Reforestation project ho avy – update October 2009
Ho avy launched a new season for conserving and restoring the unique Spiny Forest in southwestern Madagascar on the 24th October 2009 by joining the global climate change action movement 350.org. Ho avy’s local partner, the association FIMPAHARA has mobilized the Ranobe community to participate in the action day and plant a new nursery of 350 seeds of 13 native tree species. Additionally they transplanted 446 saplings of 18 native species from an existing nursery to their crop fields as part of their agroforestry scheme.
Several thousand seeds of over 50 native species have been collected by 12 FIMPAHARA members who have participated in a seed harvest competition and will plant these seeds within the next few weeks.
Discussions with WWF Madagascar opened opportunities for ho avy’s participation in refining the management plan and delineating special zones for community conservation, ecological restoration and monitoring within the Ranobe protected area to be declared by the end of 2009.
FIMPAHARA has established home vegetable gardens, utilizing recycled gray water from dish washing, and continues building compost to be added to their new vegetable beds.
Ho avy’s partners and specialist from the University of Michigan visited the project’s field site over the past two weeks, sharing their engineering expertise to design a biogas digester, and have analyzed crop revenues, agroforestry improvements and micro financing options for the community.
The recent couple weeks have been extremely productive and encouraging for New Latitude-ho avy:
1. our first Malagasy student Claude finished his M.Sc. program with great sucess, defending his thesis last week, and instantly started an education/information/green classroom program, which is his next independent project to lead. We have a second student Clement, set on working on his thesis in environmental law and policy evaluating sustainable and lawful use of forest resources.
2. We have had a series of very positive, encouraging and supportive meetings, starting with invitation into regional commitie for renewable energies in SW Madagascar. We received great interest and got positive comments on our program during meetings with core environmental and conservation governmental and non-governmental organizations working in the region: DREFT (ministry of water, forest and environment), DDR, (regional development office), SAGE, CI, WWF, GTZ, Andrew Least Trust, Madagascar National Parks and fair-trade social program Hazomanga. All organizations emphatetically agreed on legal, logistial and technical support and mutually beneficial partnerships, which are currently in a process of formalizing.
3. We have had accelerated growing progress during the past few months of rainy season in the planted sanctuary area and have agreement with FIMPAHARA to work together on 5 ha of their crop land to improve food production with integrated food forest systems and effective water harvest and distribution. FIMPAHARA currently focuses on seed collection in a competitive scheme with rigid rules assuring sustainable seed harvest from the forest.
4. FIMPAHARA is greatly interested to take responsibility for tree planting in a proposed forest area of 80 ha. This area will be under FIMPAHARA's management with the major objectives of no distructive logging and charcoal production allowing natural forest regeneration, and additional assisted forest restoration. While the proposal was welcomed by WWF, FIMPAHARA is currently discussing the area in focus with the whole community to set rules of management and roles of all involved actors.
5. For the next 6 months Claude is organizing pilot environmental discussions with FIMPAHARA to evaluate reall community needs and desired for sustainable development.
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Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.
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Director of New Latitude