The Community Forest Conservation Network of Tanzania, locally known as Mtandao wa Jamii wa Usimamizi wa Misitu Tanzania (MJUMITA), is a network of 117 community groups involved in participatory forest management in Tanzania. The network provides a forum for capacity building, advocacy and communication for communities to sustainably utilize over 1,800,000 hectares of forest and improve their livelihoods.
Why Their Work Matters: MJUMITA was established in response to the need for a forum to engage in dialogue with the Forestry and Beekeeping Division on ways to address policy, legal and implementation issues in relation to participatory forest management. The network has provided support for communities to defend their forest rights where these are being threatened, including in cases where private sector companies have attempted to take community forests.
MJUMITA has engaged 450 villages in participatory forest management plans, covering a total of 2.5 million acres.
- MJUMITA’s members are present in 13 regions, 30 districts, 450 villages and represent 500 user groups involved in participatory forest management across Tanzania.
- Through local and national network meetings, MJUMITA provides a space for communities from around the country to discuss issues of common concern and articulate demand for changes to the status quo.
- MJUMITA has built the advocacy capacity of communities from 450 villages and 117 local networks to understand, analyse and advocate for their rights in land and forest resources.
Rahima Njaidi, is the Executive Director of MJUMITA. She brings a combination of experience in community empowerment, environment and forest conservation in Tanzania. Rahima has been with MJUMITA since 2007, previously serving as the Strengthening Officer for MJUMITA’s sister organization, Tanzania Forest Conservation Group.
She has extensive experience in bringing the communities’ voices to the top of the agenda at all levels. As a lawyer, and Advocate of the High Court of Tanzania, Rahima has been able to put her legal knowledge into practice by providing assistance to the local communities on legal issues related to local forest management.
Before joining MJUMITA, Rahima worked with the Lawyers Environmental Action Team (LEAT) where she helped strengthen the capacity of the local communities on existing natural resources laws and policies and advocacy. She also volunteered with the Tanzania Women Lawyers Association and provided legal aid to women and children.