SALVEASERRA. Grupo Prot. Amb. Serra da Concordia

SALVEASERRA Our mission is to spread awareness and knowledge of environmental conservation and sustainable development with agroforestry farming techniques, to help rural rehabilitation of very low producing areas and to maintain farmers and their families living and working in their lands. This can be achieved with the introduction of a system of land occupation holistic, self-sustainable, organic, biological, renewable and permanent, balanced with the environment and the economic use of natural resources. As mission we have also to spread the concepts of citizenship and better education in order to achieve superior earnings and quality of life.
Dec 7, 2009

Update December 2009

Mr. Helcione and his 300 fish
Mr. Helcione and his 300 fish

Dear donors and project friends,

Project “Provide Vegetable Gardens for Families in Brazil” continues its activities and we have two new vegetable gardens in order to start partnerships with our project. Next month they will join the Organic Producers Association, OPA. Our first recipient continues to work and to sell his production of different vegetables every Sunday at the local market. As the local fishery reopened after being closed for more than one year, we were finally able to furnish Mr. Helcione water tank with 300 baby fish. In six months we can start to eat or sell these fish. We plan to teach him to smoke his fish. The project supplied him with another truck load of cattle manure to his garden. Last month, the project bought 20 3 meters concrete poles and 10 crossbars for the construction of new greenhouse for the OPA. With this they will enhance the production of good quality sprouts of vegetables that are supplied to other member of the association. We are also supplying a plastic water reservoir to another producer. I would like to communicate to donors of this project that I was invited to participate in December 2009, of the second series of documentaries on sustainable development called "Architects of change", produced by a Canadian-French team. http://www.pvp.ca/. Each film will feature 3 "Architects of change" from different cultures and economic sectors from all over the world and the aim of the series is to explain and highlight solutions to environmental and social issues, presented through people who already apply sustainable development principles in their daily lives and work. This documentary series will be broadcaster worldwide. Of course I am very much honored and proud to be among one of the "Architects of change" and I hope that the examples of what we are doing here in Valença, Rio de Janeiro State, Brazil, can show that it is possible to change the ways of dealing, caring and treating our planet Earth and its people, and mainly to encourage others to do their own changes and have their own projects to improve their lives, communities, countries, all over the World. I will show then what we do here: 1. the 3 agroforestry systems experimental areas and the coffee under shade plantations, 2. the "Day in the Forest" ecological guided tour we offer to municipal public school students, 3. the irrigated organic vegetable gardens donation project, Project Oasis, 4. the SALVEASERRA Caravan Project meant to bring information and to take knowledge to rural and urban communities, and two of the training courses we offer to local communities, in this case, one of how to make a good vegetable garden a another one on banana plant fiber handcrafting. Thank you all those contribute to make this project possible and please see bellow the invitation letter and some links to documentary trailers. Roberto Lamego, director.

Documentary on sustainable development Dear Mr. Roberto Lamego, I am writing you today to find out if you would be interested and available to participate in a documentary series on sustainable development. Last year, the French TV producer Lato Sensu and the Productions Vic Pelletier from Canada, co-produced a documentary series entitled "Architects of change". And we now currently working on the second season. The documentary series consists of 10 X 52 minutes episodes, each featuring 3 "Architects of change" from different cultures and economic sectors all over the world. Again, the series will be broadcasted in France (TV5-Monde, Ushuaia TV) and Canada (Radio-Canada and TFO). Talks are under way with Discovery Channel and NHK Japan as well and UNESCO is one of our partners. The aim of the series is to explain and highlight solutions to environmental and social issues, presented through people who already apply sustainable development principles in their daily lives. We discovered your work as the founder of SALVEASERRA and would be honored to count you among our "Architects of change". Individuals such as you give hope for the future and encourage people to do something of their own. Please let me know if you are interested in participating in this series. We plan to film between November 2009 and April 2010. You can go on this site so you will have a better idea of our project: http://www.filmsdocumentaires.com/portail/artisans.html And on our site, you will see who have accepted our invitation last year: http://artisansduchangement.latosensu.tv/ All the best, Geneviève Bougie Scénariste-Writer Les Artisans du changement (Architects of change) Les Productions Vic Pelletier inc. Pleae see also at : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dMvbh8D8aeo http://www1.radio-canada.ca/emissions/les_artisans_du_changement/

The fish arrive at the water reservoir
The fish arrive at the water reservoir
Old greenhouse
Old greenhouse
Aug 12, 2009

A Postcard from Trees and Education Protect Rainforest in Brazil

Marisa Glassman is GlobalGiving's Business Development Manager. She recently traveled throughout Brazil and visited a number of GlobalGiving projects. On May 4th she visited "Trees and Education Protect Rainforest in Brazil." When asked what she would tell her friends about this project, Marisa said: "Great: They are making a difference."

"With just a short time in as large a country as Brazil, I was afraid I wouldn´t be able to see enough of the country. And while I´ll almost certainly never be able to see as much as I´d like to, today´s visit to Roberto Lamego´s forest in Valença gave me a welcome complement to all of the city-based work I´ve seen. Now I can leave Brazil happy. While finding a way to get there was tricky to say the least, I can´t imagine this trip being complete had I not been able to go. The forest I visited was a two-hour drive outside of Rio de Janeiro city, where most of the land is now rolling hills where vast forests once stood. When man cleared the land to plant coffee trees and other produce, the forests were decimated. And although the crops thrived for a short time, they eventually disappeared because the land could not maintain them without the cover and moisture the forest had provided. Left with almost nothing, most local residents turned to other uses for their land, such as cow farming. With many animals throughout the area, the forests have not been able to grow back.

"On a plot of this land, Roberto Lamego´s family had a farm. The land was eventually abandoned while Roberto was living abroad, but he decided to return to Brazil to try and salvage it. Since 1993, Roberto has planted hundreds of thousands of trees and other crops on his family´s land, and his forest now thrives among the surrounding barren hills. With proper care and attention, he and his dedicated staff, who live on the forest grounds Monday through Friday, have grown a forest which not only houses tall trees such as palm trees, which will no longer grow on their own in most of the surrounding area, but also houses crops such as passion fruit, mangoes, limes, coffee, and various other fruits I wish I could spell in English - some of which I tasted right off the trees.

"Once or twice every month, Roberto brings a school bus full of local children to the forest to learn about the landscape and work he and his coworkers have done. He realizes the community´s immediate need for income, and thus conveys the message that, not only does his forest help preserve the land, but provides a sustainable way to produce crops for many years by giving them the environment they need to thrive. It is often an uphill battle against a government that does not share his goals and local community members whose immediate financial needs make it difficult to maintain the long-term outlook necessary to follow Roberto´s methodology. But Roberto´s will and conviction make his efforts less of a choice than a natural path. I am so thankful I was able to visit the forest with a diverse group of local students who were also visiting for the first time. Their enthusiasm and curiosity were wonderful to see, and although the language barrier between us didn´t allow us to communicate fully, we did manage to find the one thing that saved us all from some unnecessary itching: the citronella plant Roberto showed us, which luckily is the same word in English and Portuguese."

"A Day in the Forest" Ecological Trekking
"A Day in the Forest" Ecological Trekking
"A Day in the Forest" Ecological Trekking
"A Day in the Forest" Ecological Trekking
"A Day in the Forest" Ecological Trekking
"A Day in the Forest" Ecological Trekking
Aug 11, 2009

Project Update

Training of a school gardener.
Training of a school gardener.

Dear donors and project friends,

Project “Provide Vegetable Gardens for Families in Brazil” continues its activities, and since last update report, this project made possible many things to happen here in our communities. We continue to search for possible recipients for new vegetable gardens donations, but this is not an easy task. Our first recipient continues his work and sells his production of different vegetables every Sunday at the local market. Mr. Helcione works as a mason most of his time but I am sure the income he gets from his garden helps a lot at the end of the month. With the end of the winter and with milder temperatures we will supply baby fishes for his water reservoir. He now has the means to feed these fish. We are supplying a truck load of cattle manure to his garden in a week or two. But, as I said, for many reasons it is not easy to locate and find new recipients for vegetable gardens donations. We even placed ads at the local newspaper and posters at the local market, without any result. As most of possible recipients are not ready to start an organic vegetable garden exploitation, we decided that the first thing to do was to improve the knowledge or in most cases introduce Organic Farming to them. Luckily there is a big organic producer in a neighboring town that regularly gives courses on organic agriculture and so in a course he gave in May we could offer 10 seats for possible recipients. His next training will be in September we will offer another 10 places. Please see the pictures of this course at the project page. As you know, this project runs together with GG project “Trees and Education Protect Rainforest in Brazil”, that among other things, takes students for “a Day in the Forest” Ecological Trekking to the Concordia Mountain Wildlife Sanctuary. Please find at the project page a link to this other project page. Most of these schools have vegetable gardens to provide the kitchen. But, believe it or not, these Municipal Schools gardens receive very little or no assistance at all from the Municipality. We saw that they needed help and we are trying to help, improving the vegetable gardens of these Municipal schools of Valença County. We are attending two schools and after winter holidays another two will receive our assistance and help. The two gardeners were students of the Organic Farming training course. For one of the schools we are providing a new watering system. Please see attached pictures of these two schools. As it has not being easy to find new recipients, we are working to enhance the production of sprouts of vegetables that are supplied to producers, helping one of them to make a new and much better production center. We are also studying the possibility of supplying a plastic water reservoir to another producer, all members of the local Organic Producers Association. The work continues, the project is better known today and some people are beginning to make contact with us looking for help or partnerships. I am sure that in the next report we will have many more achievements to show you. SALVEASERRA counts with your support to be able to develop these actions in a so needed and poor environment. Thank you all for your help and donations that make all this possible. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions, ideas or suggestions. Thank you again for this support, Roberto.

The Organic Farming Course.
The Organic Farming Course.
Students and the planting trays
Students and the planting trays

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