It is tempting when reporting on projects to constantly “accentuate the positive” but in many ways we learn more from the difficulties and the things that went wrong. In particular it underlines just why the work of ITF is so important.
Nigeria has been making the news recently so it feels good to be reporting a positive story from the country – ITF’s Community Fruit Tree Planting Initiative in Awgu. Over the past 12 months, this project, in partnership with Women in Development and Environment (WIDE) has delivered a range of activities with local women and young people.
ITF provided funding for the Regreening Sokura project in Mali for three years from 2010 to 2013. The project was delivered by our partner, Sahel Eco. To ensure that the achievements of the project were recorded and lessons learnt that could be of benefit to future regreening projects across Africa we commissioned an independent evaluation which was conducted by Groundswell International (www.groundswellinternational.org).
The Ulmus commonly known as the elm, takes centre stage in ITF’s Community Tree Planting scheme through a project run by the Conservation Foundation. Over the next twelve months 120 English, Field, Wych and Huntingdon elms will be planted in three Sussex villages in the Cuckmere valley.
Greenslate Farm is a recently established community farm based in Billinge to the west of Wigan. The farm has about 30 acres of land of which half is for arable, buildings and allotments and the rest is a mixture of meadow and woodland. The woodland is the result of self-seeding and consists almost totally of goat willow which is so dense in places that there is little biodiversity or habitat for wildlife.
The Dom Community Food Forest project is based in the Bamenda Highlands of Cameroon. A hotspot for biodiversity conservation with recent studies in 2010 revealing that of the 354 plant species recorded, 23 are threatened, 12 new to science and 5 are endemic to the forest of Dom.
In celebration of National Tree Week 65,000 trees will be planted in community projects in the UK and Africa over the next twelve months.
We are introducing a new partner and project in this newsletter, Masaka and District Landcare Chapter (MADLACC). MADLACC have been working on the “Promotion of agro forestry for poverty reduction and improved livelihoods” project involving over 500 farming households in the community.
We return to the Trees 4 Livelihoods programme in Mali. In the last edition we featured the work of this Big Lottery Fund project on sustainable land practices and we now turn our attention to how developing alternative livelihoods is reducing pressures on the forest and reducing poverty levels in the community.