What an exciting time for CPALI and SEPALI Madagascar! We recieved the TOP SCORE in the GG-UK Celebrating Innovation campaign AND a £500 bonus award! We are honored, and would like to sincerely thank the distinguished, UK-GG panel of judges. Here is Bob Weber's Award Winning essay:
"Breakfast comes before conservation", guides our enterprise-based approach to help farmers adversely affected by the formation of the Makira Protected Area in northeastern Madagascar. Drawing on our learnings in biology, ecology, sociology and marketing, we have introduced innovative practices for the sustainable production of wild silk: innovations that both improve the surrounding ecology and satisfy the demands of the subsistence farming that is the only reliable source of food in the remote villages that border the park. We attribute our success ( 50% compound growth in number of participants over the past 5 years) to our reliance on social capital, generated from mutual trust, local governance and from rewarding performance not just participation. Specific innovations include the use of farmer networks and the distribution of a monthly newsletter (in two languages) to disseminate best practices and triumphs, commissioning of locally produced baskets for collecting and rearing the caterpillars, implementation of farmer-suggested competitions, our “cocoon bank” that serves as a saving mechanism and, most recently, a farmer-suggested purchasing cooperative to moderate price fluctuations in school supplies. We guarantee a market for the wild silk and have devised innovative products and manufacturing techniques suited to the immediately available level of skill and infrastructure.
Other great news is that CPALI sold our next lot nonspun cloth to Habu Textiles (www.Habutextile.com) in New York. If you haven't already, please visit their store in New York and see why we are so proud to be included in their stock. In addition, innovative rubber-band artist - yes, rubber band artist - Margarita Mileva, has made a smashing necklace with CPALI silk and rubber bands - check out our home page to view it up close (www.cpali.org) and google on Margarita Mileva to see her other creative pieces.
Finally, Mamy is finishing up his trip to the US this week. I am sure he will be writing his own report, but in the meantime, he told me he met Hilary Clinton at the State Department and gave her a copy of the SEPALI Madagascar borchure! He was thrilled and I am jealous - check out SEPALIM's new home page www.sepalim.org.
Bring on the rains in Madagascar and summer in the north!
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