Ecosystems in Kenya and Tanzania
CoCoST: better conservation approaches for Wildlife and Nature
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The Greater Serengeti-Mara Ecosystem (GSME) is one of the world’s largest ecosystems, spread across the border region that connects southern Kenya to northern Tanzania.
The GSME includes several national parks that attract visitors from around the world, sustaining the regional economy. In addition, the area's natural surroundings provide the local population with vast expanses of land for the cultivation of crops and rearing of livestock.
While indispensable for livelihoods, growing numbers of tourists and increased agricultural activity have also led to the rapid decline of wildlife and degradation of the land. As a result, improvements in nature conservation and sustainable land use are vital to the wellbeing of communities in the region. CoCoST aims to sustain the future coexistence of wildlife and human populations in the GSME.
CoCoST is an ecological project funded by the UEF and partner foundations who share our commitment to nature conservation, and allows an international group of experts to engage in four years of research in the GSME.
The project has three key objectives:
1: identify the gaps and weaknesses in conservation knowledge
2: better understand the region’s ecological dynamics and interactions between different zones
3: develop practical solutions for conservation challenges
Building bridges across barriers
CoCoST is driven primarily by experts who grew up in the region, and who bring a profound understanding of the social dynamics and conservation concerns unique to the GSME.
The program includes five interconnected PhD projects that combine multiple dimensions of ecological research and conservation. Each approach helps facilitate collaboration, break down institutional barriers and build bridges across different cultures and areas of expertise.
CoCoST was designed by Han Olff, full professor of Community and Conservation Ecology at the UG, and a renowned expert in the field of ecosystems worldwide.
CoCoST stands for Corridors, Coexistence, Synergies (x2) and Transitions
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