The Biodiversity Program, implemented by the Indian Ocean Commission and funded by the European Union, accompanies the United Republic of Tanzania to review its State of the Coast (SOC) and Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) strategies. The main objective will be to provide updated and reliable information about the current state, trends and pressure facing the coastal and marine environment in the country. The studies are led by the Western Indian Ocean Marine Association (WIOMSA).
This expected report will incorporate new and emerging issues such as invasive species (terrestrial and marine), pollution from land based sources of activities, port development in coastal areas, biodiversity loss, hydrocarbon extraction, climate change, blue economy concept, marine spatial planning approach etc.
The coastal area of Tanzania include approximately 1,424 km of coastline (including major islands and islets) and some 17,500 km² of shelf area. This coastal area makes up to 15% of the country's land area, which is characterized by a rich ecological niche of coastal forests, pristine beaches, diverse coral reefs, and seagrass beds that harbour fauna and flora species diversity.
This rich coastal area has a high ecological and economic importance for the local population, as nearly three-quarters of Tanzania's industries are located there. About 25% of the country's population lives in the coastal area. Most of them depends on the available coastal natural resources for livelihoods. Major occupations include artisanal and commercial fishing, seaweed farming, terrestrial crop farming, industrial production, sea cucumbers, etc.
The coastal area is under increasing pressure from those who depend on these resources for their livelihoods and is therefore of conservation importance. Overexploitation that includes destructive resource extraction methods is the major threat.