Pilot Phase of Training With African People & Wildlife in Tanzania


Representatives and partners of the Aid by Trade Foundation recently had the opportunity to participate in the pilot phase of the ACTIVETM community engagement training programme by African People & Wildlife (APW). Together with Alais Morindat, the director of APW’s ACTIVE programme, and additional members of African People & Wildlife’s staff, Alexandra Perschau, the head of standards and outreach at AbTF), and Dr Ben Sekamatte, a Ugandan agricultural expert and consultant for Cotton made in Africa, as well as eight members of CmiA partner companies from Tanzania and Zambia took part in an exciting training trip through Tanzania. On this trip, they learnt, both in theory and through practical project examples, how to successfully integrate village communities into measures addressing habitat protection and human–wildlife conflicts. They also participated in theoretical and practical exercises to find out whether the programme can be applied to the CmiA context and to cotton-growing communities.

The Tanzanian NGO places particular emphasis on monitoring, evaluation, and learning in its work. Its success is measured based on a precise evaluation of challenges and on close collaboration with communities, and their relevant committees. Decisions on which information to monitor are made together. The programme also makes a point of providing the collected data to the communities directly and in a timely manner, thereby enabling them to quickly and independently decide on a course of action. It is impressive how APW combines the simplest means and traditional knowledge with the latest technology, for instance recording human–wildlife conflicts with precise GPS data through online dashboards or documenting pasture conditions and the prevalence of invasive species.

The CmiA group was excited by the training events and AWP project visits, including a honey processing centre operated in Loibor Siret by apiarist women’s groups, as well as by committee meetings and discussions on human–elephant conflicts in Oldeani, a community directly bordering the Ngorongoro Conservation Area.

“We were able to identify many common areas of interest,” says Alexandra Perschau looking back on the trip. “We can learn from each other, e.g. how to build income-generating activities into environmental protection projects. I was personally touched by how the whole CmiA group delved into the learning process, began reflecting on their own approaches, and recognised the opportunities that arise when communities are wholly involved in sustainable cotton cultivation. What I personally took away from this is that we at the Aid by Trade Foundation have to do everything in our power to keep agricultural land fertile and to restore eroded areas. This is the only way to ensure that elephants, gnus, zebras, and many other wild animals in Tanzania retain enough of their natural habitat.”


Credit Picture: Emily Paul/African People & Wildlife

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