Conservation through Poverty Alleviation, Int

Conservation through Poverty Alleviation, International, a US-based 501(c)3 organization, helps subsistence farmers displaced by the formation of national parks establish new livelihoods that restore and sustain protected habitats.
Jul 27, 2010

President's report on MSEPALI progress

Mario sews textile
Mario sews textile

Update from the field 4 July 2010

Dear Friends Today is my last day in Madagascar. I have a day in the city to catch up from the "Tropic Asia".

While in Maroantsetra, Tom Corcoran, student intern, was working on a fantastic video for CPALI/MSEPALI - we think the story line is going to be perceptions of Makira people of forest conservation - when Tom interviewed the president of the TMA – the farmers association that was set up to manage the border forests edging the Makira Area -Tom asked the president what he thought conservation/biodiversity was - The President replied “it means setting up an NGO. We hope that we will be better able to educate community members through the CPALI program.

Mamy is now organizing our farmer networks - 1 lead farmer for 9 farmers - the lead farmer will take data on farmer economics as well as the sites where the trees are planted. We will have a special training session for the leaders and hopefully with the new solar powered, crank radios we can stay in better touch.

Mamy and the team are working on setting up a board for the new MSEPALI. Everyone is very excited about it. Our first new board member will be a Malagasy PhD student from UC Berkeley, Tendro Ramaharita. He is working with farmers in the area doing land mapping and assessment. He is taking baseline data that he has kindly agreed to allow us to use when we begin to compare CPALI project effects.

We had our second textile workshop - three women who had participated before and two new ones. This time with two industrial sewing machines that were "new" - at least to us and Madagascar. Each machine had a name tag of the previous owners - Mercedes and Flower. We think they probably came from a Chinese, industrial garment factory. The crew soon became pros at making the textile and we now can do it much faster. We were only slowed down by the fact that we did not have more machines. I am sure that we will be able to use solar powered machines and take this work to the village.

The biggest remaining news is that Mamy is getting married to Lalaina Raharindimby! She is planning to move to Maroantsetra - she manages a major hotel in Tana. Given her business skills, she would be a great asset to the project - keep you fingers crossed that our next proposal is funded.

Thank you again for your generous support.

Cay

Catherine L. Craig, PhD CPALI CEO and President

Fanja pieces textile together
Fanja pieces textile together
9 feet and counting!
9 feet and counting!

Links:

Jun 13, 2010

ACTIVITIES OF SEHATRY NY MPAMOKATRA LANDY IFOTONY ( SEPALI)

A. suraka: the first silk moth in the community
A. suraka: the first silk moth in the community

SEPALI is an organization of the silk producers in the community in the edge of Makira protected area. SEPALI got a permit from the ministry to be a Malagasy NGO since March 22nd 2010. The goal of SEPALI is to work with CPALI to create a new livelihood for the poor farmers living in the edge of Makira primary rain forest through developing a wild silk business marketing and help farmers to set up their own business. After four years of research, 4 species of silkmoths have been identify in this area: Antherina suraka SATURNIDAE; Argema mitrei SATURNIDAE; Hypsoides singularis NOTODONTIDAE; Boroceras sp LASIOCAMPIDAE. Currently, the first species of silk moth (Antherina suraka) has been introduced in the communities after several experiments in the SEPALI demonstration sites.

Currently, the main SEPALI`s work is focused on sensibilisation. SEPALI sensibilate farmers in the four communities of Makira protected area. In five months, SEPALI found at least sixty interested farmers in the four communities of Makira: Ambodivoangy, Marovovonana, Ambalamahogo, and Ambinanitelo. Each farmers will farm at least 250 food plant trees, 5 serious farmers were finish to farm 1200 trees in their land. SEPALI team visits each community at least once a month and teach farmers about all methods of the silk production procedures. The farmers must set up a nursery food plant and take care of the seedlings.

The number of interested farmers increases every week. Probably SEPALI will have a hundred interested farmers by the end of 2010. Until May 2010, 5000 trees have been planted in the field by the farmers and 12000 seedling grow in the four nurseries.

The future SEPALI`s objectives:

1- The SEPALI workshop: In June 2010, SEPALI will organize a workshop in Maroantsetra demonstration site. At least 6 selected artists from each community will attend this workshop. The goal of this workshop are to train and teach the community to make a local product accepted by international market. So after producing their own silk, they will make a product and set up their own business. 2- The SEPALI research program: The future objective is to increase the number of farmers until 500 farmers by the end of 2011. Those farmers must germinate their seeds and plant their seedlings in their land and then, they will follow several trainings organized by SEPALI. Antherina suraka is our first specie of silk moth introduced in the communities. One of the main goal of SEPALI is to produce several kinds of wild silk in the communities of Makira protected area. During this year, SEPALI will strengthen the research program about the second specie of silk moth: Argema mitrei SATURNIDAE.

Currently, SEPALI is studying the Argema food plant. The result of our experiment has demonstrated that this specie exist in the edge of Makira protected area. We have scheduled to introduce the Argema rearing program into the community on 2011. By the end of this year, SEPALI must identify the Argema food plant tree .

RATSIMBAZAFY Mamy ( SEPALI founder) May 2010.

Suraka cocoons produced at SEPALI in Maroantsetra
Suraka cocoons produced at SEPALI in Maroantsetra
Ambodivoangy farmers taking care of their nursery
Ambodivoangy farmers taking care of their nursery
Ambalamahogo farmers taking care of their nursery.
Ambalamahogo farmers taking care of their nursery.
Argema mitrei: SEPALI second species
Argema mitrei: SEPALI second species
Argema cocoon to be produced by the farmers
Argema cocoon to be produced by the farmers
Daughter of Denis Ramsay, CPALI
Daughter of Denis Ramsay, CPALI's field manager

Links:

May 17, 2010

New textile and farmers taking off

Jean Argent with adult A. suraka
Jean Argent with adult A. suraka

Dear Friends,

The news from CPALI is all good - Farmers are appearing out of everywhere it seems to participate in our program. Even farmers who "do not like conservation" are setting up their own nurseries to work with CPALI/SEPALI as well as the conservation minded farmers. This is tremendous step forward but has also resulted in a lot more work for the team which is extended to its limits. I am encouraging the team to look for local people who might help us and who we can hire. I had to "forbid" Mamy from going into the field next week - he is recovering from malaria. The team has been getting sick mainly because during the missions they have been eating what ever was available locally, rice and greens and water and they need more to be able to work (as do the farmers we are introducing to the program) . So in the future, the team is going to need to take porters, sleeping nets, more food to make their trips more effective etc. Mamy has helped organize SEPELI Farmer Associations in multiple villages who have elected a president. The president's are individuals that come to Maroantsetra frequently and can take information back to the farmers. Everyday there are many farmer visitors to our demonstration site in Maroantsetra - and it get's better!

Marie Jean, Denis and Mamy have now found an area in the south where there are many Argema mittrei - this is quite fantastic because Argema is the second species that we want farmers to rear and it produces a silk that is even nicer than suraka, according to some buyers. With all the good news, I am hoping to find philanthropic investors. The idea is that a philanthropic investor will get a return on their investment - but not a venture capital return - a return over a longer time period. The term currently in vogue is "patient capital investment" and is the approach taken by the Acumen Fund. Our goal is to set-up a lasting business for the area.

On the US front, we have just signed an engagement letter (pro bono) with an IP law firm who is helping us file a provisional patent for our non-spun textile! James Toupin, who has just joined the CPALI board on his retirement from being head council in the US patent office, helped set this up. Needless to say we are thrilled.

GlobalGiving is having a one day fund drive, 16 June, and will be matching all donations up to $1,000 per donor per project for projects on the www.GlobalGiving.org at 50% match. Please help us raise funds by giving generously and contacting friends an family. A 50% match is as good as it gets and we REALLY need an influx of funds to meet current and increasing demand for CPALI/SEPALI assistance.

Please donate on 16 June - Mark your calendar not to mention add a beep reminder to your black berry, iphone, computer.

All the best,

The CPALI/SEPALI Team

Mamy meets with new farmers
Mamy meets with new farmers
On the way to the village
On the way to the village

Links:

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