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.
Dec 13, 2013

Building a future to look forward to

Wild silk textile up close
Wild silk textile up close
Check out CPALI/SEPALI's new video:  !!!
Imagine farming with no modern implements, machinery, fertilizers, and most of all, limited opportunity to improve yields or access markets. This is what it's like for subsistence farmers in Madagascar. They live in villages with no electricity, no water or sewage systems. For centuries, they have been making a living by swidden agriculture (slash and burn). Like our own ancestors, they hunt in the forest but also clear and burn forests to make land for new farms when soils become unproductive. 
CPALI/SEPALI Madagascar are designing a new approach to conservation, one that focuses on people and on developing sustainable alternatives to forest harvesting for subsistence farmers, that has been embraced by local communities. We specialize in stepping stone conservation -- helping farmers earn enough income to begin to move up the income ladder from severe poverty to low income and beyond. All without harvesting plants and animals from the forest. CPALI is teaching farmers how to grow and process their own native resources for food and cash. Last year 10 farmers produced 10994 cocoons and about 15 meters of fabric. So far 29 farmers have produced 14953 cocoons and the rearing season is not over.  Farmers will not desposit their November cocoons until the end of January. 

To take the next step we are raising funds to build a work space for women to use to make the textile at their convenience.  Architects for Humanity, Boston, designed (pro bono) a the perfect space that makes use of local materials and will employ local farmers to build it!  We are now raising funds to make if a reality!  GG's matching funds campaign for recurring donations starts Friday, 20 December.  GlobalGiving's recurring matching campaign will match your initial monthly gift at 100%! This match will be sent to us after your recurring gift has completed 4 months total. So that means, if you choose to make a recurring gift during the campaign this December, you're initial gift will be matched in March!

Designed by Architects for Humanity, Boston

Marketing Update
The goal of our program is build a self-sustaining enterprise that provides farmers with the support the need to mitiage use of forest resrources.  We are excited that dConstruct jewelry of Canada is introducing a line of wild silk jewelry in January.  dConstruct has donated its first designs to CPALI for holiday sales!  Please contact us if you are interested 
in purchasng earrings, pendants or bracelets made from wild silk embedded in eco-resin for that special person on your holiday list: for full details and prices.
Also at the Boston Architects convention, the Architects for Humanity, Boston, gave us a chance to show off three different types of textile made by SEPALI.  It was the first time the texitles have been on display. The architects we talked to were excited about the possibility of using the fabric to make room dividers, screens, window treatments and innovative lights.  All of our current textiles are designed using cocoons randomly arrayed. In the future we hope to branch out with other patterns and designs.  Our current textiles are available at Habu Textile, New York or through CPALI. Contact us at

Thank you for your support!
Wild silk textile display
Wild silk textile display
Thank you to global giving!
Thank you to global giving!


Nov 4, 2013

Thank you Global Giving!

Thank you Global Giving!
Thank you Global Giving!
It is hard to believe that CPALI is celebrating its 10th anniversary and SEPALI Madagascar is celebrating its 4th.  Our current success and projects are thanks to you, our donors and supporters.  At this 10 - year interval it seems appropriate to outline our  timeline of major events so you can see how far we have come with your help and support:

2003   First visit to Madagascar
   CPALI established as 501(c)3

 2004   Field surveys at Ranomafana National Park
    CPALI board writes strategic plan

2006   Field surveys in Makira/Masoala
          CPALI House established in Maroantsetra

2007   Experimental work begins at CPALI House 
          Mamy Ratsimbazafy, SEPALI's current director, identifies  host tree for suraka


           Field trials continue
          Permanent field team organized 
          Demonstration sites established in Maroantsetra 
          Three initial target species identified




 2008   Second demonstration site and nursery is organized
          Mamy completes CPALI training manual
         CPALI is finalist at the World Bank Development Marketplace
         CPALI achieves permanent 501(c)3 status
          Farmer nursery established in Ambodivoagany


2009   First farmer to plant of 1000 trees
           First crop of cocoons sold and exported to Thailand

2010   SEPALI Madagascar is founded by Mamy Ratsimbazafy

           Provisional Patent filed for non-spun texrile
           Non-spun textile juried and accepted into Material ConneXion's Worldwide libraries

    2011 CPALI skirt appears in Tara St. James Collection, Fashion Week, NY

           Intern Tom Corcoran's innovative film wins $10,000  to support SEPALI     
           SEPALI Madagascar partners with the Peace Corps
           Volunteer Kerry O'Neill joins the team
            Lalaina Raharindimby organizes women's progract
            Lead farmer and lead artisan programs established  

             First farmer's picnic and awards ceremony
             SEPALI Madagascar receives SEED Award
             SEPALI Madagascar Equator Initiative Finalist


2012   SEPALI purchases permanent demonstration site
         First Global Giving project fully funded



          SEPALI bank accepts its first cocoon "deposits"
          William Barclay joins the CPALI board
          SEPALI partners with Stanford's Design for EXTREME affordability course
          CPALI partners with Cornell University to analyze soils  


 grinding soil 

 2013   28 farmers produce cocoons
           Matt O'Neill produces SEPALI video
           300 farmers join SEPALI Madagascar
           Ceranchia apollina cocoons made into textile

  SEPALI textile works proudly display 20 meters of textile Two new wild silk textiles plus the original (top)

           SEPALIM welcomes Donald Quinn-Jacobs, a new PCV
           SEPALI sells 25 m of non-spun textile to Habu Textile
           James Toupin joins CPALI as Chairman of the Board
           CPALI requests an audit that is completed by Tonneson and Company
            Kerry O'Neill joins CPALI as Assistant Director
            CPALI partners with dConstruct Jewelry

2014    Heidi MacClean joins the CPALI board

We could not have done this without you!!


Thank you Global Giving!!
Thank you Global Giving!!


Sep 19, 2013

Mushrooms, yummy insects and cash!

SEPALI Madagascar
SEPALI Madagascar's women's workshop

Straight from Madagascar - Mamy Ratsimbazafy, CPALI local director and SEPALI Madagascar's founder, reports in on project success.

1-   News about the new moth species “ Ceranchia apollina”:
A lot has happened in the SEPALIM program during the latest 3 months. After the discovery of the host plant for our new target species moth “ Ceranchia apollina”, SEPALIM team has decided to start the design creation using the Ceranchia  cocoons. At the same time, the team has planted the host plant seedling at the new demonstration site with great success. At least 15 women have been invited to make textile out of Ceranchia cocoons in June – July.  Twenty two meter squares of both A. suraka and Ceranchia silk textiles have been shipped to the US in July to be sold as well as for design research purpose. Making textile remains as the favourite activities according to the women.

Intercropping the host plant tress with legumes, vegetable and Mushrooms:
Every single step of the wild silk rearing has been exploited by the Sepalim team to bring benefit to the community breeders. Silkworm pupae are rich in protein and will provide a new food resource for farmers in the future. The larvae poop, (everybody poops) which we already know as a good fertilizer for vegetable garden. In that case, Sepalim has decided to combine the wild silk rearing with legumes and vegetable farming program through intercropping the host plant trees with new kinds of legumes and vegetable that no one in the Maroantsetra area has planted before. To do so, Sepalim distributes seeds to all breeders that have larvae on their host plant trees.At this time, we are doing experiments of both legumes and vegetable farming. The goal of the experiment is to master the technical farming methods of each crop as well as to learn the best way to get profit from doing a green composting.

One of the Sepalim good news in the latest three months also is the discovery of two species of edible mushrooms ( Judas ear mushroom, Auricularia and white mushroom, lentinus) growing on the brunches of the Talandoha ( A. suraka host plant). Sepalim will improve its research on growing mushroom on the host plant dead brunches in order to combat the malnutrition threat in the community.

Pupae-for-food to combat the malnutrition:
Insect pupae are eaten worldwide and known as a delicious food. Unfortunately, insect consumption is not popular in Madagascar. The pupae is rich in protein and probably the future protein source for Malagasy. That is why we have decided to introduce the pupae-for-food program to the community. Many researches have been done locally to cook a delicious meal of pupae. 

The pupae of  the SATURNIDAE might be a good protein recourses for people in the poor country such as ours. The size of the pupae is big and only 50 pupae for every meal is enough for one adult person. After trying to eat the pupae combining with spices, we can witness that is very delicious meal to eat with our emblematic food “ Rice”.

Only, we suggested to harvest only the young pupae because the old pupae tastes bitter.

Thank you for your continued support!

Two new textiles plus our traditional
Two new textiles plus our traditional
Experimental gardens - stay tuned
Experimental gardens - stay tuned
Yummy insects for lunch!
Yummy insects for lunch!
High nutrition, high satisfaction
High nutrition, high satisfaction


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