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The Wildlife Conservation Society of Tanzania (WCST) is an independent, membership and non-profit making organization founded in 1988 in Tanzania. Its main objective is to assist the government in conserving flora, fauna and the environment within Tanzania.
The Wildlife Conservation Society of Tanzania (WCST)’s mission is to work towards the conservation of flora, fauna, and environment of Tanzania for the benefit of mankind and is Tanzania’s only national conservation organisation.
WCST strives to come up with solutions to conservation and protected area management that incorporates the needs of forest adjacent and natural resource dependent communities. WCST is helping to develop community-based initiatives through which local people will benefit from key habitats, and thus have an interest in their long-term survival and integrity. WCST is also committed to supporting government and non-government institutions manage and monitor key landscapes and species. Since 2010, WCST is implementing a REDD+ pilot project, Piloting REDD in the Pugu and Kazimzumbwi Forests, as part of national REDD+ readiness efforts.
WCST is the designated national partner of Birdlife International and works with that organization and other international and local collaborators to conserve areas of critical importance for the nation’s avian diversity. These include areas such as the Usangu Game Reserve, Uluguru Mountains, and Usambara Mountains, where WCST works in the field to address conservation challenges. In 2003 WCST published, with support from Birdlife International, the landmark text, Important Bird Areas of Tanzania, by Neil and Elizabeth Baker.
WCST’s Arusha Branch was revived in 2002 after about eight years of dormancy. The Branch was revived in order to revitalize WCST’s efforts to achieve its mission in the northern part of the country and to respond to pressing conservation issues in the region as perceived by a growing number of past and present WCST members. The Arusha Branch is still in the process of revitalizing its membership and activities in the region. Initial efforts include the establishment of a Tanzania Natural Resource Forum which brings together different actors and organizations to improve communication, information sharing, and develop collaborative solutions to natural resource management challenges in northern Tanzania.