Background

The Gombe School of Environment and Society - GOSESO - is located in the Kigoma Region of western Tanzania, East Africa. The region encompasses the eastern shores of Lake Tanganyika and Gombe Stream National Park, home to the chimpanzee population made famous by the world-renowned primatologist Dr. Jane Goodall.

Despite five decades of research and publicity, the Gombe area remains mired in poverty and despair. Hundreds of thousands of impoverished Tanzanians and refugees from strife-torn central African nations like Burundi, Rwanda and the Congo eke out an existence that depends on the unsustainable exploitation of meager natural resources and food relief.

The wildlife, notably the chimpanzee population, is rapidly declining and the degradation of neighboring forests and farming systems is alarming. GOSESO's mission is to reverse these trends and provide a source of hope for the peoples of western Tanzania.

While the immediate effects of GOSESO will benefit local communities in western Tanzania, we aspire to use GOSESO as a model to affect national and international aspects of conservation and poverty mitigation. The project integrates educational research from the United States with local initiative in western Tanzania to help address the pressing issues threatening both the people and the environment in the region while offering lessons with worldwide applicability.

Background