The Mpingo Conservation & Development Initiative (MCDI for short) is a Tanzanian NGO that is advancing forest conservation and rural development in Tanzania by supporting communities to take control of, manage and economically benefit from forests by selliing sustainable, Forest Stewardship Council-certified hardwood timber. This is an innovative approach that combines the promotion of habitat conservation with local development.
- Promote community-based forest management – we help villages in south-eastern Tanzania gain access, control and rights over their forests.
- Link communities to reliable revenue streams – we facilitate ethical, sustainable and long-lasting forest-based income generating opportunities that encourage communities to practice sustainable forest management. Specifically, we do this through our FSC group certificate and through out REDD project.
- Raise awareness about the benefits that can come from forest conservation – we do this by ensuring all processes are participatory, led by the communities, and involve a wide group of stakeholders in decision-making processes.
- Encourage strengthened natural resource governance – we do this by providing tools and capacity building opportunities at the village level, while also engaging in national level policy dialogues, so that communities can demand improved governance systems over their natural resources.
MCDI works with a number of different partner organisations in Tanzania and internationally >>
And we are supported by a number of much-appreciated sponsors >>
We have pioneered community-based forest management in the country by empowering 30 rural villages (to date) to take control of and sustainably manage more than 275,000 hectares of forests. We support communities to benefit economically from these locally protected forests through sustainable timber harvesting. In 2009, we facilitated the first commercial timber harvest from a community forest in Tanzania, increasing local earnings per cubic meter by over 100 times previous levels, and were awarded the first and only Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certificate for community-managed natural forests in all of Africa. MCDI is named after the East African Blackwood tree, which is called Mpingo in Swahili and is one of the most valuable hardwoods in the world due to its use for making woodwind musical instruments. Today, we support communities to sell more than 15 other hardwood timbers in local, national and international markets, earning local beneficiaries in excess of USD $100,000 annually.