smart agriculture (CSA) practices and technologies. We were further supported in post-harvest management and marketing of milk. With TRI support, milk yield has increased more than five-fold from 1-2 litres to 10 litres per cow daily. In terms of revenues, based on an average price of TZS 950 (USD 0.41) per litre, this represents an increment in revenues from TZS 1,900 (USD 0.8) to TZS 9,500 (USD 4.1) per cow per day.


We are just at the beginning. Rearing improved local cattle is a new thing to us in this community. We are seeing the value of this project, and so are many community members, particularly women and youth. Other villagers are contacting us and the district officials to connect in this initiative. More agro-pastoralists are eager to convert to sustainable livestock management practices to reduce encroachment and degradation of the forest reserves and water sources. We are now operating as a group, which is a farmer field school in our community. Our plan, however, is for each group member to have their own cattle. We are keen to intervene along the milk value chain and explore a bigger market for our products." 

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Leah Bronstein IUCN

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Vice President's Office
Vice President's Office