Dorobo Fund

  • Hadza

Our mission is to protect the cultures, people, landscapes and biodiversity of Tanzania through improved livelihoods and conservation.

The Dorobo Fund believes a healthy ecosystem balances the different and often competing needs of people, ecosystems, wildlife, government, and business. Today, these competing interests have never been so pronounced, with infrastructure development, shifts in livelihoods, increased food production, and a rapidly growing population.

Hadza Land Rights and Land Security Project

Our primary focus is the livelihood of hunter-gatherer and pastoral societies in the northern Tanzanian area, ensuring that their way of life is recognized and respected. We believe when communities are empowered, when they can own, manage, and benefit from their land and resources, we're all better off.

We've helped establish, advise and support the Ujamaa Community Resource Team (UCRT), which today is one of the leading community land rights organizations in Tanzania. They are the key recipient of our funds. With our support, UCRT has:

  • Pioneered and has scaled up an approach to secure community land rights. They helped secure more than 400,000 acres of new forests and rangelands in key northern Tanzanian ecosystems in 2016 alone.
  • Coordinated a voluntary conservation model that protects key habitats around the Simanjiro Plains while directly benefiting local communities
  • Received the Goldman Environmental Prize in 2016 in recognition of its achievements.

For more information, please have a look at these links:

Update on the Hadza, 2017

Malcolm Gladwell, in his book “The Tipping Point” builds a case through examples, for how seemingly small ideas, acts or initiatives in the right circumstances can effect significant impact and change. Whether we are talking about a couple dozen turtle nests, a few hundred hectares of land, or family planning for a group of women in the village, these relatively small initiatives can make a difference and provide the catalyst for larger scale change.

In early September, representatives from the Hadza, Akie and Sandawe tribes gathered at Tarangire Safari Lodge for two days of discussions, debate, and dancing. Some groups traveled hundreds of kilometers to reach the meeting.

The two-day meeting allowed representatives to discuss the current issues facing hunter-gatherer groups in Tanzania. Discussions focused on the effects of land loss, climate change, immigration, and modernization on their way of life and cultural preservation.

This is the third time the Dorobo Fund has co-hosted this event with Tarangire Safari Lodge in the last eight years. Recurring themes brought to the table by these tribes are the loss of land, political disenfranchisement, agricultural expansion, population growth, and climate change, and the effects these continue to have on traditional ways of life for hunter-gatherers.

Maziwe Coral Reef Conservation Project

The Maziwe Marine Reserve plays a key role in providing for the socio-economic well-being of the people in the Pangani/Ushongo area, as well as incredible recreational fun and excitement for visitors to the island.

A renewed focus for the Dorobo Fund in 2017 is the conservation of Maziwe island’s special coral reef system and associated marine-based economies. Getting the on-shore village communities, the fishermen, tourists and Marine Parks aligned will be challenging, but with marine systems under siege we are resolved to pursue this cause.

The Friends of Maziwe (FOM) patrol program is a very exciting development after several years when there has been virtually open fishing, resource extraction and even dynamiting of the Maziwe Reef system. After only 6 months there was a notable change in the abundance and size of fish and invertebrates.  However, visiting marine biologist Dr Ken Clifton said it will take at least 3 years before the reef becomes a dispersal grounds for fish, improving fishing in the neighboring areas.

Suggested amounts are a minimum $50 per individual per year, $200 per family and $500 per business - we hope many will contribute or reach out to others who can help protect and sustain this beautiful island!

For more information, please have a look at the following link:

Read the story of Kerstin, A True Friend of Maziwe:

Update on the Coral Reef, 2017

We’ve wrapped up another season of turtle nest relocation from Maziwe. Due to inundation of the sandbar in Maziwe Marine Reserve, turtle nests must be relocated to mainland Tanzania for successful incubation.  This year, 3,500 baby turtles hatched and successfully entered the ocean with your support.

Our daily patrol boat, which monitors the reserve for illegal fishing, had no encounters with dynamite fishing within the protected area! Thanks to generous support this year, the patrol boat is now equipped with new safety equipment, a new engine and fuel tanks allowing our Friends of Maziwe Team to be even more efficient!

We are happy to share that the coral reef is thriving. We’ve even seen new and different varieties of reef fish, rays and reef sharks return to the area- all signs of a healthy reef.

Maasai Steppe, 2018

At the end of February, members of the Dorobo fund team (Daudi, Thad, Joshua, and Mika) took a trip to the Simanjiro Easements and the greater Maasai Steppe ecosystem to take stock of how things are progressing, noting pressures on the ecosystem, and developing an integrated approach moving forward between tour operators and organizations on the ground. Their friends and colleagues, Fred Nelson of Maliasili Initiatives, Marc Baker of Carbon Tanzania and Loure and Lekaita of Ujamaa Community Resource Team also joined them. They met with community representatives and stakeholders to gain a deeper understanding of what’s happening and have shared some highlights:

  • A new one-kilometer wide grazing corridor extending from the easement to the Sukuro dam has been established. This corridor is vital, allowing wildlife & livestock access to crucial water sources during the dry season. A Certificate of Customary Rights of Occupancy (CCRO) has been issued offering further legal protection to the area.
  • Emboreet Village has a new village council that is prioritizing a land use plan and grazing areas, leaving the potential for an expanded area secured under Certificate of Customary Rights of Occupancy’s in the future, an exciting development to bring Emboreet Village under the larger umbrella of the easements.
  • In Makame Wildlife Management Area, we spotted oryx, eland, giraffes, and zebra, and we had buffalo and elephant visit our campsite at night. All of this wildlife indicates that the rangelands are healthy and intact.
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