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Pemba Island in Zanzibar is an area of exceptional biodiversity. The surrounding waters host globally important marine habitats alongside populations of commercially valuable sailfish, black marlin, tuna, octopus, and sea cucumber. Kisiwa Panza on the south shore of Pemba Island is home to 7,000 people. 




Charity Partner: Fauna & Flora International (

Location: Emerald Reef, Zanzibar (Tanzania)

Total Cost: £75,000

Funding Sought: £15,000 from 5 Corporates

Duration: Donations over a 2 or 3 year period 

We expect that this programme can act as a  showcase and learning site to build greater public and political support for reef protection by local fishers across Zanzibar.



Fringed by coral reefs and seagrass beds, the mangrove covered islet is a popular fishing ground for locals and neighboring communities alike. The Emerald Reef - so called because its green corals lend the waters an otherworldly emerald hue - is of particular local economic and biodiversity importance, and is renowned among tourists and fishers for its beautiful coral seascape and schools of giant barracuda, big-eye emperors, giant trevally, and marbled groupers. 

Despite the critical role that Pemba’s coral reefs play in underpinning the tourism, fisheries, and seafood sectors, these habitats are being degraded and lost at an alarming rate. Growing coastal populations, demand for seafood products to fuel local and international markets, and limited capacity among the authorities to manage marine areas, drives the increasingly unsustainable and destructive use of the region’s marine resources. 

This project aims to break that cycle, creating opportunities for the local community to work alongside the authorities in the protection and management of the Emerald Reef; to champion and enforce the use of non-destructive fishing techniques in local fishing grounds; and to access markets that reward sustainable practices and can provide long-term finance for conservation efforts.

This project builds on an ongoing programme of work by Fauna & Flora International and their local partner - Mwambao Coastal Community Network - that was initiated in 2014 to safeguard the Island’s vulnerable marine habitats and build capacity for sustainable fisheries management. 

It is designed to reinforce the strong cultural traditions of coastal communities of Pemba; where management of marine resources was historically a function of the community itself. As such, community leaders, fishers and authorities will work in collaboration to develop locally adapted systems to regulate the use, access and transfer of marine resources that will secure the area with a long-term, sustainable future. 


Much work is required to ensure that local people play an active role in the sustainable management of the area. By identifying local champions from across the wider community - women, elders, fishers, local authorities - Fauna & Flora International will be able to ensure that local institutions and stakeholders will have the necessary skills and resources needed to manage the marine protected area effectively in the long-term. 

The project will also ensure that reef protection and management strategies (e.g. no-take-zones or fishing gear restrictions) have support from all users by holding community meetings and other participatory events to ensure that stakeholders play a role in identifying conservation targets and developing strategies.

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