Zanzibar Volunteers for Environmental Conservation (ZAVECO) – A good practice for coastal communities comes from protection, wise management and use of available local resources in the areas. A practice that allowed a healthy biodiversity and sustainable income generating activities concurrently.
Zanzibar Volunteers for Environmental Conservations (ZAVECO) is a non-government organization functionally based on environmental issues, registered in 2017.
The organization focused on biodiversity conservation and community sustainability (economically and socially) through volunteerism, education, entrepreneurship, agriculture, aquacultures and fisheries.
It envisages ensuring that all citizens of Zanzibar communities embrace volunteer opportunities, to achieve better living socially, economically and sustaining the welfare of their local environment.
Plastic litters and poor waste manament are among the biggest problems in Zanzibar Island. With the collaboration of local community and international volunteers, ZAVECO is putting all of its strength, organizing clean-up events in different locations, especially on coastal and marine areas. Once a week ZAVECO, do regular beach cleanup in Nyamanzi and Ungujaukuu Village. Beach clean-up is also organized during national and international ceremony like world mangrove, international volunteer day, world ocean day, Zanzibar Independence Day, world peace day inter-alia, With the wide coverage of the areas
As the organization aimed to leave no one behind particularly the youths, it has purposely-integrated sport in its activities. Two football teams agreed to join ZAVECO and raise awareness on the danger of plastic pollution and the need for conservation and protection of coastal and marine ecosystems.
It is globally recognized that Mangrove provide enormous benefits; they provide habitat and nursery ground for aquatic animals, they are nature-based solutions to climate change, they are sources of livelihood for many local coastal communities. Yet they are vulnerable to degradation and exploitation.
ZAVECO with local community and international volunteers facilitate mangrove plantation in highly degraded areas like Ungujaukuu-Uzi village, Kisakasaka. Restoration of mangroves forest aimed to raise the recognition of the values of blue-carbon ecosystems, maintaining healthy and resilient biodiversity of coastal areas and contributing to sustainable income and livelihood. With the involvement of youth and local communities, restoration can be highly successful. Since 2019, Ungujaukuu village has planted more than 2,000,000 mangrove seedlings with good sign of biodiversity recovery.
Besides the need of developing new income generating activities is mandatory, so far the plan is to introduce varieties of sustainable income generating activities in Ungujaukuu, Nyamanzi and Kisakasaka. These activities include sea cucumber farming, reintroduction of seaweed farming (Ungujaukuu village), bee keeping, community ecological tourisms initiatives and others
The organization is eager to see that society has learnt and found proper ways to use or dump all plastic waste and develop a positive attitude toward resource use and conservation. Management and conservation of natural resources need peoples support, finance and input from the sciences. ZAVECO and the local communities are willing to receive any kind of support from all stakeholders.