The fifth sub-strategy of Tanzania’s National Integrated Coastal Environment Management Strategy was to promote the development and use of effective coastal ecosystem research, monitoring, and assessment systems that allowed available scientific and technical information to inform integrated coastal management (ICM) decisions. To help implement this strategy, the Tanzania Coastal Management Partnership (TCMP) established a Research and Extension (R&E) Working Group.
This group provided the primary bridge between coastal managers and the scientific community studying coastal and marine issues. The R&E group provided a clearinghouse mechanism for the integration of science and better coastal management. In specific they:
- Promoted information access and data sharing by employing a range of communication and dissemination strategies
- Provided advice and guidance related to scientific questions, studies and investigations; data management; and sampling and monitoring efforts that are necessary to improve the scientific foundation for coastal management
- Developed recommendations and promote mechanisms for integrating and strengthening national coastal monitoring, assessment, research and modeling
- Used the best scientific information available to relate status and trends to human causes and consequences
- Provided research and extension services to coastal districts
The R&E group successfully completed two comprehensive State of the Coast Reports (2001 and 2003). These reports provide up-to-date overviews of the status and trends in the condition and use of Tanzania’s coastal resources, and the quality of life in coastal communities. These reports were based on best available scientific information and local knowledge. The goal of these reports is to help those government agencies, donors and practitioners which are involved in coastal planning and management to develop and promote sustainable coastal development strategies and actions.
The R&E group also collected and documented important research material that is useful for resource managers, marine scientists, politicians, university graduate students and anyone (local and international) concerned with marine sciences in Tanzania. The R&E group prepared monitoring guideline for the districts who are engaged in ICM action planning.