by Nike Doggart, Technical Advisor, Tanzania Forest Conservation Group

Tanzania’s Community Forestry Network wins the prestigious Equator Prize 2015

8th December 2015

At a prize-giving ceremony held in Paris last night, the Community Forestry Network of Tanzania, better known by its Swahili acronym MJUMITA, was awarded with the prestigious Equator Prize 2015 in the category of Forests. MJUMITA was granted the award for its work on community based forest management. The Equator Prize is awarded each year by UNDP to 20 outstanding local and indigenous community initiatives that are advancing innovative solutions for people, nature and resilient communities.  MJUMITA’s nomination was selected from amongst 1,461 nominations from 126 countries.

MJUMITA was first established by TFCG in 2000 to provide a networking and advocacy forum for communities involved in participatory forest management. The network has grown steadily since then. Today MJUMITA’s 15,000 members are present in 23 districts, 450 villages and represent around 500 user groups and community forest management committees across Tanzania. In 2007, MJUMITA became an independent NGO whilst remaining TFCG’s closest partner in the implementation of our projects.

The event was attended by many leading conservationists and indigenous peoples’ rights advocates including Jane Goodall, the Former Prime Minister of Norway Gro Harlem Brundtland and UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Vicky Tauli-Corpuz. The prize was received by the former Chair of MJUMITA and TFCG staff member, Revocatus Njau, a life-long advocate for community forestry, alongside MJUMITA Executive Director, Rahima Njaidi.