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Management of Natural Resources Programme, Tanzania TAN-0092 (Final Evaluation)

Commissioned by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism, Tanzania, and the Royal Norwegian Embassy, Dar es Salaam

Dr Brian Cooksey (Team Leader), Mr Leonce Anthony, Dr Jim Egoe, Ms Kate Forrester, Professor George Kajembe, Mr Bakari Mbano, Ms Isabell von Oertzen, Dr Sibylle Riedmiller


November 2006

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Executive summary

The final evaluation of the Management of Natural Resources Programme (MNRP) consisted of site visits to the programme’s eleven projects, interviews with project managers and beneficiaries, and a review of programme documents and other relevant literature.

MNRP impact on natural resources and livelihoods

The MNRP’s main objective is: ‘Increased benefits to rural communities based on sustainable natural resource management in Tanzania.’ The evaluation team finds that MNRP has recorded positive achievements with regard to this objective. In terms of natural resource conservation and restoration:

  • The Catchment Forestry Project has improved the quality of forests in all project regions: the number and intensity of fires have decreased significantly, woody vegetation and canopy cover have increased, and the quantity and quality of water has improved;
  • The NCA-Katatu project has led to the regeneration of vegetation in degraded areas;
  • Partly as a result of the Mangrove Management Project, mangrove areas increased from 115,500 ha to 133,480 ha., an increase of nearly 16 percent;
  • In the Ruvu Fuelwood Forestry project, many trees have been planted, some of them valuable indigenous species. As well as planting trees on their forest plots, people have also started planting trees in their shambas, despite there being no culture of planting trees on shambas in this area;
  • Conservation measures in the Mafia Island Marine Park (MIMP) have significantly reduced the incidence of dynamite fishing;
  • The establishment of bee reserves under the Beekeeping Project has had a positive impact as regards maintaining or restoring biodiversity. The project has led some farmers to abandon tobacco cultivation and has reduced the use of bark hives, which are environmentally destructive;
  • Through the HASHI/ICRAF project, the Shinyanga people were able to restore over 350,000 ha of degraded land by 2002, raising the afforestation rate from 1,000 to 20,000/ha per year;
  • As a result of the Serengeti Regional Conservation Project, there has been a significant increase in the wildlife population following a reduction in poaching.
MNRP can also claim numerous successes in terms of increased income generation and poverty reduction among community members in project areas, including:

  • In catchment areas, households plant trees on individual plots and cut firewood and harvest grass for their zero-grazed cows. Income from the sale of honey and beeswax has enabled some families to improve nutrition, pay school fees, buy food and corrugated iron roofing sheets;
  • Heifers supplied in Karatu have generated a cash income is used for food, other domestic needs, and school fees;
  • The mangrove project has attained or surpassed project targets relating to accessing mangrove products and revenues, and involvement in diverse income-generating activities;
  • In Ruvu, people's food security has improved because they have larger, more fertile areas on which to plant a variety of crops, and because they are able to sell poles and charcoal to cover the shortfall in food during droughts;
  • The creation of MIMP has resulted in a clear increase in income within the park;
  • In pilot villages, beekeepers increased honey production from an average of 175 kg/beekeeper in 1999 to of 494 kg/beekeeper in June 2005. By 2005, the average income per beekeeper was TShs 456,000;
  • The HASHI Project has had a significant impact on household income through woodlot enclosures, with benefits from restoration estimated at USD 14/person/month;
  • In SRCP, food security has increased for employed people, including Village Game Scouts. Income from tourism has led to increased benefits to the rural communities in the 21 villages in the project area, particularly in terms of social and welfare amenities.
At the community level, income earned from various project activities, including tourism royalties, meat sales, and taxes on forest products, have financed investments in social infrastructure.

These achievements reflect positively on Norwegian-Tanzanian collaboration over a range of natural resources and their management, and on the capacity of the MNRT to translate external and national resources into positive outputs.

However, projects supported through MNRP have sometimes achieved their conservation objectives at the expense of, or with unforeseen negative consequences for, local populations. For example:

  • In catchment project areas, the benefits for communities involved in Joint Forest Management have generally been modest and limited to a few. Alternative income-generating activities have had limited impact, and there are many instances where income from forest products or other sources is inequitably distributed, with communities usually benefiting the least;
  • Livelihoods from salt making have been largely stopped as a result of the mangrove project, but it is unlikely that income generation activities, including seaweed farming and beekeeping, have generated significant benefits for many people, the poor in particular;
  • In SRCP, there has been an increase in crop destruction and danger of injury to residents, particularly be elephants, leading to food insecurity and malnutrition.
In general, project benefits are frequently limited to a relatively small number of communities and households. It is extremely difficult to assess the geographical spread and poverty reduction impact of these benefits.

There is also evidence that the taxes, royalties and fees collected from NRM-related activities accrue to central and local governments in that order, with insignificant amounts left for village communities.

Consequently, the team has major concerns over the extent and distribution of environmental and socio-economic benefits derived from the programme and therefore over the efficiency and long-term effectiveness and sustainability of NRMP interventions.

Natural resource management objectives have evolved rapidly in recent years. Community empowerment has replaced conservation as the major focus of NRM. Aid agencies have moved from projects to budget support. Local government reform emphasises participatory planning and fiscal decentralisation. The government and development partners now acknowledge ‘private sector development’ as a key component of efforts to increase economic growth and poverty reduction.

The evaluation team considers that it has proved difficult for the MNRP and MNRT to adjust to this rapidly evolving policy and strategic context, with the result that NR conservation has remained the main focus of programme activities, and top-down management practices have generally continued to characterise project management’s relations with local communities and the private sector. Despite enabling legislation, joint management and benefit sharing principles have not been mainstreamed. Consequently, handing over responsibility for programme activities to underfinanced and understaffed local governments is proving problematic, undermining the prospects for programme sustainability.


Future collaboration between the governments of Norway and Tanzania in NRM must address the following challenges:

  • Governance shortcomings on both the Norwegian and Tanzanian sides that serve to undermine community empowerment and the implementation of participatory NRM policies;
  • Multiple donors and weak internal and external aid coordination capacities;
  • Weak policy implementation and service delivery capacity at the local level;
  • Failure to integrate NRM into government and aid-supported macroeconomic, fiscal, budgetary, and poverty reduction policies.

  1. The evaluation team recommends that the evaluation results should be widely circulated and constitute an input into a broad-based debate of development assistance for NRM in Tanzania involving development partners, the private sector, and civil society organisations from national to local levels.
  2. The long-term goal of NRM support should be to make the GOT financially independent of donor aid by valuing and taxing natural resources effectively and enforcing NRM laws and regulations.
  3. Enhanced accountability or popular ‘voice’, the rule of law, the efficiency and effectiveness of service delivery, and corruption control are all critical for improved NRM. To signal the importance of these issues we propose a new objective for future Norwegian support to NRM, namely: ‘improved governance in NRM-related institutions in national and local government, communities, and the private sector.’
  4. Rather than being considered semi-autonomous ‘sectors’, marine, forest, and wildlife hunting and tourism need to be integrated into the mainstream of economic planning, taxation and regulation, and the team recommends that Norway take a more pro-active role in furthering this process among development partners.
  5. The importance of addressing the aid coordination issue and confronting the moral hazards attached to targeted aid for these sectors needs to be stressed.
  6. The evaluation team strongly recommends that future Norwegian aid for project XI (MIMP) should be conditional on the implementation of major changes in MIMP’s management as recommended in previous reviews and research, and corroborated by the evaluation.
  7. GON must decide on its comparative advantage in relation to the various NR subsectors, in particular, wildlife management for tourism and hunting, freshwater and ocean fisheries, and forestry. The desirability of supporting the forestry SWAP, and the modalities of such support, will emerge as a result of these processes.

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