DAR ES SALAAM, Dec. 2 (Xinhua) -- World Wildlife Fund (WWF), the world's leading conservation organization, on Monday launched a five-year program aimed at improving management in Tanzania's marine areas.
The 4 million Euro (about 4.4 million U.S. dollars) program launched in the commercial capital Dar es Salaam by the Deputy Minister for Livestock and Fisheries, Abdallah Ulega, will be implemented in the Rufiji-Mafia-Kilwa seascape to maintain and improve its ecological value and livelihoods of the people.
Modesta Medard, WWF Tanzania Marine Program Coordinator, said the program was intended to support long-term conservation of ecological integrity, resilience and biological productivity of the Rufiji-Mafia-Kilwa seascape.
"This is an internationally important biodiversity hotspot supporting the livelihoods of natural resource-dependent communities," she said.
Medard said the program area was the most biologically productive and diverse marine area in Tanzania and East Africa.
The marine scientist said the area covered 25 percent of Tanzania mainland's nearshore waters supporting a substantial fisheries production, 26 percent of its coral reef habitat and over 50 percent of mangrove forest.
"Marine resources within the seascape support the food security and livelihoods of over 200,000 coastal residents," said Medard.