Green Economy in East Usambara Biosphere Reserve

As a strategy for poverty reduction and improved environmental management of natural resources for Sub Saharan Africa (SSA), a Community Based Natural Resources Management Programme (CBNRM) has been conceived. In line with this strategy, the Green Economy in Biosphere Reserve Project, under the UNESCO Man and the Biosphere (MAB) Programme, is being implemented in Tanzania, Ghana and Nigeria since November 2013. In Tanzania, the youngest Biosphere Reserve, East Usambara (registered in 2000) has been targeted as a project site.

The main goal of this project is to conserve biodiversity, reduce poverty and contribute to sustainable development in sub-Saharan Africa, specifically for the United Republic of Tanzania through biodiversity businesses in Biosphere Reserves.

The following are the objectives of this project:

1. Diversification of the economy through improved and alternative biodiversity related livelihoods;

2. Reduce the pressure on forest as a result of fuel wood extraction for heating and cooking purposes;

3. Build the capacity of communities in a holistic manner to ensure the sustainability of the biodiversity businesses and to conserve the resource-base of their business.

The project in Tanzania focuses in the promotion of green businesses as alternatives for sustainable livelihoods of local populations in and surrounding the Biosphere Reserve. Five green businesses have been selected and skills development programme introduced to benefit the population in the project: mushroom farming, butterfly farming, spice farming/ spice tree nursery, fish farming, beekeeping, and alternative charcoal production. Since 2014, around 800 individuals have been trained on entrepreneurship, business planning, and revolving fund management while improving their technical skills for the undertaking of the different green businesses. 56 groups out of 78 have developed revolving fund systems, adopting strategies for investment based on teamwork as independent business groups. Recently, 20 groups are in on-going process of registration as green business associations.

For more information:


Ms. Zulmira Rodrigues

Head and Representative of UNESCO Dar es Salaam Office in Tanzania

UNESCO Dar es Salaam

Plot 59 Mtwara Crescent, Oysterbay,

Dar es Salaam,

United Republic of Tanzania Representative

Sustainable Living
Level of education: 
Training / capacity-building
United Republic of Tanzania