Mulanje Mountain Conservation Trust (MMCT) spearheads conservation activities on Mount Mulanje Biosphere Reserve.
MMCT is an environmental endowment trust based in Mulanje, originally funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF), through the World Bank. The Trust works in collaboration with the Department of Forestry and other stakeholders in facilitating raising of people’s awareness, involvement and understanding of the importance of conservation and responsible management of bio-diversity and natural resources in the Mulanje Mountain Forest Reserve and to ensure equitable distribution of benefits there-of.
MMCT believes that sustainable development is at the heart of conservation efforts; hence, it pursues its mission to facilitate responsible management of the mountain resources by involving communities around the Reserve, whose livelihoods are dependent on its resources. MMCT believes that solutions to conservation efforts must involve local people and they should acknowledge the importance of the mountain and the Forest Reserve to them.
MMCT also works in collaboration and partnership with various government departments, Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), Community Based Organizations (CBOs), schools, youth groups, Faith Based Organizations and individuals with similar objectives with the Trust or with interest in Mount Mulanje and its unique Forest Reserve
MMCT overall goal is “sustainable management of Mount Mulanje Biosphere Reserve” and has the following objectives to achieve this goal.
- To improve the state of eco-system and bio-diversity on Mount Mulanje
- To reduce illegal harvest of and use of the mountains resources
- To increase participation in the utilization and management of the mountains other important resources
- To increase value-adding to the forest-based natural resources enterprises to improve local livelihoods
- To generate plantation timber sales to assist management and benefit local communities
- To organize (the mountains) boundary communities to be involved in Mulanje Mountain Forest Reserve management and resources utilization activities
- To increase public understanding in Mount Mulanje and participation in its conservation
- To generate relevant research and information to inform programme direction priorities
MMCT has the following strategies also known as programme;
Biodiversity Conservation, Research and Monitoring: This programme seeks to support activities to identify, protect, manage and monitor the status of biodiversity and ecosystem health of the mountain and reduce negative aspects of human pressures on the ecosystem and its biological resources.
Forest Co-management and Sustainable Livelihood: This programmes encourages greater participation of the local communities in managing the reserve and facilitate sustainable means of increasing benefits that people derive from the reserve through conservation activities and co-management.
Environmental Education and Communication: The programme seeks to raise awareness amongst communities around the mountain of the value and importance of the reserve. It also shares the importance of the mountain to both the nation and international through several communication activities.