Freedom to grow and be.
The Tarangire Ecosystem is an area of pristine natural wilderness. Its wide horizons include a diverse array of habitats, and the animals that roam its expansive terrain provide one of the world’s most precious reserves. They are a living reminder of an untouched world in which the balance of nature reveals itself in stunning beauty.
Our founders, Fabia and Nicolas, know that the beauty of the land is something our generation has inherited. It is a treasured and fragile legacy which, if we do not continually work to protect, we will not be able to bestow upon our children.
The mission of the Chem Chem Association is founded on the deep love and respect Fabia and Nicolas harbour for the tremendously delicate ecosystem in Tanzania. It is this passion that they share with their guests, donors, community, family and friends so that in the future, the communities they work to protect will build an ever-stronger connection to the land and continue the meaningful work of the Association themselves.
We recognise that the only way we can make the difference we envisage, is to actively engage with all the members of the communities. We want to create and inclusive environment where each person is a part of the decision-making process in the development of the communities and the conservation of the precious wilderness in which they live. Join us on this journey together as we foster commitment for a sustainable future for all.
As growing communities with nowhere else to go encroach on unfenced land, conflict inevitably arises with the wildlife of the area.
In rural Africa, herders face daily challenges in their efforts to protect their livestock from lions and other predators. The herders perceive threats from wildlife and inflict their anger and resentment by killing these animals because they want to eliminate the risk to their livelihoods, or they may simply be wanting to exact revenge. Another of the issues arising from the close proximity of people and wildlife is the raiding of crops by elephants. This, for many villagers, is a matter of life and death. Without the produce obtained from the subsistence farming that is a salient feature of life in the rural areas, whole communities can be threatened with dire shortages of food.
By supplying predator-proof bomas that protect livestock against predators, monitoring lion movements and persuading elephants back into the reserve, we are working to prevent the damaging clash between people and animals. We have planned for future projects in all our conflict areas such as building more predator-proof bomas, establishing education programs that will teach children that peaceful coexistence with our wildlife heritage is achievable and expanding our Lion Sentinel programme, to strengthen and extend our initiatives in preventing the damaging clash between people and animals.
Poaching is a scourge that not only threatens the wildlife that it destroys, but also the long-term sustainability of the region as a whole, including the people who live in it. Our antipoaching project focuses on the immediate need to protect the targeted animals which requires equipment, manpower and training.
The Tarangire-Manyara Ecosystem has become a refuge for elephants, a place where they can be safe from the cruelty and the wanton destructiveness of poaching. It now supports not only the largest concentrations of elephants in Tanzania, but also the highest numbers of big tuskers of Tanzania. We conduct joint anti-poaching initiatives with government agencies and coordinate them throughout the ecosystem with intelligence-led operations. These operations are not only undertaken in order to protect wildlife against poaching for ivory and items traded on the black market, but also against the destructive practice of bushmeat poaching. Future projects we have planned include undertaking aerial patrols and training anti-poaching teams in state-of-the-art techniques.
The concessions managed by Chem Chem are surrounded by a grand ecosystem, an organism far greater than the sum of its interdependent parts. But to preserve this natural world, we must first understand it.
The necessity to study our environment is something we recognise. Chem Chem has already put a research project in place to help us better comprehend what happens on the ground, how to approach what still needs to be done, and to monitor the sustainable rehabilitation of the wildlife corridor. The first step was to place a collar on one lion to properly monitor its movements and prove that the Tarangire-Manyara Corridor is working. In addition, our rangers are continuously collecting data on the movements of the last big tuskers of Tanzania. It is crucial to properly monitor their movements in order to protect them.
Community is key to conservation in the Tarangire Ecosystem. Our ecosystem is home to a number of culturally rich, but under resourced villages. With limited access to education and economic opportunities, it is difficult to both support one’s family and contribute to the long-term sustainability of the land.
In helping to bring balance back to the area, we are currently committed to supporting schools in some of the villages and have also donated a school bus to enable children from outlying areas to reach the school. We provide English courses for the youth and women as well to widen the scope of their education. The introduction of an Marketplace Literacy course for women has been well received. This is a basic programme which teaches the fundamentals of business, and how to start a small entrepreneurial enterprise. In addition, we have established a soccer tournament to promote social involvement and community interaction within a much-loved sporting framework.
We hope to give as many people as possible an equal chance to expand their knowledge and skills in order to amplify their opportunities. Our intention is to expand our reach to include all 10 villages across the WMA, bringing as many people as we can, enhanced support in all areas of education, and improved living conditions. We believe in the true empowerment of the people of the Tarangire communities for they are the traditional owners of the land. It is they who should take ownership of the process to preserve it. We encourage every member of the local communities to know that they have a stake in the future for they are destined to be part of it. We encourage them to take responsibility for the long-term well-being of the animals and the habitats around them, and in doing so, to ensure and secure their own tomorrow.