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.
May 15, 2013

CPALI/SEPALIM's EXTREME DREAM TEAM TO BE ON CNN

Good bye and thank you to Kerry O
Good bye and thank you to Kerry O'Neill

NEWS FLASH: SEPALIM’s EXTREME team to be interviewed on CNN. Showtime is Saturday, 18 May, 2013, 11:30 AM PST and 2:30 PM EST.  Over the past 6 months CPALI/SEPALIM has been partnering with a team of Stanford students to improve our project and in particular textile production efficiency.  We don’t know for SURE, but the team was interviewed and we think that they will be featured on CNN’s “What’s Next”. The program is focused on the Stanford course, “Design for Extreme Affordability” taught by Jim Patel and that we have been privileged to participate in. We hope that you will tune in – it’s a great course and great program (for a sneak peak:  http://whatsnext.blogs.cnn.com/2013/05/14/addressing-tough-poverty-problems-with-innovation-and-design).

News from the field:
Mamy Ratsimbazafy continues to lead the team in building up the soils at our new training site but harvesting truckloads of the invasive plant, water hyacinth.  It is a huge effort but we are hoping other farmers in the area will follow our lead and improve their fields.  Farmers are continuing to deposit cocoons in the bank and building up “savings”.

Maminirina Randrianandrasana has just completed a survey of insects eaten in the Makira area as we get ready to introduce caterpillar pupae as an alternative source of protein.  As a first step we are comparing the nutritional value of different species as well as the effect of host plant on the nutritional value of Antherina suraka. Lalaina Raharindimby, the head of our women’s training program, has figured out how to roast the pupae so that they can be ground and their nutritional value analyzed. We hope to generate enough funds to allow these analyses while we pick the next silkworms that will be used for silk production.  Our goal is to enable our farmer to earn cash and increase their protein intake.

We are sad to say good-bye to our fabulous Peace Corp volunteer Kerry O’Neill.  Kerry has been a delight to work with and formed many fast friendships in the community and with the farmers allowing SEPALIM to continue to extend its Social Capital approaches to conservation.  She has been a critical force and developing new partnerships in Mahalevena where new farmers have already planted trees and produced silkworms. Kerry, we thank you and will miss you greatly.

Market news
We are thrilled to announce that CPALI/SEPALIM’s textiles are now advertised and available not only to designers through Source4Style’s website (www.source4style.com) but also to retail buyers at Habu Textile in New York (and soon, Tokyo; www.habutextile.com)! It is wonderful to be working with two such environmentally conscious and effective companies.

Let the adventure continue!!

SEPALIM continues to improve training site
SEPALIM continues to improve training site
Apr 10, 2013

New larvae, new demonstration site

Beautiful Ceranchia appolina caterpillar
Beautiful Ceranchia appolina caterpillar

Manoely Denis found the host plant of Ceranchia appolina!  and guess what?  It is a mature forest vine!  So far we don't have the scientific name but we are FINALLY on the way to rearing our third species. Mamy started working on this in 2011 and it has been a long haul.  All this on top of the good news that Bunaea feed on Hintsina - a tree used for wood in the communities - AND that we have about 30 Bunaea pupae that the SEPALIM team will rear at our new demonstration site.  We hope to produce enough second generation pupae to begin analysis of their nutritional value.  We suspect that all three will become important supplements to our future program.  In the future future we will be helping farmers raise the new caterpillars and inter-crop their host trees on existing farms.

Mamirina Randrianandrasana left for the field last week.  She will be doing an entomophagy survey in Madagascar and around the Makira area as well as sampling leaves from host plants grown on different soils.  Eventually we will sample pupae that fed on those same trees as caterpillars to see if soil type affects the nutritional quality of the host plant and hence the pupae that fed on it.

The Stanford Extreme team is back at the university and as soon as they get their bearings I will update you on their findings and how that may affect our new demonstration site and training center that is being designed by the Architects for Humanity, Boston.

Finally the SEPALIM team is sending another GREAT newsletter/update form the field.  Be sure to check it out.

Manuel Denis finds C.appolina
Manuel Denis finds C.appolina's host plant
SEPALIM
SEPALIM's new insectary
Habitat improvement continues
Habitat improvement continues

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Mar 8, 2013

The 3Ps - Partners, Pupae and Planning

Stanford Extreme Team
Stanford Extreme Team

In less than two weeks, Rick Zuzow, Rishabh Bhandari, Alicea Cock-Estab and Kristin Mayer, students from Stanford University's course, "Extreme Design for Affordability" will descend on Madagascar to spend two, packed weeks with the SEPALIM team to solve some of our most vexing technical problems. The Extreme Team will visit SEPALIM farmers and textile producers to learn how they make our textile and help us make it more efficiently, or they may work on how to remove caterpillar stains on the cocoons, or how to lighten the cocoons in preparation for dying, or how to make new cocoon designs - or something entirely different . . . Whatever they decide to do,  it will be Extreme.

Just after the Stanford students leave, Maminarina Randrianandrsana from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign will arrive to initiate a survey on entomophagy in Madagascar (insect eating) and spend about 2 months collecting pupae and leaves.  In November/December the team worked with Lydiah Gatare collecting soils with the goal of initiating a long term study to determine on the effect of Talandoa (silkworm host plants) on soil quality at different farm sites. Maminarina will now collect leaf samples from trees grown at these sites to see if leaf nutritional value is correlated with soil type. Maminariana's work will allow us to explore the effect of soil quality on leaf forage, and correlated effect on pupae fat and protein content. Hopefully these data will allow us to determine how many pupae need to be eaten to have a protein impact on local diets as well as the steps we need to take to improve the soils and hence the nutritional quality of the host plants.

 Finally, Mamy just returned from a visit  to farmers who are competing to rear the most pupae on their farms.  So far, our top producers, are Jaonary Jean and Fenozara Justin, both have produced 4000 cocoons in the past year (halfway to the 8000 cocoon target!) and Joanary Jean produced 1000 just in the past month!  Joanary Jean's success is in part due to the fact that he is one of the few farmers who has built a breeding house to the chrysalids that SEPALIM requires.  Hopefully others will copy him instead of keeping the pupae in a basket under the bed . . . 

 In the background, SEPALIM team continues to collect green fertilizer (water hyacinth, an invasive plant in rivers) and improve the fertility of the demonstration site - we hope our farmers will copy our lead.

Decorator Pillow made from non-spun textile
Decorator Pillow made from non-spun textile
Fenozara Justin wins breeder prize - solar panel
Fenozara Justin wins breeder prize - solar panel
Team collects water hyacinth to fertilize land
Team collects water hyacinth to fertilize land
SEPALIM continues to improve demonstration site
SEPALIM continues to improve demonstration site

Links:

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