Dr. Mtui (right) and field assistants collect catterpillars for the new TAWIRI project

JRS Awards Two New Pollinator Grants in Tanzania

SEATTLE, Washington – September 18, 2018 – The JRS Biodiversity Foundation announces two new grant awards, totaling $306,510, to support pollinator biodiversity data in Tanzania. These investments are a part of the JRS Pollinator Biodiversity and Resources Program, committed to increasing access to pollinator biodiversity data to support agricultural productivity and conservation.

Pollination from wild and cultivated pollinators is a crucially important ecosystem service for human food production, yet data on wild pollinators in Africa is scarce and difficult to access. The two JRS-supported projects in Tanzania take different approaches to assemble data on wild pollinators in East Africa and to make this data accessible to the public and decision-makers.

Tanzania Wildlife Research Institute (TAWIRI) – Assessing Landscape Level Impacts of Climate Change on Montane Forest Pollinators in Tanzania, $275,000

The effects of climate change on our planet are unfolding in all reaches of the globe. The team at TAWIRI, led by Dr. Devolent Mtui, are working to understand the effects of climate change on flower-pollinating bird, butterfly, and bee species. The project will gather historical pollinator records and conduct new elevational transects in the Eastern Arc Mountains of Tanzania. Once data has been gathered and digitized, TAWIRI will publish it into web-based databases using the Biodiversity Information Management Tool (BIMT) and other biodiversity data platforms. With this data, TAWIRI hopes to inform future conservation efforts in the region to consider how climate change will affect the wild pollinators in the future.

A planning workshop convened stakeholders for the DIT project to adapt the Atlas of Living Australia to serve Tanzania. Photo by Sizah Mwalusepo, 2018

Dar es Salaam Institute of Technology (DIT) – Planning phase for Data Platform of Wild Pollinators’ Biodiversity in Coastal Forests of Eastern Africa, $31,510

There is a lack of data on wild pollinators in the coastal forests of East Africa and its islands. The team at Dar es Salaam Institute of Technology, led by Dr. Sizah Mwalusepo, will adapt the Atlas of Living Australia to the Tanzanian context to house pollinator biodiversity data. JRS has given DIT and the team a short-term grant for the team to establish partnerships with stakeholders, work with the Living Atlases technical community and conduct initial assessments of existing pollinator data.

About the JRS Biodiversity Foundation – The mission of the JRS Biodiversity Foundation is to increase access to and use of information that will lead to greater biodiversity conservation and more sustainable development in Sub-Saharan Africa. Founded in 2004, the JRS Biodiversity Foundation supports the   capacity of institutions and people who collect, manage, and disseminate biodiversity data in Sub-Saharan Africa to connect this knowledge to stakeholders who make and influence decisions that are crucial to supporting biodiversity. The foundation has awarded $18M in grants since 2007. Visit us online at https://jrsbiodiversity.org.

About TAWIRI – TAWIRI is a parastatal organization under the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism, established by an Act of Parliament in 1980. The mission of TAWIRI is to facilitate an effective provision of wildlife research findings and acquisition of sufficient wildlife information in collaboration with all stakeholders. Visit online at: http://tawiri.or.tz/.

About DIT – The institute was established by an Act of Parliament No. 6 in 1997 as a high technical training institution. The mission of DIT is to provide competence based technical education though training, research, innovation and development of appropriate technology. Visit online at www.dit.ac.tz/.

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JRS Contact: Don S. Doering, Executive Director, ddoering@jrsbiodiversity.org, +1 (206) 454-7915

Contact at TAWIRI – Dr. Devolent Mtui, Principal Research Officer, Devolent.mtui ‘at sign’ tawiri.or.tz,  +255 768036605

Contact at DIT – Dr. Sizah Mwalusepo, Lecturer, sizah.mwalusepo ‘at sign’ dit.ac.tz, +255-(0)22-2150174