At the Mpingo Conservation & Development Initiative we promote forest conservation in south-eastern Tanzania by finding and creating opportunities where local communities can benefit from sustainably managing their forests. Specifically, we:
- Promote community-based forest management, so communities can own, manage and benefit from their forests
- Facilitate ethical, sustainable and long-lasting forest-based income generating opportunities that encourage communities to practice sustainable forest management (specifically through timber and carbon)
- Raise awareness about the benefits that can come from forest conservation, and
- Provide tools and enhanced capacity so that communities can demand improved governance systems over their natural resources.
We are named after Mpingo, the East African Blackwood tree, is used to make clarinets and oboes, and is the medium of choice for local wood carvers. It´s dark, lustrous heartwood is one of the most valuable timbers in the world, but the tree is under threat from over-exploitation and could become commercially extinct. However it also has great potential to act as a flagship for conservation of the coastal forests and miombo woodlands of East Africa.