0
RCF project in Tanzania

In April, 2010, RCF added a new project to our rainforest conservation efforts, located near and around the Amani Nature Reserve, in surrounding forest fragments and farmland of the East Usambara Mountains of Tanzania.

Led by RCF Advisor to the Board Dr. Norbert Cordeiro (Roosevelt University, Chicago) and Dr. Henry Ndangalasi (University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania), the project works with local residents from 3 villages to conserve and restore the threatened cloud forests and the biocultural diversity of the area.

Dr. Henry Ndangalasi (left) and villagers processing seeds and seedlings in the screenhouse at Emau Hill, Amani.

Dr. Henry Ndangalasi (left) and villagers processing seeds and seedlings in the screenhouse at Emau Hill, Amani.

The main component of the RCF funded project is the planting of more than 30 native tree species on communal lands. Some of these lands are forest fragments that are enriched by the tree planting, while others are agroforestry systems that are rebuilding forest cover. To help raise local incomes, cinnamon and clove trees are also panted in the agroforestry systems. Local residents are well aware that restoring forest cover will also help them with wildlife, water and soil conservation.

Another key component of the project is training village technicians to manage seedling nurseries and monitor tree growth once the seedlings are planted. Along with local villagers, students from the University of Dar es Salaam work with Drs. Cordeiro and Ndangalasi on the project. The project teams are also in the process of creating a seedling identification guide in Swahili and English to educate young villagers on how to identify valuable, endemic tree species of these threatened cloud forests because this knowledge and ability to identify seedlings has been disappearing. The first laminated draft of the guide has been completed, with 102 species, and distributed to villagers, with the help of students from Roosevelt University and the University of Illinois-Chicago.

Villager in the forest adjacent to 4 acres of farmland where native and agroforestry trees will be planted.

Villager in the forest adjacent to 4 acres of farmland where native and agroforestry trees will be planted.

During the course of the project, team researchers have discovered a new carnivore in the area – the Servaline Genet! Read more about this study and discovery and see cool photos in the article from the link below:

First Record of the Servaline Genet (Genetta servalina) in the East Usambara Mountains, Tanzania

For a study on fruit bats from the area:

Seed Dispersal in the Dark: Shedding Light on the Role of Fruit Bats in Africa

Your support for RCF helps make this project possible! Please join us as we try to expand this project in 2013-14. Your contribution can go directly to this important and innovative project.

(clock-wise from top-left): Enumerating seedlings by species in the screenhouse; sowing seeds of a native tree species. Screenhouse with approximately 4000 planting tubes.  Unique discovery of the seedling of Myrianthus holstii (Cercropiaceae) which looks nothing like that of the palmate adult leaf (also shown).

(clock-wise from top-left): Enumerating seedlings by species in the screenhouse; sowing seeds of a native tree species. Screenhouse with approximately 4000 planting tubes. Unique discovery of the seedling of Myrianthus holstii (Cercropiaceae) which looks nothing like that of the palmate adult leaf (also shown).

Farmland in Neluzasa that was replanted with tree seedlings in 2011.  Villager with Dr. Henry Ndangalasi.

Farmland in Neluzasa that was replanted with tree seedlings in 2011.
Villager with Dr. Henry Ndangalasi.

Beginning of a small tree nursery near farmland. Villager with Dr Henry Ndangalasi.

Beginning of a small tree nursery near farmland. Villager with Dr Henry Ndangalasi.

Tree seedling of immense local value, planted in farmland and doing very well by June 2012.  Brucea antidysenterica (SIMAROUBACEAE) is known for the treatment of dysentery from amoeba.

Tree seedling of immense local value, planted in farmland and doing very well by June 2012. Brucea antidysenterica (SIMAROUBACEAE) is known for the treatment of dysentery from amoeba.

Farmland in Neluzasa that has been replanted with over 2000 tree seedlings and interspersed with clove and cinnamon trees.

Farmland in Neluzasa that has been replanted with over 2000 tree seedlings and interspersed with clove and cinnamon trees.

Members from the villages of Mbomole and Shebomeza discussing strategy for planting seedlings in farmland in May 2012.

Members from the villages of Mbomole and Shebomeza discussing strategy for planting seedlings in farmland in May 2012.

 

Seedlings of Chrysophyllum perpulchrum (Sapotaceae) growing in screenhouse in Emau Hill before being taken for planting in farmland nearby.  This species is known for treating fevers in Ivory Coast (western Africa) and has a number of similar medicinal uses in Tanzania.

Seedlings of Chrysophyllum perpulchrum (Sapotaceae) growing in screenhouse in Emau Hill before being taken for planting in farmland nearby. This species is known for treating fevers in Ivory Coast (western Africa) and has a number of similar medicinal uses in Tanzania.

 

Share