Dear wonderful friends and supporters,
Our Young Eco-Leaders field program of good practices for family farmers is up and running, and we`d like to tell you all about it!
As you saw in our last bulletin, in order to fulfill our mission to save forests and change lives, as serious scientists we had to go to the field and get our hands dirty, this time side by side with the family farmers who live in the Environment Protection Areas (EPAs). Once again, we are trying the recipe of combining old models of production and young student’s dreams and curiosity in the same pot, hoping to get sustainable production alternatives in accordance with Mother Nature’s principles.
So, we believe the big question everybody wants to ask is, how is it working in practice?
Professor Diogo started his job making the kids understand the pressures that lead family farmers to cut the forest and use the land unsustainably. Then he showed them some organic production techniques (making organic fertilizer from efficient microorganisms from the forest floor), and income alternatives straight from the rainforest (like the harvesting Acai from Jussara Palm tree). This way our young fellows will have a solid repertoire of practices they can try out in the family farms.
And now that our Young Eco-Leaders have both worlds in their minds and hands (the conventional and the organic way), they have begun to plan their interventions and sketch out the hypothesis they will test in the field. And the unbelieving, amazing news this time is that during the same week our Young Eco-Leaders were starting to plan their experiments, we received a big group of friends, supporters and specialists in practical science from Partners of the Americas who, beyond their perfect timing, also gave us valuable hints and ideas of how to implement the field experiments. What an amazing way to create a solid eco-friendly sustainable farming culture in the EPAs and beyond, isn’t it?
And of course this field program of eco-friendly good practices wouldn’t be possible if it wasn’t for the support of our friends and donors, who make our dreams come true. You are the ones who believe in and help our project every time we need, and keep the kids inspired, young curious minds working to make our world better!
First of all we want to thank you for your amazing support for our Junior Scientists! You are definitely the best!
And then we want to share with you that TODAY, July 16th, is the day that we are turbocharging our Junior Scientists as they graduate and become Young Eco-Leaders. And all donations received before midnight EDT today will be mached by 50%. Way to go! Here's the link to the new project http://goto.gg/17660
How about that for perfect timing as the new semester begins? The two groups of Young Eco-Leaders will be visiting their partner farm families for the first time this week, and tomorrow they'll be joining a GIS presentation and workshop with their families and colleagues. We've uploaded our GIS online so that it will be available to the local community, and our Young Eco-Leaders will be in the forefront of working with this exciting new technology.
So as well as adding to the data on the GIS and learning how to use it to help in taking sound conservation decisions, they'll be measuring water quality and quantity, monitoring weather patterns, reforesting around springs and stream banks, monitoring soils and potential areas of erosion, and making their voices heard in decisions that affect conservation planning in this delicate rainforest ecosystem.
Please help us support them in this, the next stage in their lives as tropical scientists and guardians of the rainforests on which we all depend!
With so many thanks and rainforest love,
Robin, Binka, Gui, Diogo and the brand new team of Young Eco-Leaders
Dear wonderful supporters,
Three years ago we had a dream. We wanted our school children to develop a new appreciation of the extraordinary rainforest in which they are privileged to live. We wanted to show them that science is one of the most exciting subjects they could ever study. We wanted them to understand how they could make a real difference in the world.
And, thanks to you, we've been able to fully fund our Junior Science program! Time and again you have responded generously to our appeals for help. Last September you helped us raise the money to buy a Kombi van and we can now take the students out into the field, even on those days when rainforest roads are muddy and almost impassable. In April you helped us raise the money to buy a new server and computer to house our GIS, so that Junior Scientists could access a technology that their teachers never dreamed of. Your donations have allowed us to buy scientific equipment to teach students how to monitor the health of our forest, soils and water, and share their findings with their families. You have helped us maintain our system of forest trails where we recently hosted 300 members of the local community to celebrate Earth Day. You have supported our forest nursery and our forest restoration projects. For the first time our night cameras have recorded the presence of mountain lion, ocelot, and margay – proof positive that our conservation efforts are bearing fruit!
With your help we are raising a new generation of young scientists, who in turn are influencing their families. And it’s looking like our Junior Scientists are unstoppable….. Next week the new semester begins, and a selected group of Junior Scientists will become Young Eco-Leaders. They’ll be taking their newly acquired skills into the Environmental Protection Areas to work with local farmers on hands-on conservation projects. Better conservation management means healthier food, forests, soils and water, attracts increased conservation funding, and opens the way to new economic opportunities to revitalize rural areas.
As a member of the Microsoft YouthSpark program, Iracambi is part of a worldwide movement to educate and equip young entrepreneurs. With your help we’re empowering youth to use their scientific skills to become drivers of change in their communities. We hope that you will stay tuned as our Junior Scientists become Young Eco-Leaders, and welcome you to continue to follow their achievements through our new Global Giving project: https://www.globalgiving.org/projects/young-eco-leaders-powered-by-junior-scientists/
And once again, many thanks for your continued support. We couldn‘t do it without you!
with rainforest love, Robin, Binka, Gui, Diogo and the Junior Scientists - soon to become Young Eco-Leaders!