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Tanzania is endowed with a wide range of natural resources providing considerable socio-economic development potentials. These include extensive areas of arable land, wildlife, natural vegetation, rangelands, coastal and marine resources. Other resources are river systems, lakes and groundwater aquifers. However, recent research has indicated that although at the national level, there seems to be abundance of unutilized land and other resources, the fast population growth and rapidly changing socio-economic environment coupled with limited management capacities in use of resources is already creating enormous pressure on the resources.

This is expressed in various aspects including unmanaged development and expansion of settlement, agricultural and livestock grazing areas, uncontrolled exploitation of vegetation, for various human activities and ecological services. This has led into competition over use of the resources; hence, causing many problems such as land use conflicts, land degradation in terms of soil erosion and water resources depletion.

The National Land Use Framework Plan essentially is an indicative framework that will facilitate rational allocation of land resources and decision-making on resources management at national level while ensuring the sustainability of the natural environment. Land use planning is undertaken at national level for the purpose of interpretation, harmonization and facilitating integration of implementation of programs, policies, legislations as well as addressing global policies. 

The framework also provides for an institutional and administrative arrangement for management and regulation of land use. The framework provides guidance for the determination of land uses of national concerns such as protected areas; wetlands; agricultural, grazing, urban and rural settlements and socio economic infrastructure.

The legal basis of the National Land Use Framework Plan is the National Land Policy (1995), National Human Settlement Policy (2000), National Environmental Policy (1997), National Forest Policy (1998), National Wildlife Policy (1998), National Population Policy (2002), National Livestock Policy (2005) and National Land Use Planning Act (2007) which, among its key provisions include preparation and implementation of the National Land Use Framework Plan.