During October and November, the project activities focused on (1) Monitoring the existing plantations to evaluate in general the conditions of the mangroves, (2) Identifying the new 3 hectares for the 2019 plantation and (3) Planting 9,000 propagules in the new identified site to complete a total of 5 planting sites which means a total of 45,000 mangrove plants.
We had 2 workshops with the local government of Conquista Campesina (33 ejido members) and the restoration local brigade (3 local people), to evaluate the general conditions in the field since the weather has been changing a lot. For the past two years, the rainy season starts later during the year and lasts for a longer period. This climate change effects do not affect the existing plants but do affect the new planting activities, since the water levels need to be really low for propagules to germinate. Fortunately, the raniy season finished on time to still have porpaguels available to finish the 2019 plantation on time.
The regular monitoring activities happend at the end of November, in order to identify if the plants are growing succesfuly and evaluate the mortality rate, in order to replace the plants that have been lost and ensure the density of sites at 3,000 individuals per hectare. Based on these monitoring results, the ejido members have planned a repopulation activity in December to replace the loss of plants that were identified during the monitoring activies.
In January, the ejido members will have a workshop to analyze if they would need to develop hydrological channels to irrigate water to the propagules of the new plantation, in order to have better results.
This summer, the honey producers in Conquista Campesina have been sthrenghtening their capacities through a technical course. With this course, the producers are learning how to produce core beehives and how to breed queen bees. The production of hives allows the producers to increase the honey production up to 100%, depending on the interest of the producers. After learning how to produce new hives, the producers learned to breed queen bees for these new hives, which allow the improvement of honey production and to reduce production costs. The last stage of the course is happening in September and the producers will learn to collect products derived from the hives to get better economic incomes, such as pollen, royal jelly and propolis. The collection of these side products provide additional income to the producers and keep them active throughout the year, and they do not only depend on the production of honey. When the honey harvest is finished, the producers can be dedicated to breed queens, which also can be sold, and to collect pollen and produce royal jelly, products that are in great demand in the local and national market. These benefits offered by the beekeeping activity, not only contribute to the conservation of the environment by taking care of bees that pollinate plants that produce food, but also, provide good quality food for families and additional economic income for the producers involved.
In August, the community also monitored the already restored areas from 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018. The analysis of this data is happening in September and at the end of the month the new restoring areas will be defined since the restoring activities will start in October.
During November 2018, Conquista Campesina restored 3.3 hectares of mangroves (25,000 individuals). During 2019, the community monitored the magrove planted at the end of 2018 and rehabilited 400 meters of channels for these 3.3. restored hectares. These past months the community had its first honey harvest from 10 of the 16 beehives they have, with a total of 154 liters that were sold in the region having 770 USD of profit. During the months of July, August and September, the community will be monitoring the areas already restored in 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018 and will identify the area to be restored in the 2019 season, which starts in October and ends in December, period to plant the mangroves financed by this project.
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