The Ruvuma Landscape includes parts of both Southern Tanzania and Northern Mozambique. It extends from Lake Niassa/Malawi in the West, along the Ruvuma River basin, to the Indian Ocean in the East. This area includes a number of globally important eco-regions - Miombo Woodlands, Eastern African Coastal Forests, Lake Niassa/Malawi and Eastern African Marine - and marks the interface between the Eastern and Southern Africa bio-geographical regions.
The vegetation is dominated by miombo woodlands and has an abundance of large forest blocks. These forests serve as important biological links for wildlife to migrate between the Selous Game Reserve (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) of Tanzania and the Niassa Game Reserve of Mozambique. Together, these constitute the largest trans-boundary natural dry forest ecosystem in Africa, covering 150,000km2.
Despite its ecological importance, the Ruvuma Landscape faces huge conservation and development challenges, such as: encroachment by pastoralists, shifting agriculture, illegal logging, poaching and gem stone mining. In 2014, we partnered with the World Wide Fund for Nature in Tanzania, MJUMITA (Mtandao wa Jamii wa Usimamizi wa Misitu Tanzania) and Local Government Authorities to address these challenges. We have joined forces to support rural villages, initially in Tunduru District, to unlock the economic value in Ruvuma's forests by setting up village forest reserves and managing these for sustainable timber production. The benefits provide beneficiaries with concrete incentives to protect their forests from further exploitation and illegal practices.