This project aims at fighting rampant deforestation and land degradation in the Usambara mountains by improving the capacity of SEKOMU to do demand-driven research linking forest rehabilitation to improved livelihood strategies. For this purpose, the proposal aims to establish 5 ‘living labs’ on local school grounds, each comprising a common garden forestry experiment, a non-timber forest product pilot project and a mixed agricultural trial including the common garden trees. Such research infrastructure is scarce in Tanzania and non-existent in the Eastern Arc Mountains, which are very different in climate and soils as opposed to the more intensely studied systems on basalts. The project moreover intents at strengthening research and outreach capacity. It is a cooperation between KU Leuven, UAntwerpen and SEKOMU and brings together expertise on different aspects of forest ecology, soil science, agronomy and dairy production. The expected results are ready-to-use research plots, databases, procedures and digital tools and a project proposal for further research.
01/01/2020 - 31/12/2021