Our partners, Mpingo Conservation Devlopment Initiative (MCDI) have just reported a very successful year in the restoration of the very biodiverse and threatened Miombo forest habitat. Situated in South-Eastern Tanzania, this includes the eponymous Mpingo tree (Dalbergia spp), famously used for making very valuable woodwind musical instruments. The sustainable marketing of such trees to musical instrument makers can provide a steady and profitable income for the many communities in this area.
Forest degradation is a major worry in Tanzania, and the country has one of the highest rate of forest loss in the world. The resultant problems to the land are exacerbated by climate change and this has brought about many unprecedented droughts to the region. By restoring forests, MCDI hopes to alleviate some of these challenges, while building resilience in Tanzania’s natural world and its communities.
Over the last 16 years MCDI have developed a forest management strategy that both enhances biodiversity and restores local forests, while also providing economic opportunities for the local people. Revenues from these activities are shared equally amongst community members. 50% of this goes back into community development projects, such as clean water, healthcare and education. Recent sales have bought birthing kits for more than 250 expectant mothers and built 15 school classrooms.
MCDI have just finished the second year as an ITF partner and have reported a very successful year of tree planting and forest restoration. In the past 12 months alone, they have planted 18,525 indigenous trees across four village forest sites. This has helped boost the biodiversity of these areas and strengthened their resilience to climate change. They have also donated 1,546 fruit tree seedlings and 2,600 teak trees for people to plant in their homesteads and farms. These will give village individuals increased food security as well as access to timber for building materials.
However, not just about the tree planting: 799 local people were involved and trained in the project and 60 young people have been involved in educational activities.
At the end of this three-year project, MCDI aim to have planted more than 45,000 native trees and restored 225 hectares of land.
For more information, visit: http://www.mpingoconservation.org/