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.
Nov 29, 2012

Project update November 2012.

Dear donors.

I am sorry to be late with this update report, but I became ill with a very serious infection and had to stay out of business for almost one month. I am well now but this fact retarded our actions and delaying things I wanted to show to you in this report.

Project "Provide Vegetable Gardens for Families in Brazil" continues to think that the Permaculture concepts, with its procedures and techniques, are those that can be better employed in our work with the communities here in Valença.

According to Bill Mollison, co-founder of the world-wide Permaculture movement, this science works to ecological design systems for sustainability in all aspects of our lives. Permaculture teaches us how build natural homes, grow our own food, restore diminished landscapes and ecosystems, catch rainwater, build communities, take care of waste and much more.  

The philosophy within Permaculture is one of working with rather with than against nature, and of protracted and thoughtful observation rather than premature and thoughtless action.

As I said in the last report, we decided to attend a 7 days PDC, Permaculture Design Course, the basic introduction course on the subject, to live the experience and to learn more about the subject. The Permaculture Design Course was developed by Bill Mollison to teach principles and foundations of sustainable design.

All PDC courses offered throughout the world must follow the same format to assure that the integrity of certification process is upheld. A PDC course is something like this:

http://www.permaculture.org/nm/images/uploads/PDC_cert_book_.pdf 

We travelled to a place called São Tomé das Letras, in Minas Gerais State, 250 kilometers from Valença, to spend the next 7 days in PDC, Permaculture Design Course.

Our group was composed of Katya and me from SALVEASERRA and two guests, Julio, a master mason from Cambota Community that was very much interested in the ideas of Bioconstruction and Permaculture and Lucas from another community called Passagem, an intelligent and keen youngman that works with Julio.

Please watch here a slideshow of our PDC.

https://picasaweb.google.com/110709315454919422487/PDCPermacultureDesignCourse02?authkey=Gv1sRgCPPQ47ulj5-3Zg&feat=email

It was a fantastic journey that brought to all of us the certainty and assurance that we are going to transform the Project "Provide Vegetable Gardens for Families in Brazil" into something bigger and with a wider view, considering many different subjects, where the vegetable gardens and tree nurseries will be one item among many others as was seen in this PDC, Permaculture Design Course. 

Coming back from the PDC course, we decided to start practicing some of the permaculture techniques we learned and as we are building a new Visitors Center at the Concordia Mountain Wildlife Sanctuary, an Evapotranspiration bed sewage system, designed for disposal of black water, the domestic wasteD water originating from the toilets in being built.

This system is unique in its ability to dispose of wasted water into the atmosphere through evaporation and transpiration by plants, without necessarily discharging it to the surface water or groundwater reservoir.

In an evapotranspiration system the main components are a septic tank called an ET bed, wasted water distribution piping, a bed liners, and fill material, monitoring wells, overflow protection and a surface cover. Large leaves vegetation has to be planted on the surface of the bed to enhance the transpiration process.

In a sealed tank the black water gets in trough a tunnel made of different materials, old tires, cement pipes, etc. The tank is filled from the bottom with stones, construction debris, bricks, then a layer of small crushed stone, and one of sand, and one of fertile soil.   

The black water effluent flows into the lower portion of a sealed ET bed. Capillary action in the fine sand causes the wasted water to rise to the surface and escape through evaporation as water vapor. In addition, vegetation transports the wasted water from the root zone to the leaves, where it is transpired as a clean condensate. This design allows for complete wasted water evaporation and transpiration with no discharge to nearby soil.

Please see attached pictures of the construction of our system.

We planned to show you also our first bio-constructions in superadobe (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Superadobe) be because of my illness and other delays this is will not be possible.

We believe that with Permaculture we will be in a much better situation to assist people to become more self reliant through the design and development of productive and sustainable communities and its gardens and farms.

For instance, this method of onsite wasted water treatment and disposal offers an alternative to conventional soil absorption systems for sites where protection of the surface water and groundwater is essential, and can be widely used in many low income communities everywhere.

I hope you enjoy our recent work, pictures and presentations and please accept my sincere thanks for your help and support.

Roberto Lamego 


Attachments:
Nov 14, 2012

Project update November 2012.

Another group of students on the trail.
Another group of students on the trail.

Dear donors,

The new Visitors Centre is almost finished as you will see in the pictures and once ready, it will enormously help the reception of students that come for the environmental and educational “A Day in the Atlantic Rainforest” ecological trekking program. Visitors of our Atlantic Rainforest private protection area, people that come to our place that are interested in the Agroforestry and the Permaculture projects, and tourists will also benefit greatly of our new facilities. Important to remind that this new centre is being built partially with funds provided from GlobalGiving/Neutrogena prize.

Please see this presentation of the construction of this center step by step:

https://picasaweb.google.com/110709315454919422487/VisitorCenterStepByStep?authkey=Gv1sRgCNy35Y_Ik525TA&feat=email

Schools continue to come and we received two during this period. Please slideshow of this visit, where they could visit the Visitors Centre at work:

https://picasaweb.google.com/110709315454919422487/ADayInTheAtlanticRainforestMunicipalSchoolReginaCoeliAmorimCambotaValencaBrazil?authkey=Gv1sRgCMGTu-Po96mDSg&feat=email

Rains came back and we are preparing to plant our seedlings. We have a stock of about 1000 in our tree nursery and intend to by some more we Project funds.

 

You probably don’t know but because of the “Trees and Education Protect Rainforest in Brazil” project with GlobalGiving, I was considered an Architect of Change in 2010, as I was invited to participate of a Canadian/French worldwide TV series, in a program called Artisans du Changement, in English became Architects of Change. Architects of Change: “Is there a way that allows everyone to benefit from our planet's riches without compromising our resources for future generations? The answer has been given by men and women from all four corners of the earth who have succeeded in creating new models for economical development. They have gone new ways to achieve sustainable and lasting growth for mankind and our planet. They are farmers, chemists, architects, doctors, tradesmen and bankers. These Architects of Change are looking for and practicing innovative solutions which counteract the many threats to our future. Far from being political or economical militants, these Architects of Change are, above all, entrepreneurs. Our documentary series will be visiting this new kind of pioneers. They believe in a capitalism that can create social, economic and environmental wealth. They are not the only ones who promote such ideas, but they are the only ones who can prove that their ideas work out in day-to-day life.”

Here their page: http://www.architectsofchange.tv/television-program, my participation: http://www.architectsofchange.tv/television-program/towards-the-sustainable-management-of-forests#4;0 and episode resume: http://www.architectsofchange.tv/television-program/towards-the-sustainable-management-of-forests#0;0.

It was an honor to me to be invited for the series, and have to thank GlobalGiving and donors for all the support you have given me all these years.

I hope you enjoy our recent work, pictures and presentations and please accept my sincere thanks for your help and support.

Roberto Lamego

21 students, 3 teachers and Katya from SALVEASERRA
21 students, 3 teachers and Katya from SALVEASERRA
A rainy day. Going into the clouds.
A rainy day. Going into the clouds.
Katya lecturing students.
Katya lecturing students.
Teachers rarely came to visit a forest.
Teachers rarely came to visit a forest.
Students on the Rainforest trail.
Students on the Rainforest trail.
First thing they do is eat their lunch.
First thing they do is eat their lunch.
Teacher and students at the tree nursery.
Teacher and students at the tree nursery.
Tree nursery and students.
Tree nursery and students.
Students, the forest and the water.
Students, the forest and the water.
Group visiting ruins ancient coffee farm.
Group visiting ruins ancient coffee farm.
Sheltering from the rain in new Visitors Center.
Sheltering from the rain in new Visitors Center.
The group from Municipal School of Valenca, RJ.
The group from Municipal School of Valenca, RJ.
Tree saplings ready to be planted.
Tree saplings ready to be planted.
Jul 24, 2012

Project update July 2012

Cambota soccer field.
Cambota soccer field.

Dear donnors.

Project "Provide Vegetable Gardens for Families in Brazil" continues to work with the Cambota Community where we are presenting them a new proposal that is to discuss with the neighborhood their future and what possible actions can be taken to prepare them for it.

As I told in the previous update, this new project in the project is called: The vision of your future. What do you think about it? What can you do about it?

But, do you remember the soccer field in the Cambota community where the changing rooms needed badly repair and where there is was an abandoned square that we visited a few months ago to propose to the community a partnership and a collective effort to renovate and recondition the place applying different permacultural construction techniques? Well, after some meetings with the Directory Board and many essays to explain what and why we wanted to make a partnership with then, we discovered, what we already suspected for some time, that an internal neighborhood dispute between groups for the Resident’s Association, was impeding the President to accept our aid to restore the changing room and adjacent square. Unfortunately he could not change this situation and nothing advanced so far.

That was when we decided to approach the community differently and instead trying thought the Resident’s Association we are now contacting local residents that we already know, after more than one year of acquaintanceship and familiarity with the neighborhood and this way getting to know their families.

The first action we undertook was to invite a group of the community to visit us at the Concordia Mountain Wildlife Sanctuary and do the “A Day in the Forest” environmental and ecological trail, that their sons, relatives and other 300 students from Cambota had already done with their neighborhood school.

Please see here a slideshow of the last group of students that visited our place:  

https://picasaweb.google.com/110709315454919422487/ADayInTheForestForReginaCoeliAmorimSchoolFromCambotaNeighborhoodValencaRioDeJane?authkey=Gv1sRgCOyvmYys5ZC7Zg,

And here, a few days later, the slideshow of the bus with the community members.

https://picasaweb.google.com/110709315454919422487/CambotaNeighborhoodVisitsConcordiaMountainWildlifeSanctuary?authkey=Gv1sRgCP3Bke6y4NyVYA

This tour was an excellent opportunity to take a group of people, from this very simple community, older people, many with rural origins, and young and very young urban people, to the countryside, in our case to a forest, many for the first time, what was a delight to all. Even those that complained they had to walk for a couple of hours, at the end were very happy and satisfied with this unique experience.  

All want to go back and we are thinking of taking another bus soon, this time with members of another part the community.

As we think that the Permacultural procedures and techniques are those that can be better employed in this community, the project decided to attend a 7 days PDC, Permaculture Design Course, the basic course on the subject and take two members of Cambota to come with us and learn what permaculture is. So we invited the president of the local Association and a master mason that is fascinated by this new way of work. The president could not go, but we are leaving tomorrow morning with another guest from another community called Passagem where we are going to initiate a similar project.

Just to remember: "Permaculture is a method and movement developed to assist people to become more self reliant through the design and development of productive and sustainable communities and its gardens and farms".

To know what is a PDC see here: http://www.permaculture.org/nm/images/uploads/PDC_cert_book_.pdf

I hope you enjoy our recent work, pictures and presentations and please accept my sincere thanks for your help and support.

Roberto Lamego 

Change room needs repair.
Change room needs repair.
Back side of change room
Back side of change room
We visited a few months ago.
We visited a few months ago.
Meeting with Cambota Resident Association.
Meeting with Cambota Resident Association.
Explaining the project.
Explaining the project.
On the bus to the Wildlife Sanctuary.
On the bus to the Wildlife Sanctuary.
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