The Environment Africa Trust (EAT) is our main UK partner. Its mission is to support organisations working in Sub-Saharan Africa that encourage sound environmental management and biodiversity conservation through a strong community economic development focus to achieve sustainable livelihoods. EAT have spearheaded our drive to get funding for our FSC group certificate scheme.
Founded in 1903, Fauna & Flora International (FFI) is the world’s oldest international conservation charity. They are also our longest standing partners. Conserving threatened species and ecosystems is FFI’s fundamental mission, but the organisation believes this can only be done by taking account of the livelihoods of those rural people who depend on the species and ecosystems for their survival. Mpingo is one of the species highlighted by the award-winning Global Trees Campaign, a joint initiative between FFI and UNEP-WCMC. Mpingo is also a particular focus of FFI's Soundwood Programme, which since 1992 has been working to raise awareness about the use of tropical hardwood timbers in the manufacture of musical instruments, and advocating sustainable use in the industry. FFI provide technical advice and support across MCDI's projects, and have helped channel various funding to us over the years.
Tanzania Natural Resources Forum
The Tanzania Natural Resources Forum (TNRF) is a collective civil society-based initiative to improve natural resource management and conservation in Tanzania by addressing fundamental issues of governance. MCDI is a leading member of TNRF's Forestry Working Group, and a partner in the Mama Misitu Campaign to improve forest governance in Tanzania.
We have an organisational development partner, Maliasili Initiatives, with which we work closely to grow our internal capacity as a leading conservation and development organisation in Tanzania. With Maliasili Initiative's support, we developed our first, comprehensive five-year strategy in 2015. This serves to guide our organisation towards achieving its vision. In 2016 we began to clearly link this strategy to our annual budgeting and work planning, which helps to guide us in deciding which new projects to prioritise in order to scale up the level and quality of support we are providing to Tanzanian communities in sustainably managing their forests.
United States Forest Service
We entered into a long term partnership with United States Forest Service in 2015. A group of technical experts have since visited us on various missions to leverage their resources and expertise in GIS to bolster our mapping and monitoring needs. This has played a transformative role in enabling us to accurately map patches of critically endangered coastal forests in the communities where we work, and to improve our community-based wildlife monitoring programme in these areas.
Carbon Tanzania are a non-profit initiative set up to bring the benefits of the carbon markets to Tanzania. They are partners with us on our REDD pilot project, providing advice on the current state of the voluntary markets, how best to access them and how to achieve the best possible price. It is likely that carbon offsets generated from our REDD project will be sold through Carbon Tanzania.
University of Edinburgh
We have partnered with the School of International Development at the University of East Anglia in the UK. They are helping us to monitor changes in household wealth and wellbeing as a result of our work in the communities, and also changes in the quality of governance within communities, which is critical to how they manage revenue derived from their forests.
We work closely with the Tanzania Country Office of the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF-TCO). WWF-TCO support wildlife conservation activities across Tanzania, and have a particular interest in conserving the East African Coastal Forests, fragments of which are found throughout MCDI's operational area. As well as supporting MCDI financially, WWF-TCO have utilised their political connections several times in support of MCDI's work, setting up meetings and helping clear bureaucratic blockages.
Kilimanyika Ltd are a consultancy specialising in natural resources management. They have long links with MCDI, providing technical advice and support, focusing primarily on the international trade and marketing of African Blackwood.
Kilwa District Council
MCDI has established an excellent working relationship with the District Council and its officials in Kilwa. The council plays a critical role in MCDI's work as the Full Council must approve all bylaws proposed by villages to govern the use of their Village Land Forest Reserves, whilst the management plan for each community-managed forest must be approved by the District Forestry Officer. MCDI's cooperation with KDC, however, extends far beyond that: work plans are shared, our staff work closely alongside each other, and new initiatives are launched only after full consultation.