Environmental, Human Rights Care and Gender Organisation (ENVIROCARE) is a Non-Governmental, nonpartisan, non-profit making, organization advocating for environmental justice, human rights and gender equality and equity for all nationally and internationally. Since its inception in 1993, Envirocare has evolved remarkably and has become renowned for being an organization strengthening other civil societies and improving the livelihoods of local communities using a participatory and holistic approach. The main achievement has been in “…changing people’s lives through giving them a voice to influence changes politically, socially, economically and environmentally”. Currently the organization has staff with multi-disciplinary expertise in agriculture, nutrition, law, human resources, gender, sociology, environment, project management, monitoring and evaluation, fundraising, financial management and marketing among other.
The vision of the organization is to become a Centre of Excellence recognized nationally and internationally as observers of human rights, gender equality and equity that aspires to a clean and safe environment that can benefit all citizens equally and in a sustainable way.
The mission of Envirocare is to be the best provider of knowledge and skills to the society in order to change their attitudes, behavior and practices toward environmental justice and human rights care through participatory and holistic approach.
Envirocare objective is to promote environmental conservation, enhancement and sustainable use of natural resources and to improve livelihoods of the poor in response to climate change and other factors. In addition, to advocate for human rights, gender equity and equality.
Legal Status of Organization:
Envirocare is a nonprofit making, non-partisan, Non-Governmental registered Organization founded in 1993. Envirocare has registered under a Trust Deed with registration no.3060 and has a Certificate of Compliance no. 0718 under the Non-Governmental Organization Act, 2002. It has also registered as a legal aid provider by the Registrar of Legal Aid Providers under the Ministry of Constitution and Legal Affairs in accordance with the Legal Aid Act no. 1 of 2017.
All its activities are focused at both community as well as national level.
Community based and participatory approach
Envirocare’s primary target groups as well as main stakeholders are the communities that we have chosen to work with. From the inception of ideas to the implementation and evaluation we ensure that the communities are engaged in a meaningful way in order to safeguard ownership and enhance sustainability of the project impact. We are committed to helping people build on the resources readily available in order to bring about positive changes.
Envirocare believes that everybody has a right to participate in decision-making be it at household level, in the district planning processes or using constitutional rights to participate in elections. We are aware that cultural norms, values and practices in many communities in Tanzania do place gender specific constraints which particularly limit women’s participation in decision making and development processes. In this regard Envirocare places special attention to women’s participation as the key-holders to sustainable development.
Envirocare emphasizes the links between environmental degradation, human rights abuse, and poverty. An environmental problem cannot be solved successfully without analyzing and addressing these links. This encompasses issues of land rights, who owns and decides on the use of natural assets, of gender equality, who in the family has decisive powers over the family’s resources, and of democracy, how people can participate in decision-making that influences their livelihoods and their environment. As a result of this approach all implementations are designed to address these links either as direct interventions by Envirocare or through some of our networking partners.
The organisation employs a team of professionals, advisors, volunteers and support staff with multi-discipline expertise in Environment, Forestry, Beekeeping, Economics, Media and Communication, Agriculture, Law, Human Resource Management, Gender, Sociology and Project Fund Management. The Envirocare staff have acquired competence in implementing core activities from a wide variety of trainings, professional exchange program with Norway and through experience from project management.
Envirocare has a competent Board of Trustees with professional qualifications to assist staff members in any project and to advice the Organization management team accordingly.
Envirocare has offices in Dar es Salaam, Tanga and Kilimanjaro regions. For the past 24 years, the organization has implemented her programs in Dar es Salaam, Kilimanjaro, Tanga, Iringa, Arusha, Mbeya, Morogoro, Mara, Mtwara, Mwanza, Dodoma, Kigoma, Tabora, Geita and Coast Region.
Envirocare enjoys good working relations with a number of development partners as well as with government bodies at national and local level. The organization values collaboration with like-minded organizations and have joined a number of local, national and international networks as a means to increase her achievements.
Envirocare has a strong track record of implementing development projects aiming at improving environmental conservation and enhancing an equitable sharing of those natural resources most people in Tanzania depend on for their livelihoods. Focus has been on integrating human rights issues with a gender perspective since issues of land and inheritance rights are critical for women to benefit equally and participate fully in community affairs.
As part of environmental conservation Envirocare has worked holistically to enhance and increase agricultural production through the promotion of organic farming and climate change adaptation, bee keeping, seed banking, slow food farming, gender value chain and improved farming methods. Promotion of tree-planting especially medicinal and short term tree nurseries both at household level and at community level through participatory forest management has been another way of carrying out the mission of Envirocare. In drought areas Envirocare has promoted drip irrigation and planting drought resistant crops. In fighting erosion at the edge of the sea, Envirocare has promoted mangrove and weed farming as a means of addressing environmental degradation and a wealth creation to resource poor farmers.
Additionally, in 2017, Envirocare in collaboration with Women Fund Tanzania organized a workshop with the objective of recognizing the roles and responsibilities played by women and men in environmental conservation. The workshop brought 30 participants to establish and strengthen the networks for the purposes of building environmental movement. The participants were from different sectors including; forestry, agriculture, energy, water, mining, beekeeping to mention a few. The participants discussed how women can participate further in environmental conservation at many levels, including at community level and at policy formulation level. This was an eye opener to participants and accelerated the need to form a platform to address their environmental justice issues.
Civic education and economic empowerment in some cases with youth and vulnerable groups as a specific target group has been carried out with considerable impact.
Furthermore, Envirocare has played a significant role in educating children and youth on HIV/Aids and to advocate for removal of communication barriers between children and parents, students and teachers.
Finally Envirocare has been outspoken in advocating for women’s rights and agricultural policies favorable to the environment and awareness raising on effects of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) to human health and environment.
In the Strategic Plan 2017-2023, Envirocare has decided to focus on the following regions; Kilimanjaro, Tanga, Morogoro and Dar es Salaam. However where need arise Envirocare shall be flexible to extend its geographical area beyond its main focus. Envirocare has also identified five key thematic areas, which are strengthening institutional development and governance, grant making, timely access to justice for all, land and property rights with a special focus on women and children, environmental conservation and restoration in urban and rural areas and improvement of livelihood of targeted poor local communities.
Envirocare has a good number of partners with whom it is working with, internal partners include:
The Central and Local Government
The Central Government allows the organization to operate, formulating laws, policies and procedures, provides support, security, technical experts and linking NGOs including Envirocare with development partners community. Envirocare has enjoyed close and fostering relationship with government ministries in the discharge of its services, some of them are: The Ministry of Constitution and Legal Affairs, Home Affairs, Education and Vocational Training, Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children, Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism, Ministries of: Land, Energy, Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries, Ministry of Union and Environment of VPO. Other partners are Tanzania Food and Drugs Authority (TFDA), National Environmental Management Council (NEMC), GCLA, FCC, Tanzania Bureau of Standards (TBS), OSHA to mention a few.
Like minded organizations
Local Civil Society Organizations and international NGOs who operate in the areas of environment, legal, human rights, and gender have worked with Envirocare, either individually or as Alliances/networks to promote advocacy work on prioritized issues of community interests for sustainable development. This has been through providing a common ground for negotiating with the government and development partners and to help in joint resource mobilization.eg. Mama Ardhi Alliance (WLAC, TAWLA, LHRC, PWC, UCRT, Envirocare, TAMWA), TALA, TANLAP, TANGONET, TANREF, TAWREF, Legal Aid Secretariat (LAS), Legal Services Facility (LSF), Tanzania Gender Networking Programme (TGNP), Women Legal Aid Center (WLAC), WAT-Human Settlement Trust, , Women Direct (Regional African Network), Kilimanjaro Women Information Exchange Cooperation (KWIECO), Kikundi cha Wanawake Kilimanjaro Kupambana na Ukimwi (KIWAKUKI) and KIWODEA. Women Direct, Sahringon. Centre for Women and Children (CWC), Pastoralist Women Council (PWC), Tanzania Women and Children Welfare Centre (TWCWC) TABIO, TOAM, JET, Women Fund Tanzania (WFT), Lawyers Environmental Action Team (LEAT), Journalist Environmental Team (JET), Africa Biodiversity Network (ABN), AGENDA for Environment, Africa Stockpile Programme (ASP), IPEN, SAICM, Global Forest Coalition (GFC) Kilimo Hai Tanzania (KIHATA), PELUM, Mtandao wa Vikundi vya Wakulima Wadogo Wadogo Tanzania (MVIWATA), TanCert, Tanzania Organic Foundation (TOFO), Pastoral Indigenous NGO Forum (PINGO), Tanzania Pesticides Research Institute (TPRI), COSTECH, TENGERU, SELIAN, KILOSA, Small Industry Development Organisation (SIDO), Sokoine University of Agriculture (SUA), University of Dar es Salaam (UDSM). Envirocare has had years of collaboration with Fredskorpset - Peace Corps (Partnership for Development), which involves exchanges of young professionals between North (Norway) and South.
Present and past partners
Partners provide both technical and financial support. Envirocare past and present partners are: LSF, WFT, National Bank of Commerce (NBC, Ltd), UNDP, DANIDA, FINISH, EU, HIVOS, Fredrik (FES), Care International, NORAD, UNEP, FAO, CIDA (Canada), Egmont, Rapid Funding Envelop (RFE), Friend of Envirocare and USAID.
Ma'Afrika (A Zulu word for 'Women of Africa') -A competition that recognizes and rewards women of Africa who excel in community activities, but have not yet experienced international exposure or recognized for their dedicated work. In recognition of our modest achievements, the leadership of the organization through the Executive Director Ms. Loyce Lema has been awarded the national and international prize of Ma’Africa, for her truly exemplary and inspirational work in the interest of sustainable development for Africa. She serves her community and her country with great distinction.
The EGMONT Trust
This award for excellence of 2014 was in recognition of the inspirational contribution to improving the lives of children and families affected by HIV and AIDs.
WD (Women Direct) – A regional network with one voice and commitment to promoting women’s higher participation in leadership and decision making in Greater East Africa region, namely Burundi, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda. Envirocare coordinated the network in Tanzania and through that women parliamentarians were able to voice out women’s issues in the parliament.
The African Biodiversity Network (ABN) - is a regional network of individuals and organizations, seeking African solutions to the ecological and socio-economic challenges that face the continent. ABN works with partners, allies and communities in 12 African countries: Benin, Botswana, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, South Africa, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe. In Tanzania, Envirocare is one of the network member organizations and also a member of ABN Board. The ABN was first conceived in 1996 in response to growing concern in the region over threats to biodiversity in Africa and the need to develop strong African positions and legal instruments at the national, regional and international level.
ABN strives to ignite and nurture a growing network of change agents working passionately at all levels, in the face of injustices and destruction arising from the current industrial development model, to enable resilient local communities to govern their lives and livelihoods rooted in their own social, cultural and ecological diversity. It seeks cultural oriented solutions to the contemporary ecological and socio-economic challenges that face Africa on the issues such as food and seed sovereignty, genetic engineering, agrofuels, biodiversity protection, extractive industries and the rights of small-holder farmers.
Through ABN’s support Envirocare has been able to mobilize small scale farmers into a network on local seeds multiplication, preservation, storage and use as well as utilization of cultural and local food among community members in Siha District in Kilimanjaro region in Tanzania for human health and environmental conservation. Through this network of farmers’ groups, Envirocare has contributed to efforts of building capacities of the farm communities, young people, pupils, local government officials in importance of gender responsive environmental conservation, local seed security, challenges of genetically modified seeds, land rights, food security, and climate change resilience for sustainable environmental justice and gender value chain. Moreover, with a focus to ABN values and principles, Envirocare in collaboration with ABN Secretariat, has contributed in pulling together people from cultural groups of Maasai and Chagga backgrounds in deepening youth’s sense of belonging and connectedness with culture and self. This intervention promoted intra and intergenerational learning to bridge the gap in knowledge between elders and the youth, and documentation of the same for the restoration of culture, confidence and self-esteem of the community. The initiative targeted to build a new generation of environmental champions and future custodians of indigenous knowledge and practice. Different advocacy messages and issues for change concerning seed security, food security, human health, environmental justice and gender have been prioritized through collective forums and voices of small-scale farmers in the area.
Mama Ardhi Alliance
In the course of implementation of the ongoing project “Advancing Women’s Access to Land and property Rights in Tanzania, Envirocare has conducted various activities that contribute to achievement of the project objective which is to increase knowledge on land, property rights and gender value chain to women, law enforces, women economic groups, community members, traditional and influential male leaders. One of the strategies used to achieve the objective was to establish Mama Ardhi Alliance to be used as a tool to pull different likeminded organizations and individuals together to identify issues of advocacy to attain women’s land and property rights.
This Alliance was formed by five rights-based organizations in 2013 to advocate for enhanced gender-equitable land and property ownership policies and practices in Tanzania. Along with other advocates, Mama Ardhi played an instrumental role in successful efforts to ensure that provisions enshrining women’s rights to land ownership were included in the new proposed Constitution 2014 (Katiba inayopendekezwa), passed by the Constituent Assembly in October, 2014. Mama Ardhi Alliance was founded by likeminded organizations that include Pastoral Women’s Council (PWC), Envirocare, Tanzania Women Lawyers Association (TAWLA), Ujamaa Community Resource Team (UCRT) and Women’s Legal Aid Centre (WLAC).
In collaboration with Mama Ardhi Alliance members, Envirocare launched a profound campaign in 2015 to promote women’s land rights in Kilindi District in Tanga region which pulled together women and men from communities, youth, children, paralegals, religious leaders, influential people, male champions, local government officials from village to district levels and media. The campaigns of this nature have been very useful in promoting knowledge and change towards gender-equitable standards in provision of justice to ensure access to land, ownership and distribution of other properties between men and women in the area. The advocacy messages were also shared in other areas by Alliance members and continue to be shared on a sustainable manner in different communities.
Stories of success and best practices concerning impacts made on women’s land ownership, sharing of benefits for livelihood improvement and participation in leadership have been documented through routine monitoring and evaluation done in Envirocare project areas and also through meetings with Mama Ardhi Alliance members. Database of those who benefited from paralegals’ services has been developed for reporting and follow ups.
Global Forest Coalition (GFC).
Global Forest Coalition (GFC) is an international coalition of NGOs and Indigenous People’s Organizations defending social justice and the rights of forest peoples in forest policies. The Coalition aims for effective, rights-based forest policies. Documentation of culture in environmental conservation and local resources was done.
Member organizations are from Asia, Pacific, Latin/South America, Europe, Eastern Europe, Northern and Central Asia, Africa and North America. In Tanzania, Envirocare is one of the GFC members. Through GFC support, Envirocare has been able to mobilize community groups in Siha and Moshi Rural Districts in Kilimanjaro region through raising their awareness on conservation of biodiversity and culture by strengthening their ability to protect and restore biodiversity, culture and habitats through developing strategies for building indigenous resilience, mitigating impacts of global change and strengthening the linkages between biological and cultural diversity for the development of the indigenous community. Through community groups’ voices, advocacy messages were created which are used in advocacy work, community training and enforcement of policies in environmental sectors eg. Forests, agriculture for food security and preservation of culture.
These are small groups supported by Global Green Grants Fund. The groups work for environment conservation and livelihoods with facilitation from Envirocare.
Swedish Society for Nature Conservation (SSNC)
Envirocare through her project on Reducing the Impact of Toxic Chemicals in Products on Human Health and the Environment in Tanzania, launched a “Not Too Pretty Campaign” in 2016 in Dar es Salaam which mobilized individual women, girls and groups of entrepreneurs to come together for learning on dangers of toxic cosmetics on human health and environment. The project had an objective to reduce human health and environmental risks from chemicals in products and textile industries in Tanzania by 2015.
The Campaign gave rise to leaders in community groups as agents of change to raise awareness of others in their families and areas of work on effects of toxic chemicals to human health and environment for current and future generations. Through their collective voice on the associated dangers on these cosmetics, Envirocare together with government institutions as TFDA and Medical Practitioners joined efforts to educate the public using evidence-based practices performed by the people who were either using harmful products with or without knowledge and/or produced toxic cosmetics at home for their use and for sale. They came up with a slogan as a main theme "Mkorogo sasa Basi" to stop the use of banned cosmetics and increase in community demands and use of safe products. The same campaign was intended to be replicated in other regions in Tanzania. The Campaign led to informed gender decision making on chemicals management.
Green Action Week.
Green Action Week is a recognized week for partners working on organic farming for all nationally and internationally. Envirocare, has been working with SSNC to support small scale farmers to strengthen local seed security for environmental conservation, and improved livelihoods.
National Bank of Commerce (NBC).
Waste management for environmental protection and livelihood improvement. Envirocare launched a cleanliness week that pulled people in Kibangu Ubungo to collect waste for wealth. The project created wealth for Youth through waste management and contributed to environmental conservation