Journal of Coastal Conservation

, Volume 23, Issue 1, pp 173–183 | Cite as

Nexus between coastal resources and community livelihoods in a changing climate

  • Pius Z. Yanda
  • Edmund MabhuyeEmail author
  • Namkunda Johnson
  • Anselm Mwajombe


It is recognized that climate variability has had detrimental impacts on integrity of coastal natural resources. It is also known that coastal communities have been relying on those natural resources for their livelihoods in different ways. It is from this interdependence that this study was proposed, to analyse the role of coastal resources in sustaining community livelihoods of the coastal communities in the changing climate in two villages, Msinga and Nyamisati, all based in Rufiji district, Tanzania. The study employed the mixed method design whereby household questionnaires,-key informant interviews, focus group discussions, field observations and literature review were used to collect primary and secondary data. Findings show that coastal resources including fish and mangrove are impacted by sea level rise, storm surges, tropical storms, droughts, floods and change in salinity conditions eventually compromising their integrity. Consequently livelihoods that depend on these resources such as fisheries and agriculture in the delta have declined in productivity over the past 10 years, causing food insecurity to majority of households. People have been adapting in different ways with respect to climate change impacts mainly through the use of social networks and coastal resources utilization particularly sale of fish, mangrove logs and timber. However, utilization of such resources was unsustainable as it entailed overexploitation and use of prohibited fishing gears and unlawful harvesting of mangrove. Nonetheless, coastal communities are still vulnerable to climate change impacts owing to low resource base, whereby women are the most vulnerable group due to poor participation in decision making at family level. Besides, to monitor coastal resources utilization, institutions were put in place through policy and legal frameworks. Enforcement of bylaws with respect to resources utilization such as permits for mangrove and fisheries utilization and ban of agriculture in the delta was meant to make coastal natural resources more resilient to the impacts of climate change. However, some of enforcements of some bylaws made community members prone to impacts of climate variability and change by being landless. The study recommends the integration of participatory approaches regarding the natural coastal resources management including capacity building to women in order to build their resilience to impacts of climate variability and change.


Coastal resources Community livelihoods Climate change Vulnerability 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pius Z. Yanda
    • 1
  • Edmund Mabhuye
    • 1
    Email author
  • Namkunda Johnson
    • 1
  • Anselm Mwajombe
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre for Climate Change StudiesUniversity of Dar es SalaamDar es SalaamTanzania

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