Enguruka Landscape ShotHoneyguide Foundation has officially launched a joint natural resource management and economic development initiative with three other implementing partners among five villages that extend from the Tarangire-Manyara ecosystem toward Lake Natron.

As funded by the Belgian government and developed by Trias Tanzania, the Synergy Project aims to boost local economic development through the sustainable management of land and natural resources among five villages in and around the Manyara-Longido-Lake Natron livestock and wildlife migratory route.

Effectively, the new initiative could potentially expand Honeyguide’s wildlife and natural resource protection efforts by more than 500 square kilometers over a critical corridor inhabited by nearly 35,000 people. Synergy has also brought Honeyguide into synergistic harmony with other organizations implementing complementary programs of land use planning and land security, livelihood and enterprise development, and natural resource management.

Other implementing partners include the Ujamaa Community Resource Trust (UCRT), MVIWATA Arusha, and the Wild Nature Institute (WNI). The villages covered in the program include Enguruka Juu, Enguruka Chini, Losirwa, Selela, and Esilalei.

“We are thrilled to join our new partners to work with these communities,” said Damian Bell, Honeyguide’s Executive Director. “We know such communities fall into conflict with wild animals. Hyenas kill their cows. Zebras eat their maize. Honeyguide will first help prevent such problems and promote the coexistence of humans and wildlife.”

Having established a MOU with Monduli District, the Synergy partners have begun to conduct their baseline surveys and assessments among the villages and plan to begin implementing initiatives by the end of the year.

In recent years, researchers have more closely studied the connectivity of the Tarangire-Manyara ecosystem with the Enguruka Valley, Gelai Plains, Lake Natron, and even beyond, bringing our current conceptions of what defines an ecosystem into question. Refer to some of the recent work of researcher, Tom Morrison, and company, such as a piece published in Oryx specifically on wildebeest migrating between Tarangire-Manyara and Lake Natron. Read more about his work here.

“It is wonderful that donors and so many organizations have recognized the importance of this area and its communities,” said Bell.

Beyond the Belgian government and support of Trias, additional co-funding partners for the Synergy Project include The Nature Conservancy, the Dorobo Fund, Maliasili Initiatives, and the Wildlife Conservation Society, all of which contributed via the Northern Tanzania Rangelands Initiative (NTRI). Honeyguide Foundation also received support for this project from our primary partner and donor, Big Life Foundation.