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.
Oct 19, 2009

More farmers, Paper, and a Chameleon

Odette reading the CPALI training manual that Mamy wrote
Odette reading the CPALI training manual that Mamy wrote

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

I have now been here in the Maroantsetra area where CPALI has its project headquarters for over two weeks. It has been very productive and fun. The team is working well together. During the past week CPALI had its first workshop to train trainers to make textile/paper. As the week progressed, the team worked together to greatly improve on what I had done before coming here. The result is really stunning and I am excited to bring our new pieces home. We are making a silk "paper" with the cocoons that is wonderful for window shades and standing screens.

We have also had a pleasing reception from various conservation organizations in Madagascar. Because our program is working and villagers are coming to us to participate in the project, we are looking good! CPALI shares its learning broadly and is receptive to villager input and suggestions. For example, originally we wanted villagers to plant 1000 trees per farmer. However this seemed to limit the project to only the wealthiest farmers and especially not the ones we most wanted to reach. Now we are happy to have villagers plant as many trees as they would like but we recommend a 200 tree minimum to make the program financially viable for the families. That many trees will allow farmers to produce about 10000 cocoons with earnings up to $80. As a result, about 10 more farmers from Ambodivaogany immediately signed and we expect to have 50 farmers lined up to participate by the end of 2009! This is an order of magnitude increase and we are thrilled. Of course, 50 farmers names on paper saying they are committed is very different from 50 farmers who actually do something but nevertheless, we are greatly pleased.

In case you haven’t gotten the word, CPALI is now featured on the National Geographic’s Action Atlas site. I have been blogging almost daily with a special section for the Leapin’ Lemurs, Mrs. Leslie’s 5th grade class in New Mexico. We have now added a few more classes in Pennsylvania. My goal was to try to give an idea of what it is like trying to implement a conservation program in the field. So far it seems to be going well – If you know of any schools who might want to follow the 5th grade blog as well as comment on other aspects of the discussion, please let them know. The website is given below, click on it then search for "CPALI"

Best wishes,

Cay

Silk paper made by the team
Silk paper made by the team
Silk paper made by Mario.
Silk paper made by Mario.

Links:

Oct 8, 2009

Where in the World is Cay Craig?

At the moment, she is traveling from Maroantsetra to Ambodivoangy to visit the first farmers who have contracted to raise silk worms. Cay will be in Madagascar till early November. Her major goals are to hold a workshop to teach the farmers how to fabricate a kind of paper from the cocoons and to introduce the idea of farmer networks--an echelon structure that will allow the more entrepreneurial farmers to enlist their peers to scale the CPALI project to the point that it advances from demonstration to true production.

Today I learned that the CPALI project has been admitted to Global Giving's "Green" list, which gives us greater access to matching funds and corporate visibility. Of course, we are striving to make the project economically self-sufficient and have this year covered about 5% of our operating expenses with silk-derived revenue--small but, hey, it's a start.

Cay is also scouting for new sites that will leverage well with plans of the large conservation organizations who are active in Madagascar. So far, the major effects she has felt from the political situation has been uncertainty about getting export permits for when we want to move production quantities of silk--the officials who would process the requests are themselves uncertain about what the future will bring.

The CPALI project is now listed on the ActionAtlas, a project being produced by the National Geographic Society. It is not yet "live" but you can still see Cay's Blog if you point a browser to http://actionatlas.org and then search for CPALI. Most of the entries on the blog are directed at fifth graders who are being taught by an old friend of Cay's.

Finally, I invite you to view the great video that Sharon Pieczenik made of Erik Patel's work on the endangered silky sifakas. We hope one day to be able to contribute to preserving the habitat of the "angels of the forest".

Links:

Sep 17, 2009

Current goings on at CPALI Madagascar

Comet moth recently emerged from cocoon.
Comet moth recently emerged from cocoon.

Dear Colleagues and Friends The weather is getting hot again in Maroantsetra and that make emerge the chrysalid fastly, so we have many eggs now, Denis is producing a few cocoons now but for us we had trouble again because many of our larvae were dead at stage 4, but we are still continuing to rear larvae in the garden. Many eggs are hatching everyday. Only 30 cocoons have been produced in Maroantsetra during August, and twice in Denis`rearing.

It`s really important to intercrop the talandoha with a taller plants to shade the talandoha because only the larvae in the shade were survived. in opposite , in April only the larvae in an open area were survived so now we have lots of experiences about the rearing.

In Manaby, most of Denis`s trees were shaded so that allow him to produced more than iMaroantsetra. I`ll inform Jaonary Jean about all of that. When the farmers finish to farm 1000 trees, we must sensibilate them to intercrop the trees with a big plant like casava, banana...

Denis is working on the talandoha farming, so He is getting many seedlings and if it`s continuing like that we will be able to provide seedling to all interested farmers. I`ll visit Denis land on Saturday because he had a small problem in his land, An hydroelectric company has been set up in Ivoloina to provide electricity to all the Analanjirofo region, so the equipments pass over Denis land and he must move his house to another place always in his land. Fortunately our talandoha trees are still there , and no problem for the Cpali project. The advantage for that hydroelectricity is that Manambia may get an electricity and we can move the project to Manambia in the future (but right now , that seems take so long time).

The attached are photos of earrings that CPALI hopes to sell on its website - There are made from comet moth silk. We are making similar earring from suraka silk that we hope will be ready for the Christmas holiday!

Best wishes, Mamy

Beautiful silk spun by comet moth
Beautiful silk spun by comet moth
Earrings made from comet moth silk
Earrings made from comet moth silk
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