Mwambao Coastal Community Network (MCCN) was founded in 2010, after it’s founding members travelled the Tanzanian coast and identified the need for communities to gain knowledge and capacity their governance roles and represent themselves. Our goal was to connect local communities together to share information, knowledge, and practice, and to create links with outside resources and networks. Tanzania’s extensive and resource-rich coastal and marine environment supports the livelihoods of millions in the country and is the mainstay of the artisanal fishing industry and coastal tourism and is the location of key national infrastructure including industry and port development. Yet, weak management and governance challenged by geographical location, a growing population, a changing climate, improved and changing fishing gears, and increasing demands for coastal resources are pushing the environment to its limits. In 2010, founding members of the Mwambao team travelled the length of the Tanzanian coast to learn more about what is taking place to address these mounting pressures. Communities were often unclear of their roles in governance and lacked knowledge and ability to represent themselves. Our potential role was clear – to facilitate learning; to build capacity and confidence through knowledge and practice; to connect local communities together to share information and experience; and to create links with outside resources and networks.

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