Facilitating ecosystem stewardship to balance environmental sustainability and economic growth in Tanzania



SUSTAIN Eco is a three-year project (2023-2025) that introduces methods of governance and sustainable management practices in the Rukwa, Katavi, and the Morogoro regions to help catalyse innovative investments for nature-based solutions while protecting biodiversity and the ecosystem. The project builds on the earlier SUSTAIN initiative (Phase I), which contributed to regulating water allocation and use, village land use planning, sustainable forest management, and smallholder farmers' integration into formal value chains in the Sumbawanga landscape. It also increased investments in sustainable irrigation methods in the Katuma Catchment.

Despite these achievements, managing natural resources in the Sumbawanga landscape continues to face mounting pressures. Increased population pressures, low agricultural productivity, and weak institutional support still lead to conflicts and resource over-exploitation. Whilst Tanzania has put in place robust policies governing natural resources, enforcement is a challenge. Many businesses in the Sumbawanga landscape do not have sustainability plans and are unfamiliar with nature-based solutions. Furthermore, some businesses are engaged in practices associated with deforestation. This is also the case in the Kilombero landscape, which hosts most of the Kilombero Valley Ramsar-designated wetland system, as well as other areas of high biodiversity significance, such as parts of the Nyerere National Park, the Eastern Arc Forests, and a major wildlife migration corridor.

SUSTAIN Eco helps reverse unsustainable practices by incentivising responsible resource management and building trust between stakeholders. Led by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), SUSTAIN Eco is being implemented by SNV in the Sumbawanga landscape, and the African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) in the Kilombero landscape. Both landscapes are strategically positioned within the Southern Agricultural Growth Corridor of Southwest Tanzania – an area prioritised by the government for agriculture transformation and economic development promotion, spanning across the regions of Mbeya, Iringa, Njombe, Ruvuma, Katavi, and Rukwa.

The three-year project contributes to the following objectives:

  1. Reduce degraded ecosystem areas

  2. Reduce deforestation rates

  3. Improve landscape connectivity

  4. Improve water health and water flows

  5. Diversify and improve livelihoods

  6. Improve food and water security

SUSTAIN Eco is being implemented by the partnership in collaboration with Tanzanian ministries, local government authorities, NGOs, and local associations and communities. It is supported by the Embassy of Sweden in Tanzania.


Richard Bruno

Richard Bruno

Project Manager
Donald Limbe Mpuya

Donald Limbe Mpuya

Project Advisor Sustainable Irrigation and Water Resources
Daniel Kusongwa

Daniel Kusongwa

Land Use and Natural Resource Management

Donors and partners

What is EWRM?

EWRM, or Equitable Water Resource Management, is an approach developed by SNV that redefines water resource management with a focus on fairness and equity. Unlike traditional Integrated Water Resource Management, which primarily focuses on institutional connections, EWRM emphasises the central role 'equity' plays in decision-making, priority setting, and resource allocation. EWRM broadens the discourse and enhances the societal and organisational impacts of water management strategies.