10 Year Anniversary Stakeholders' Forum

10 years of supporting communities to take control of, manage and benefit from their forests — for their own benefit, for future generations, for the world.

On 20th of December 2014, MCDI and Kilwa District Council will celebrate our 10 Year Anniversary – since we began working together to support rural communities to benefit from conserving their forests a decade ago. In just 10 years, we have helped nine local communities to set aside more than 100,000 hectares of forest as village land forest reserves (MCDI also supported seven communities in the nearby Districts of Liwale and Tunduru to reserve 80,000 hectares of forest in 2014). Once communities have the legal rights in place, we support them to generate ethical, sustainable, and long-lasting forest-based income by selling certified hardwood timber. To date, we have assisted five communities in Kilwa District to earn more than USD $200,000 (340 million Tanzanian Shillings) from timber sales.

MCDI monitor the impacts of our projects on people and forests to ensure that they are having actual, tangible benefits for conservation and development. One way that we do this is through our Annual Stakeholders’ Forum, a participatory event that provides a key platform through which MCDI and our partners – including District Authorities and communities – can share and critically assess our progress. The Forum also serves as an opportunity for MCDI’s collaborators to take part in shaping our work plans for the coming year – it has been one of our key strengths in maintaining transparency in decision making, ensuring that we are fully accountable to the communities we support.

This year, MCDI will be using our Annual Stakeholders’ Forum, which will be held on 20th December where we are based in Kilwa District, south-eastern Tanzania, to celebrate our 10 Year Anniversary, reflecting on our achievements to date. Community representatives will play a deep-seated role in the event; they will each present the progress that has been made in their respective villages, as well as the challenges they have faced, and make recommendations for how MCDI, together with District Council Authorities, can improve our support in the coming year and beyond.

You can download the official Press Release here.