Zanzibar made a policy commitment to use an Integrated Coastal Area Management (ICAM) approach as it works towards achieving a new but sustainable balance of uses for the coast as development proceeds. The overall objective is to provide for the best long-term sustainable use of the nation’s coastal resources and to maintain Zanzibar’s high quality coastal environment. The ICAM approach could provide the necessary framework to achieve this objective.
Zanzibar’s ICAM pilot project was located on the southeast side of Unguja Island about 20 kilometers from Zanzibar Town. It encompassed the coastal area of Chwaka Bay and the Michamvi Peninsula as far south as Paje. There are seven small villages in the area with a total population of about 10,300. These villages are Chwaka, Uroa, Michamvi, Bwejuu, Paje, Ukongoroni, Marumbi and Charawe. The Chwaka-Bay Paje initiative was started with the aim of building momentum towards national integrated coastal area management and developing necessary experience in coastal management at the local level. The Chwaka Bay-Paje Area was chosen as a demonstration area for a number of reasons:
- The Chwaka Bay-Paje coastal resources are important both at the local and national level for fisheries, tourism, seaweed farming and coastal thicket and mangrove harvests.
- The area is confronted by most of the critical coastal issues found throughout Zanzibar. For example, it faces a rapidly expanding international tourism industry within an area comprised of traditional villages and societies, thus posing a threat of conflicts between tourism and local cultural values. Consequently, the program managers felt that management approaches and techniques developed here could be useful to other areas.
- Eminent local people recognized that changes were occurring and that problems would arise unless necessary actions were taken in full consultation with local people.
The management objectives of the project were to:
- maintain the coastal resources base on which the economy depends so as to sustain and enhance village economies
- encourage environmentally and culturally sensitive tourism development within the area which benefits both the local residents and the nation
- foster harmonious relationships between and among non-traditional and traditional activities
- utilize and build upon existing laws, policies, regulations, institutions and experience to achieve ICAM goals and objectives.