Conserving Zanzibar’s Natural Forests

The forests of Unguja and Pemba Islands in the Zanzibar archipelago lie less than 40 kilometers from the Tanzanian mainland and form an important part of the East Africa Coastal Forests Eco-region. The area is considered one of the world’s top 200 “hotspots” for biodiversity.

Today, natural forests are mostly found on rocky land or areas left behind during the establishment of coconut and clove plantations. Despite their global biodiversity and climate-regulating values, these forests are rapidly disappearing due to local people’s dependence on forest goods (especially wood for fuel) and an absence of ready alternatives to logging or clearing land for agricultural fields and infrastructure. This pressure is exacerbated by insecure land tenure and forest rights, which reduce people’s motivation for sustainable use.

  • Published: September 2009
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