Tropical coastal systems are undergoing rapid change, which impacts people and natural resources, and that requires innovative governance processes to be turned into an opportunity for sustainable management. Focusing on Unguja, the main island of the Zanzibar archipelago in Tanzania, this study explores the current state of the island's coastal systems, as well as probable and desirable scenarios for the future. Based on a two-round iterative Delphi survey aimed at coastal science & management experts, research priorities are identified, and explorative scenarios are proposed. The findings indicate that demographic pressure is expected to have a high impact, and that competing coastal land use claims balancing between tourism infrastructure development and local fisheries-related land are to be expected. Sustainable alternative livelihood strategies are however expected to be part of the solution, for a resilient coastal system, if inclusive governance and management strategies are put in place, e.g. regarding access to coastal resources. This study combines the predictive and normative components of explorative scenarios and its approach and findings can be inspiring in the whole Western Indian Ocean region, beyond the Zanzibar case study.
- coastal management
- sustainability assessment