Recently in Tanzania Category

Seacology Project Updates

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Seacology is currently supporting almost 200 projects on islands around the world. Below, we have updates on two of our recent projects. Visit our website to see news on all Seacology's projects.

Pemba Island, Tanzania - Infrastructure and trail development, information and marketing materials, and ecotourism initiatives for community conservation of the Pemba flying fox.

Off the coast of Tanzania in East Africa, the island of Pemba is part of the Zanzibar archipelago. The island is home to the endemic Pemba flying fox, a threatened species found nowhere else on the planet. The fox is threatened by loss of their forest habitat and by hunting. With Seacology's support, the Pemba community is promoting conservation of the fox and its habitat. Project components include a new tourist information center, signage, trails, and a tour guide program. The project is also promoting ecotourism and alternative livelihood ventures that include basketry, pottery, and bead making. The Seacology project has inspired other conservation programs in nearby communities on Pemba. We are optimistic that with so many efforts, the Pemba flying fox population will remain healthy for years to come. 

Umbu Langang, Sumba Island, Indonesia - Freshwater system in support of the protection of 7,414 acres of rainforest and savannah for a minimum duration of 10 years

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On Indonesia's Sumba Island, Seacology is working with Umbu Langang Village to protect over 7,000 acres of rainforest and savannah. The protected area borders Manupeu Tanadaru National Park, which contains rare sandalwood habitat for several endemic frog, butterfly, reptile, and bird species. Umbu Langang borders the park, and has agreed not to expand their farms, protecting 5,931 acres of forest and 1,483 acres of mixed savannah. Seacology originally agreed to support the village's conservation efforts with a critically needed fresh water system. When that project was completed under budget, Seacology approved the remaining funds to be used for a "living kitchen," or community garden, which will be supported in the dry season with the new fresh water system.

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As of June 2010, the fresh water systems continues to run smoothly and provide many benefits to the village. Additionally, 100 village women are involved in the "living kitchen," farming small plots of land near their homes and adjacent to the fresh water pipes. Many of these women are on their second plantings, and many of the vegetables have flourished, including cauliflower, water spinach, tomatoes, and chilies. Villagers report that routine patrols are being conducted in the national park. Although there was once instance of monkeys being trapped, the conflict was resolved and the rangers are continuing to patrol with vigilance.


Children at the Falealupo Rainforest School, SamoaThe project that originally launched Seacology took place in Falealupo, Samoa and has remained a wonderful example of Seacology's win-win strategy. In the early 1990s the Samoan government told this remote village that if they did not build a better school, teachers would be removed and their children would not be educated. Having no other source of revenue, the villagers sold logging rights to their rainforests. Before this could happen, however, Seacology co-founder and chairman Paul Cox worked with the village chiefs and raised the funds for the school in exchange for a covenant protecting the 30,000 acre rainforest. The Falealupo Rainforest School was constructed, and since that time Seacology has had a close relationship with the village.

Leapfrogging to New Technology

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The term "leapfrogging" refers to the development concept where a developing country bypasses less efficient technology to take advantage of more advanced technology. An excellent example of this is the cell phone. Cell phone towers are being constructed all over the world, and buying a mobile phone has proven far more effective than ordering a landline phone to rural places.

Solar-powered cell charger.jpgIn Africa, where Seacology recently expanded its reach to Pemba Island in Zanzibar, many people are buying cell phones. The Kenyan man at left is showing two forms of leapfrogging: a cell phone and a solar-powered charger.

Leapfrogging has been explored in numerous articles, demonstrating its importance to the developing world: In Business Week's "Upwardly Mobile in Africa," the special report discusses how cell phones have fueled business growth and allowed people to call for emergency services like medical help. Jeffrey Sachs, a Columbia University economist, calls the cell phone "the single most transformative technology for development." Abwao Oluoch's article on AllAfrica.com discusses the mobile phone industry in East Africa, and Jason Pontin's New York Times article "What Does Africa Need Most: Technology or Aid?" debates the benefits of humanitarian aid and new technology. Mr. Pontin's article discusses his visit to the Technology, Entertainment and Design Global 2007 conference in Tanzania, coming to the conclusion that Africa needs both aid and technology.