Restoring Balance

What was once a balanced co-existence between wildlife and pastoralists has shifted in recent years. Today, population growth, changing social values and structures and climate change impacts are causing increased pressures, resource scarcity and conflict. We’re trying to restore an ecologically and economically thriving landscape that supports both people and wildlife, and is resilient to future stress from climate change and human population growth.

Landscapes and Livelihoods at Risk

Comprising roughly 3 million hectares, the northern rangelands cover the heart of Tanzania’s Great Rift Valley, spanning across some of Africa’s most recognized landscapes – Tarangire and Lake Manyara National Parks, Lake Natron and the Simanjiro Plains. The savannah rangelands support the livelihoods of resident pastoralists as well as small groups of unique hunter-gatherer communities such as the Hadzabe and Akie. These grasslands are central to the regional economy, and are ecologically significant to migratory wildlife.

Today, increased pressures such as human population growth, competing land use interests and resource limitations are threatening this landscape and the people and wildlife that depend on it. Insecure land and resource rights and weak local governance institutions are fueling the problem. Farmland is rapidly replacing and fragmenting rangeland, resulting in pastoralists and hunter gatherers as well as wildlife losing access to the land and resources they depend on. Livelihoods, cultures and biodiversity are being degraded and lost, with serious implications for the tourism industry as well as the livestock sector, both of which depend on the continued coexistence of people, wildlife, and cattle in these rangelands.

The Northern Tanzania Rangelands Initiative (NTRI) is a collaborative effort comprised of multiple, diverse organizations, which seeks to reverse current trends and permanently protect this landscape, for the benefit of people and nature.


The challenges we face

A brighter future through collaboration

In northern Tanzania, we have a tremendous opportunity to protect, transform and inspire real change. Conservation and development organizations have been working in this landscape for many years. However, there is little coordination between sectors; no true sense for other actor’s skills and strengths; no shared vision that addresses the whole; and scarce, dated or unreliable landscape level data about human well-being, livestock and wildlife. We believe that if we can improve collaboration between actors in northern Tanzania, we have a massive opportunity to permanently protect this system for people and nature. In order to encourage collaboration and enhance coordination among the area’s many actors, and to have greater and necessary impact, organizations have joined forces to form the Northern Tanzania Rangelands Initiative (NTRI).

NTRI provides a platform enabling the sum of the parts to be greater than the individual efforts. We believe that by implementing an integrated development and conservation approach that empowers local people, improves resource tenure, improves the benefit flow from sustainably managed resources and ensures that the matrix of government and community lands are better managed, we will be able to protect the critical livestock and wildlife dispersal, movement and grazing areas for generations to come.


Solutions for a brighter future

Our Approach

NTRI through its partners provides a comprehensive set of solutions to problems of resource tenure, and the continuing obstruction of critical livestock and wildlife movement areas. NTRI can only address this by also addressing effects of climate change on local communities, the need for increased protection of elephants and predators, and the limited economic incentives from pastoralism and tourism. NTRI’s combined set of strategies includes a focus on increasing incentives for particular land and conservation practices, livelihood diversification to mitigate risks associated with climate change and an increasing dependency on agriculture, while improving food security.

our approach