Reshaping the terrain: Landscape restoration in Tanzania

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Landscape degradation in Tanzania has occurred since the era of imposed colonial administrative policies, compounded by unsustainable environmental and land management practices due to local demand for agricultural land and fuel wood. For example, in the 1920s, the colonial administration instituted a programme in Shinyanga Region, which demanded local people to cut down large areas of the Miombo and Acacia woodlands to eradicate tsetse flies, opening up grazing land for the Wasukuma agro-pastoralist tribe. Although this program was successful in terms of its aims, it led to regional landscape degradation. As human and livestock populations increased, demand for fuel wood and farmland for food and cash crops grew in tandem, leading to large scale deforestation (Barrow et al. 2004).

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