Critical to the success of integrated coastal management (ICM) in Tanzania is the support and participation of coastal practitioners, including communities at the local level. Raising awareness and sharing experience and learning among existing ICM activities in Tanzania are two keys to building this support and participation.
In its endeavor to create such an informed community on ICM, the Tanzania Coastal Management Partnership (TCMP) served as a center for coastal management information sharing in the country. The TCMP Support Unit maintained and increased the amount of information available on coastal management to enable all interested people — whether researchers or policy makers — to access that information.
The TCMP used simple mechanisms that allowed programs to communicate easily with one another. This communications network was critical to the successful development of the National ICM Strategy, providing rapid access to local programs and key constituencies at the local level. The communication tools used by TCMP included the Pwani-Yetu (Our Coast) newsletter, the E-Pwani e-mail list-serv, and on-line access to key TCMP documents.
Local TV stations, including the national TV network, featured Voices from the Coast, a documentary video produced by the TCMP and its partner, GreenCOM, in 1999. The video, capturing coastal management issues at the grassroots level, was distributed to decision-makers and practitioners at both the national and local level. In addition, Coastal Environment and Tourism, a local TV program that highlighted coastal activities to promote environmentally sound activities, was aired weekly on Dar es Salaam Television (DTV). The program was supported by the TCMP together with GreenCOM.
The TCMP continued to strengthen the links between local and central ICM activities by bringing together all of the local programs and the TCMP working groups in semi-annual ICM retreats, one of which included an annual self-assessment. These retreats were a unique opportunity to share experience and address conflicting coastal management issues at local and national levels.