Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (GIAHS)

Engaresero Maasai Pastoralist Heritage Area




Site location:  Engaresero Maasai village, Northern Tanzania

Area of GIAHS: 104 550 km2

Population working for this system: 4912 persons

Topological Characteristics: scarce fertile soil resources

Climatic Classification: arid dry climatic conditions

Ethnic Groups/Indigenous People: Kisongo clan of the Maasai communities

Primary Income Sources: agropastoralism system

In Northern Tanzania, Maasai have developed an agro pastoral system for centuries. Despite the scarce water and grazing land availability, Maasai have succeeded in adapting their systems to this area satisfying their needs and evolving with the cities nearby. Strongly linked to wildlife this agro pastoral system is not competing with it but functioning in synergy.

Their system integrates at the same time endemic animals such as buffalos, goats and sheep species and food crops such as maize and beans. Besides, Engaresero Maasai community is highly organized splitting the tasks concerning graze land research, water management, livestock movements etc. Strongly attached to its environment, cosmology, religion and culture rely on the conservation and sustainability of agro pastoralism.

With this fragile environment and managing of lands, Maasai have shaped and maintained the landscapes for ages. Sustainable and respectful to the wildlife, Maasai agro pastoral systems must be preserved not to lose their incredible knowledge of nature but also to maintain the magnificence of the landscape.