Mama Misitu Campaign is a five year communications campaign aiming to improve the governance of Tanzania’s forests and improve the legality of forest harvesting, so that the people of Tanzania can increasingly benefit from sustainably managed forests.

Mama Misitu

The Campaign is called Mama Misitu (‘Mother Forests’), summoning visions of a mother taking care of her house and the environment. Mama Misitu Campaign promotes women participation in bringing changes towards improving forest governance.

How did we start?

In 2008 the Tanzania Forest Working Group (TFWG) launched the pilot phase of the campaign in response to TRAFFIC’s 2007 report  on illegal timber trade, ‘Forestry, Governance and National Development: ‘lessons learnt from a logging boom in Southern Tanzania’. This report brought several key issues to light, including revenue shortfalls, large scale corruption, and unsustainable rates of harvesting and loss of biodiversity.  The report recommended community participation in forest management through outreach and advocacy to reduce illegal logging. It is for these reasons that the project takes the form of a campaign and not a conventional project. The pilot phase ran for two years and lessons from the pilot phase made the Tanzania Forestry Working Group develop this five year implementation phase (2011-2016).

What are our goals?

To improve forest governance of Tanzania’s forest and reduce illegal forest harvesting, so that people of Tanzania can increasingly benefit from sustainably managed forests.

How does the campaign work?

The campaign believes that, sustainable change comes through well established networking of forest stakeholders.  Therefore the campaign builds its ‘win win’ innovative ways interventions on five clusters so that each stakeholder can simultaneously achieve its goal and support to improving forest governance. These clusters include:

Public debate generated on the need for improved forest governance

National government and government agencies provide more support to improving forest governance and combating forest crime

District authorities and local law enforcement agencies improving their practice towards good forest governance

Forest-adjacent communities are aware of forest governance issues and the value of forest products, advocating for their rights, and involved in combating forest crime

Forest based businesses engaged and active in the fight to improve forest governance

Where we work?

The campaign works in the coastal regions ranging from Tanga, Coast, Lindi, Mtwara to Ruvuma.