Mtanza-Msona village lies to the north of the Rufiji River, and is situated just downstream of the Selous Game Reserve to the west. The village area includes the Rufiji floodplain which is used for agriculture, and large areas of forest, some of which have been included within the village forest reserve. The villagers are highly dependent on the Rufiji for fish and other wetland products, and for the annual floods which allow them to grow crops on the floodplain.
The village has its own Village Environment Committee and Village Environment Management Plan; these came out of the Rufiji Environment Management Project (REMP), which won the UNDP Equator Award in 2004. The REMP project has now finished, and this project is contributing to the follow-on phase (REMP II), alongside other projects focusing on laws and rights, sustainable use and the village forest reserve. Working with the IUCN Regional Office for Eastern and Southern Africa, and the IUCN Tanzania Office, the project team implemented and developed the Darwin Toolkit methods to document the contribution of wetland biodiversity to the livelihoods of the local community, focusing both on the services provided by the wetlands and threats to the provision of those services.