Udzungwa Forest Project (UFP)
Udzungwa Forest Project by Flamingo Land and the University of York
UFP is a forest conservation initiative in Tanzania. We feel that this project is innovative among zoo-led conservation, with a focus on biodiversity and human well-being. It is also almost entirely funded by Flamingo Land, a considerable move for a theme park.
The emphasis of the project is on the monitoring and management of indicators of forest conservation and the sustainability of human natural resource use. Education and capacity building in local villages are also central to the project. Many of the local people were previously unaware of the value of forests for water and biodiversity.
Practical activities of the project include assistance for villages in natural resource acquisition. The biggest current threats to our forest are cutting of small trees for poles and the gathering of firewood. Hence, most emphasis is placed on tree-planting and finding alternative sources of fuel. The forest is also routinely monitored for threats, wildlife populations and tree biodiversity/structure.
Outreach to the general public in both Tanzania and the UK has included classroom teaching, film, newspaper articles, internet and a pedal-powered cinema. A large number of peer-reviewed scientific publications have been produced.
Our all-Tanzanian team ensures that the project has a strong local connection. This allows us to integrate fully with the communities and managers. Ultimately, the goal is to develop sufficient in-country income generation and capacity among villages and management authorities, such that forest conservation can continue without external support.
WINNER of BIAZA Award 2011 for Best Field Conservation Project