Mpingo Conservation & Development Initiative was founded in 1995, originally under the name of the Cambridge Mpingo Project, and began with the Tanzanian Mpingo 96 student expedition. Between 1996 and 2003 the project organised six student research expeditions to Tanzania, involving 56 students from eight different universities, during which time we changed our name to the Mpingo Conservation Project (MCP).

The project was transformed when in 2004 we won the top prize in the BP Conservation Awards Programme. This allowed the project to set up a permanent field base in Kilwa District, Lindi region-Tanzania, and to complement its ongoing research programme with practical, community-based conservation.

In 2010 we changed our name again, this time to the Mpingo Conservation & Development Initiative (MCDI for short) to better reflect what we do, and to convey the long-term horizons under which we operate.

Our Vision


Rural communities in Tanzania are sustainably managing their forests to support their livelihoods and economies

Our Mission

To advance forest conservation and community development in Tanzania by facilitating sustainable and socially equitable utilisation of forest resources

Forest Stewardship Certification

The first and best known forest certification is that established by the Forest Stewardship Council™ (FSC), whose logo is the tree-tick mark that will be familiar that is increasingly common on furniture and paper products in the UK and US today. It is widely recognised as being the toughest certification standard - the global gold standard for responsible forest management - and is the only certification system supported by many international NGOs, including MCDI's partners Fauna & Flora International and WWF. FSC's certification scheme is based on ten principles which cover social, economic, ecological and cultural issues; they include managerial aspects as well as environmental and social requirements.

Our Approach

Effective land use and forest right

Forest patrols/natural resources assessments

Governance support

We link communities with buyers

Our Main Works

Our Main Works

Join us

Join us as a volunteer, intern or on a research placement!
As an international intern, we need you to be pro-active, independent and have a clear idea of what you want to get out of your time with us. Your work will make a valuable contribution to help us achieve our goals, and will involve a combination of desk-based activities and some optional field work. We are looking for skilled and dedicated individuals to support us in the following areas.

Data entry and analysis



Fundraising and donor reporting

External communication