National Geographic Buffett Award Winner - Leadership in Conservation

Awarded for "improving the wellbeing of rural communities,... as well as the forests upon which they rely".

On 16th June, Makala Jasper, CEO of MCDI was awarded the 2016 National Geographic Society Buffett Award for Leadership in African Conservation. It recognises his remarkable work and lifetime contributions that have furthered natural resource conservation understanding and practice in Tanzania.

Why was Makala singled out?

  1. For improving the wellbeing of rural communities in southeastern Tanzania, as well as the forests upon which they rely
  2. For pioneering community-based forest management through the work of MCDI, which supports more than 55,000 rural men, women and children in 35 communities
  3. For empowering rural communities to take control of and sustainably manage their forests, providing economic benefits and improving livelihoods
  4. For supporting the first ever commercial timber harvest from a community-managed natural forest in Tanzania, resulting in more than 100-fold increase in local earnings per cubic meter
  5. For creating opportunities for communities to use sustainable timber profits for their development needs, from building schools and solar powered marketplace, to purchasing school uniforms and providing health insurance for elders
  6. For receiving the first - and to date only - Forest Stewardship Council certification for a community managed natural forest in Africa through the work of MCDI.

As well as offering international recognition, the Buffett award is designed to support Makala's continuing work in the field.

On behalf of MCDI, Makala is sincerely grateful to all MCDI supporters such as The Government of Tanzania, WWF Tanzania, Comic Relief, Maliasili Initiatives and many more others who helped him along the way to become a winner of the National Geographic Society Buffet Award 2016.

Also in recognition of his long-term commitment to community-centered conservation in Tanzania, Makala recently received the Whitley Fund for Nature 2016 Whitley Award, donated by WWF-UK.

It has been an award season for MCDI, with 2 international prestigious awards in 2 months, a huge encouragement for us to excel further.