Participatory land use planning is seen as key to ensuring sustainable land use in Lushoto, Tanzania.

Picture of woman in the field
Terracing is one option to help restore land on the steep slopes around Lushoto. Photo: G. Smith (CIAT). Community terracing, Lushoto, Tanzania flickr photo by CIAT International Center for Tropical Agriculture shared under a Creative Commons (BY-NC-SA) license

Arriving in Lushoto through its steep winding road has always brought an interesting feeling. As you climb from the valley in Mombo, one observes that farmers are growing a number of crops in the valleys and between the hills, a sign of diversification on their farms. Signs of off-farm activities such as local trade are also visible.

It all seems okay but when you speak to the residents, they tell you that changes, largely negative, are already happening. Some of the most frequently mentioned changes include decline in crop production, increased soil erosion, declines in forest cover, rising temperatures, drying of rivers, decreasing water in the valleys and irregular rainfall patterns.

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