We offer 2 distinct environmental opportunities with many options.
Ngorogoro Crater Conservation Authority:
Volunteers would work at the nursery, planting trees, with local community education on ecosystem services, and on land reclamation projects around the crater.
Volunteers are needed year-round. March- April is tree planting season
African Blackwood Conservation Project:
The African Blackwood Conservation Project was established in 1996 by James Harris, a woodworker from Texas, USA, and Sebastian Chuwa, a botanist from Tanzania. It's purpose is to replenish the population of the African blackwood or mpingo tree (botanical name: Dalbergia melanoxylon).Because of the extensive use of this wood in carving, instrument and woodworking trades its supply is being depleted at an unsustainable rate. Although the tree grows in other parts of Africa, it is primarily harvested in Tanzania and Mozambique, countries with ideal climatic conditions for producing trees with charachteristics suitable to the specific uses of the instrument and carving trades. Because of overuse, the tree is now commercially extinct in Kenya and some areas of Tanzania. If present, usage continues with no attempt to replant the trees, geographic areas practically devoid of the tree will enlarge, thus adversely affecting the East African ecosystem in which it grow, as well as numerous commercial enterprises throughout the world.
The programs of the ABCP are designed and implemented by the late Sebastian Chuwa who has worked for over 30 years as a conservationist in Tanzania along with a large group of volunteers mobilized by his leadership. Sebastian believed that mpingo conservation, in order to be widespread and lasting, must be based on public education along with large-scale replanting efforts. Since mpingo tree take 70-200 years to reach maturity, there has been little interest by commercial users in replanting efforts. Sebastian, however has raised awareness about the problematic future facing mpingo and has designed programs that are helping with its conservation by including the species as one part of a larger plan for biodiversity conservation, reforestation, and economic security for the people of the area.
In recent years ABCP has widened it's horizons to include environmental work not strictly related to mpingo conservation. Because of the long growing time for mpingo (70-200 years) and because of its relatively limited short term uses, the ABCP is instituting a variety of programs in Tanzania that will plant not only mpingo, but a variety of additional tree species that will deliver immediate benefits to populations in our target areas. One crucial need is for fast-growing trees to use for fuel since an estimated 80% of energy use in Tanzania is based on wood products. Other trees in our nurseries provide food, medicines, building poles, and lumber as well as commercial timber for the retail market. Thus, mpingo becomes one of a number of trees incorporated into our overall philosophy of land conservation and human empowerment.
The ABCP also supports reforestation efforts for the conservation of Mt. Kilimanjaro because it's role as a crucial watershed in northern Tanzania run-off from Kilimanjaro affects all species in the surrounding ecosystem for hundreds of miles. Farmers, families, plant life, and wildlife all depend on the sustenance of water sources originating on the mountain.
ABCP gives local people in great need in surrounding areas trees of high value to them in the short term like fruit and fast growing timber harvest species and requires that they plant mpingo and other rare and important species for the future achieving goals of both conservation and sustainable use.
Volunteers can be involved in any of the above stated activities and more which all serve and benefit the people living in these rural areas and are critical steps in environmental stewardship of the ecosystem we all depend on. You can plant endangered mpingo trees near Mt. Kilimanjaro as well as other biologically important native trees such as: Mahogany, coffee, mango, eucalyptus, and other fast growing species that local people can use for building materials and fuelwood.
Moshi site: Tree nursury and tree planting (mpingo). The Moshi site is nestled in a rural farming village and specializes in Mpingo reestablishment.
Kilimanjaro site: The second site is in the shadow of 18,000 foot Mt. Kilimanjaro. Focus here is on reestablishing and maintaining high biodiversity of the area and planting timber harvest and fruit species to supply local people with needed resources to stop timber harvest of rare and valueable species in the conservation area surrounding the mountain.
Volunteers are needed for ABCP year round. March-April is tree planting season.
African Blackwood Conservation Project
Ngorongoro Conservation Authority
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