SOLSTICE Socio-environmental research underway

August, 2018

The SOLSTICE research team from Rhodes University (South Africa), Institute of Marine Sciences (Zanzibar) and the University of Dar es Salaam, are on the ground for two months amongst local communities on Unguja and Pemba Islands to conduct socio-environmental vulnerability analysis and collect data on climate change perceptions.

This fieldwork, conducted over July and August 2018 is Part 1 of 2 Socio-Environmental research to document the coastal socioeconomic, governance, and local knowledge system of fishing communities along the coast of Pemba and Zanzibar Channels in order to understand local resource use patterns and local responses to social, economic, political and ecological pressures.

The community-level knowledge that is being collected will then be integrated with other SOLSTICE scientific research that will be conducted over 2018 and 2019 to assess the vulnerability of local communities to climate change and establish participatory, just, and sustainable management of natural resources in the Pemba Channel coastal aquatic and marine environment.

This research takes a holistic approach to investigate communities in the Pemba Channel by studying and documenting the following dimensions:

  1. Coastal Indigenous ecological knowledge systems and avenues for integration with scientific ecological research as equivalent knowledge systems
  2. Tanzanian traditional coastal governance systems for understanding indigenous rights and claims regarding coastal space
  3. Pemba Channel coastal livelihoods under climate change threats
  4. Ecological characteristics of the marine resources harvested, to investigate the spatial and temporal dynamics, and the interplay between natural and human factors
  5. Local perceptions of coupled natural and human systems under climate change
  6. Pemba Channel coastal vulnerability and ecosystems services trade-offs in the context of environmental and climatic change


All images courtesy of Rhodes University SOLSTICE research team (all images: SOLSTICE research team from Rhodes University, Institute of Marine Sciences and University of Dar es Salaam speaking with fishers in Nungwi, north Unguja Island, Zanzibar Archipelago)