The predecessor of IRA (i.e. formerly BRALUP) was established at a time when Tanzania had virtually no other developed oriented research institutions and it had to address a range of issues related to resource use and management in the country. The overall objective of elevating BLALUP into an Institute in 1982 was to enable it to focus and address the whole question of sustainable development in line with environmental and policy changes that have taken place over time. The Institution, therefore, has the following main objectives:

 

  1. To carry out research pertinent to the social, cultural, environmental and economic development of Tanzania, and develop research capacities in these fields;
  2. To organise and assist research carried out by IRA staff and other staff in related fields in the University of Dar es Salaam;
  3. To co-ordinate and assist research carried out by seconded staff from Government, research fellows from other research institutes and other visiting research workers;
  4. To co-operate with Government, public authorities and other organisations on special questions;
  5. To furnish advice upon the request of Government, public organisations or other organisations;
  6. To organise conferences, seminars or postgraduate courses on resources and land use planning;
  7. To collect information necessary for IRA's research activities;
  8. To publish research results in an appropriate form;
  9. To contribute to the training of Tanzanian research staff within the areas of its competence and provide specialised teaching materials for the University of Dar es Salaam and other educational institutions;
  10. To carry out long-term resource assessment and monitoring in the main fields of research; and
  11. To seek and accept consultancies.