A big thank-you to all our funders and other supporters over the years. On the budgets at which we operate every single contribution makes a big difference. You are too numerous to list exhaustively, but we would like to take this opportunity to particularly acknowledge some of our biggest and most loyal sponsors below.
Comic Relief is a British charity, supported by prominent British comedians, whose vision is a "a just world free from poverty". In 2008, MCDI, through its UK partner, Environment Africa Trust, received a grant of £282,000 over three years from Comic Relief under the title "Fair Trade for African Blackwood". This had been presaged by a smaller Project Development Grant in 2007 under which we explored various aspects of the blackwood trade in the UK, and developed some of the key elements of the proposal for the main grant. In 2011 EAT, MCDI and Kilimanyika received a further one year grant (£240,000) to continue this work and to review some key issues around the trade and marketing of certified blackwood and the governance of the different elements of the project.
MCDI has a close working relationship with our partners at the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF). Since 2008 WWF have helped us source various small grants over the years, and have funded the expansion of MCDI's FSC group certificate to villages in Kilwa and Rufiji Districts, the latter being directly to the north of MCDI's main area of focus in Kilwa. As of mid 2012, WWF's direct financial support to MCDI had amounted to roughly $150,000.
The Darwin Initiative
The Darwin Initiative seeks to help safeguard the world's biodiversity by drawing on UK expertise to work with local partners in countries that are rich in biodiversity but poor in financial resources. The fund is supported by the UK Government's Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, (Defra). The Darwin Initiative awarded a partnership between Fauna & Flora International and the MCDI (then known as the Mpingo Conservation Project) a grant of over £140,000 to cover core costs of MCDI's activities in Kilwa district between May 2005 and March 2008.
Conservation Leadership Programme
The very first expedition in 1996 that started MCDI won a prize in what was then known as the BP Conservation Awards programme and is now known simply as the Conservation Leadership Programme. The 1998 and 2000 expeditions were short-listed for follow-up awards. Then in 2004 the project was awarded one of the top consolidation awards ($75,000), allowing us to start practical conservation activities.
- In 2006, through FFI's Communities, Livelihoods & Governance Programme we received a portion of a grant from the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Entitled Resources for Improved Livelihoods, the grant enabled FFI and its partners such as MCDI to reflect on how and why we are addressing human needs, to monitor achievements and to develop best practice in combining poverty reduction with conservation.
- In 2008, FFI provided critical bridging funds to MCDI between the end of the Darwin grant and the start of the Comic Relief grant.
- Then alongside the Comic Relief grant FFI channelled additional funding from Anglo American, again focusing on the balance between conservation and community needs.