With funding from our partners Wessanen UK, ITF has supported a series of community-based tree planting projects in Madagascar, as part of our Sustainable Community Forestry programme. These projects have been managed in partnership with the community based organisation Ny Tanintsika (Our Land). In 2017 Ny Tanintsika started a project titled ‘Endemic Trees for Sustainable Agroforestry’ which aimed to address a variety of environmental and social issues, including deforestation and loss of biodiversity, as well as low productivity on farms and poverty within local communities.
Ny Tanintsika worked with 20 communities bordering the Ambositra-Vondrozo Forest Corridor, which is the only remaining tropical rainforest in South-East Madagascar. Once covering most of the island, it has since been reduced to a small strip, just 185 miles long and between 0.5 and 31 miles wide. The communities participating in the project were introduced to agroforestry techniques and encouraged to incorporate beneficial endemic tree species into their farms, to improve soil quality and in turn, the productivity of their crops.
The newly introduced improvements to farming systems have reduced the need for communities to expand their agriculture further into the already depleted forest, in search of more productive land. A total of 800 households have planted trees on their farms and 60 different species of native tree were planted as part of the project. Farmers have been taught new skills, such as seed collection and tree nursey establishment to ensure the continuation of these new farming methods in the future.
Ny Tanintsika Programme Officer, Nathalie Raharilaza said ‘It is so satisfying to see the successful production of endemic tree species in community tree nurseries as a result of seed collection in the rainforest. We will be so proud to see them planted and grow in families’ agroforestry plots. Thank you so much ITF for your support for this important work and we wish all our beneficiary communities well in their efforts to protect the forest.’
Cecile Baotsara has been supported by Ny Tanintsika through this project. She explains the impact of the project on her daily life. “Thanks to this project, my dreams of owning a radio have come true. I’m happy, I feel like other citizens who have access to information and leisure!”
A New project for 2018/19
Thanks to funding from Wessanen, ITF has been able to continue to support Ny Tanintsika with the delivery of a new project, which is currently underway and will run until the end of April 2019.
This new project ‘Communities Showcasing Nature’ is in many ways a continuation of the work previously carried out by Ny Tanintsika and ITF. The goals to improve livelihoods through agroforestry and to plant endemic trees on local farms surrounding the forest corridor remain the same. 14 rural communities will be involved in total, learning new farming techniques to improve their current systems, as well as being educated on the effects of climate change and helping to restore the local forest corridor.
Ny Tanintsika seek to work with local communities to help 1,000 households adopt agroforestry techniques and produce 21,000 trees in their tree nurseries over the course of this new project.