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.
Jun 15, 2016

A new/old approach to fight protein deficiency

Belanana farmers
Belanana farmers

We have worked hard to identify new types of edible insects, study their life cycles, analyze protein content, serve insect brochettes and delicious rice and pupae casserole.  Nevertheless, it is still find it difficult to convince farmers to incorporate insects into their diets. That is, however, with the exception of the pupae of Ceranchia apollina, the caterpillar that makes the gorgeous platinum cocoons that are the main focus of SEPALI's textile program. Ceranchia apollina pupae are not eaten by farmers in our immediate Makira area but on the northwestern side of Makira, where the pupae are considered a tasty snack. Therefore, while eastern farmer populations remain recalcitrant, western populations have already developed a pupae-eating culture.

In the western site, communities collected cocoons and pupae long before SEPALI arrived on the scene. Because the pupae are only tasty within the first day of completing their cocoon, many of those harvested were discarded and in all cases the cocoons were left scattered by the edge of the road. Discovering this species and their silk has been a bonanza for the silk program becuase a known but previously discarded resource has become valuable. SEPALI Madagascar's new job is to focus on instructing people in communities where C. apollina is abundant how to harvest the pupae and cocoons sustainably. Hence, our new approach is to try to improve on sustainable use of an already used resource. 

In the future, SEPALI will be directing its efforts to expanding production of C.apollina for food and fiber.  Farmers from the eastern region where SEPALI as been working have been volunteering to travel to the western region where Ceranchia apollina are found to teach new communities.

"You can't always get what you want . . . But if you try sometimes you find . . You get what you need"

Removing pupae from cocoons
Removing pupae from cocoons
Protecting pupae until adult emergence
Protecting pupae until adult emergence
Three cocoons suspended from vine, the hostplant
Three cocoons suspended from vine, the hostplant

Links:

May 26, 2016

Design workshop opens the door to new markets

Product Development with SEPALI Artisans
Product Development with SEPALI Artisans

You may have heard about the design workshop recently completed in Madagascar. We have admittedly been bragging about its smashing success for more than a month now.  What you haven't heard about is the impact that it is already having on our program.

To catch you up, Docey Lewis, an international design and business consultant visited our team in Madagascar along with CPALI director, Catherine Craig. Together they spearheaded a training workshop that invigorated the team and added new designs, skills and techniques to our previous repertoire. 

Among other things, the workshop introduced a line of textile dyes and techniques. The results are stunning. The dyes embellished the silks in ways that we never thought possible, transforming our previous products into a whole new set of possibilities. Pictures of the product development that took place can be found below. 

The workshop also introduced raffia as supplemental product to the silk. Raffia is made from a native palm in Madagascar and is locally grown and processed.  It is inexpensive and highly coveted by design companies around the world. The SEPALI team is already hard at work recruiting local raffia producers and weavers to build a supply chain. Raffia farming is attracting new farmers in the Makira region where we work and hopefully will expand the project impact and farmer participation.

The new dyed silks are attracting the attention of the international community. Color by Amber, a Canadian jewelry company. They have already placed large orders of dyed silks and raffia.  SEPALI's conservation through sustainable livelihoods also recently caught the eye of the Santa Fe Teaching Zoo in Florida.  They are planning to raise funds on behalf of the SEPALI team over the next year through their Quarters for Conservation program. 

Many exciting developments! Wish us luck, send us your commnets and suggestions, check out our new products and most importantly, thank you for your ongoing support of our project! We couldn't do it without you! 

All the best, 

CPALI/SEPALI team

Sewing dyed textile with Mario
Sewing dyed textile with Mario
Banded dyeing techniques on wild silk
Banded dyeing techniques on wild silk
Shibori dyes on raffia textile
Shibori dyes on raffia textile
Shades of blues on silk and raffia
Shades of blues on silk and raffia
Colored product tags
Colored product tags

Links:

Mar 22, 2016

Dye, Designs, and Dragon Flies

Design Team!
Design Team!

CPALI supporters,

The workshop last week was a tremendous success! As you may know, CPALI director Catherine Craig and design consultant Docey Lewis traveled to Madagascar last week to run an intensive design workshop with our team in Maroantsetra. The workshop ran for 10 days and covered a myriad of new techniques, cost of production analyses, designing new products and mastering new silk processing techniques.

The workshop was designed to include many different groups of farmers working with our project. Silk production farmers from both Ceranchia and Antherina communities contributed cocoons and got to see the design team in action. SEPALI artisans worked closely with Docey Lewis and learned gorgeous new dyeing techniques and product design. Insect-rearing farmers showcased their dragonfly rearing program with a surprise insect lunch for the whole team!

All and all, the team was able to dye more than 30 meters of fabric, master 6 new shades of dye, learn new techniques like shibori, fades and color mixing, and make gorgeous new products from combinations of dyed silk and embroidery. You’ll have to wait to see our secret new product line at the NY NOW gift show in August!

Thank you to everyone for your ongoing support! This workshop means so much to us and to our team and will hopefully change our market options for the better. While Cay and Docey stop off in Paris on their way home to investigate market leads there, our team in Madagascar has already jumped right into the next mission. This week they will travel with international artist Kevin Ohanlon to assist with 4 environmental art workshops for kids in the rural communities surrounding Maroantsetra. We can’t wait to see what they come up with!

Dragonfly lunch snacks
Dragonfly lunch snacks
Dyeing workshop with Docey
Dyeing workshop with Docey
Fixing the colors
Fixing the colors
Shibori Reds
Shibori Reds
Wild Blues
Wild Blues
SEPALI farmer with his cocoons
SEPALI farmer with his cocoons
 
   

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