Ecosystem services


The livelihoods of drylands’ Maasai pastoralists depend entirely on availability of ecosystem services – “the benefits people obtain from ecosystems” (2006 Millennium Ecosystem Assessment – MA). A constant demographic growth coupled with environmental factors, such as climate change impacts, can lead to critical conditions in future scenarios. In this frame, supporting mechanisms to improve a proper use of ecosystem services appear to be necessary to ameliorate livelihoods.


Here is what we are doing to improve the access to ecosystem services for Maasai pastoralists:
• Rehabilitating and expanding the capacity of existing water storage systems for livestock and human consumption up to 40,000 m³, in order to increase access to safe water;
Favouring reforestation starting from the boma fencing, creation of tree nurseries and valorisation of trees as fodder. Low cost and green energy sources such as Litre of Light bottles and biogas digesters will increase energy access;
• Participatory assessment, ecological research, vulnerability maps, networking between village and district level will be developed for the grazelands conservation.

Related Material

Ecological monitoring Piloting a tool to evaluate the effects on rangelands of climate change and poor management strategies
Wildlife Management Areas A brief that examinate two WMAs in the Tarangire ecosystem.
Suitable sites for micro dams An exercise to identify existing infrastructures and potential suitable sites for micro dams
Olkiramatian Group Ranch Field Visit A best practice on sustainable rangeland management
Pastoralism and climate change Preliminary investigations to assess vulnerability and drivers of rangeland degradation

Micro Economies

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Institutional Capacity Building

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Knowledge Raising

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Project timeline
1st year
Rangelands baseline and water storage increased capacity.
Assess the ground conditions and construct/rehabilitate the water infrastructures, understand the ecological and socio-economic scenario and design appropriate trainings to be delivered afterwards.
2nd year
Establish a women cooperative for dry meat and leather production.
Delivery of trainings to 500 women and young pastoralists, establishment of a cooperative for slaughtering, meat preservation leather tanning technique, small scale farming of drought resistant cereals.
3rd year
Establish a Climate Centre of Knowledge and improve awareness.
Set up a Climate Change of knowledge to centralise information at the headquarters at the Arusha campus of the NM-AIST University, enhance awareness and communication on the subject.
4th year
Set up a functional Climate Change Unit and capacitate staff at Arusha and Meru Districts.
Establish a CC Unit, deliver trainings to the Districts’ technical staff, deliver trainings on monitoring of Climate Change hazards, revise village land use plans to include CC.