Making conservation work for communities in Tanzania

Describing himself as “a product of TBA”, Charles Meshack is Executive Director of the Tanzanian Forest Conservation Group , the country’s largest non-governmental organisation focusing on the conservation of natural forests.

Back in 2000, Charles attended the TBA field course in Amani, in the Eastern Arc forests which he now spends his time conserving. Since then he has returned to our courses as a TBA teacher to share his knowledge and enthusiasm with the next generation of forest conservationists.

His role is to lead the TFCG in its mission to conserve and restore the biodiversity of globally important forests in Tanzania for the benefit of present and future generations.

It is a critically important task: the group focuses on two distinct forest areas —the Eastern Arc Mountains and the coastal forests. These forests sustain the lives of millions of people in Eastern Tanzania; providing water supplies, food and fuel, protecting soils, storing millions of tonnes of carbon and harbouring high levels of endemic biodiversity – they are globally recognised as irreplaceable hotspots for biodiversity conservation.

One of his proudest achievements is making conservation work for communities and forests in Tanzania. This he has done through his work and by developing the use of local radio programmes, as an effective way to reach rural communities as part of joint forestry management initiatives