Chumbe Island Coral Park Ltd. (CHICOP)
The Chumbe Island Coral Park, established in 1992, is the first and only marine nature reserve in Tanzania developed by a private company. Thanks to this initiative, the Chumbe Reef Sanctuary was gazetted in 1994 as a protected area by the Government of Zanzibar.
As a result, the Island is now a pristine coral island ecosystem in an otherwise overfished and over-exploited area. For the past eight years, the Park has been and continues to be a conservation area that provides important community benefits and social services to the population of Zanzibar, particularly fishermen and school children.
The Project has: secured continued protection of valuable flora and fauna; helped restock locally depleted fisheries; promoted the recovery of degraded coral reef ecosystems; contributed to biological diversity conservation and ecological restoration by a coral reef, which has at least 90% of the scleractinian coral species ever recorded in East Africa; provided a training ground for local people in conservation management; helped create environmental awareness among the fishermen in the area; and provided valuable experience in the financially sustainable management of protected areas; given permanent help to local fishermen in distress; provided a direct source of income to local fishermen; contributed to capacity building of government staff; created unique facilities for environmental education; cooperated with the Harbours Authority to keep the lighthouse functioning; and offered valuable research opportunities for Tanzanian and foreign research institutions.