Incorporating Marine Cultural Heritage Protection into Tanzania’s National Adaptation Plan
Tanzania’s marine cultural heritage (MCH) is in danger of being lost or damaged due to climate change. This project examines how incorporating the protection of MCH into Tanzania’s National Adaptation Plan (NAP) could provide economic and cultural benefits for citizens by creating the potential to attract support from international funds. Under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, Tanzania has prepared a National Adaptation Programme of Action in which it identifies MCH sites as a short-term adaptation priority, and as important to developing sustainable and climate resilient tourism as they are to the country’s enduring cultural heritage. However greater emphasis can be placed on the role that MCH can play in improving the resilience to climate change of coastal communities through sustainable tourism in this sector. Tanzania is now preparing its NAP, in which it will identify medium- to long-term comprehensive climate adaptation priorities, and this project aims to advocate for the inclusion of Tanzania’s MCH as a specific adaptation priority in this policy document so that, ultimately, financial support can be sought for specific projects from the UNFCCC’s financial mechanism and other sources. Greater funding could not only build local capacity to record and preserve MCH at risk of climate change, but also identify infrastructural and developmental priorities to safeguard significant MCH against climate change-related loss and damage to ensure that it becomes an important area of green economic growth for coastal communities through the development of sustainable tourism initiatives, which bolster the resilience of such communities to the negative effects of climate change. Through this project, an interdisciplinary research-based workshop will be convened, bringing together academics, non-governmental organisations, and policymakers, to examine the viability and feasibility of including MCH as an adaptation priority in Tanzania’s NAP.