MCDI began working with Likawage village in 2008. It has been selected as one of the villages to participate in the MCDI REDD project and is also a member of our Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) group certificate scheme.
Our work in Likawage
Since we began working with Likawage village in 2008, we have raised awareness in the community about Participatory Forest Management (PFM), including forest conservation and natural resource governance. We helped the community form a Village Natural Resource Committee (VNRC), develop village land use plans and management plans, and to map and demarcate boundaries for their Village Land Forest Reserve (VLFR). Likawage VLFR encompasses 17,921 ha of forest and was granted official status in March, 2013.
Likawage village joined MCDI’s Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) group certificate scheme in November, 2013. As well as adding value to the local price of timber in Likawage, thus maximising the benefits that the community can generate from PFM, certification ensures sustainable and equitable practices in the management and harvesting process. The village was also selected to participate in our REDD pilot project.
We have invested a significant amount of time raising awareness about certification and REDD with both the VNRC in Likawage and across the entire community. Most recently, we began to provide training on fire management, which will be a key aspect of reducing drivers of deforestation in Likawage village, and initiated a programme of early burning – MCDI’s preferred strategy to reduce carbon emissions resulting from frequent uncontrolled bush fires in the local miombo woodlands – there for the first time in 2013.
MCDI implement monitoring systems so that we can measure the impacts that our interventions are having for forest conservation and community development. We collected baseline socio-economic and governance data at the outset in Likawage so that we quantify the impacts of our projects in these areas. We also established tree and soil sample plots which we will use to monitor carbon changes in the forest and have begun to introduce the concept of biodiversity monitoring, setting up systems whereby community members themselves can assist in measuring changes in wildlife populations over time.
More about Likawage Village
Likawage is one of three villages in Likawage Ward. It has a population of approximately 6,000. Similar to many other villages that MCDI works with, most community members rely on agriculture to meet their daily income and subsistence needs. They also however use the surrounding forests to collect honey, timber, firewood and mushrooms. The Rungo Forest Reserve – encompassing abundant wildlife and savannah grassland – is located within Likawage village boundaries. The village also contains an airstrip.