Lessons learned for involving local people in restoration monitoring

 

A CIFOR scientist (left) inspects Arenillo seeds collected by a Kichwa timber producer. These seeds will be replanted by the farmer to reforest his land in Napo Province, Ecuador. Tomas Munita/CIFOR Photo

A CIFOR scientist (left) inspects Arenillo seeds collected by a Kichwa timber producer. These seeds will be replanted by the farmer to reforest his land in Napo Province, Ecuador. Tomas Munita/CIFOR Photo

Success from the ground up?

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New global forest restoration initiatives – such as the Bonn Challenge, Initiative 20×20, AFR100, the Convention on Biological Diversity Aichi Targets – present an unparalleled opportunity to reverse the trend of deforestation and forest degradation in the coming years. However, those who work in forest restoration have countless stories of failed projects. How can we minimize these failures, learn from other restoration initiatives and build success from the ground up?

Restoration experts agree: monitoring is essential to restoration success. But is monitoring being given enough attention in the current major global initiatives?

Read the full story: CIFOR

 

To bring degraded lands back to life

 

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Restoring lands and livelihoods in Burkina Faso: The business of one association

Effective participation of indigenous peoples and local communities and women in ecosystem restoration is one of the three main principles of the Action Plan on Ecosystem Restoration that the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity are expected to adopt at their next Conference in Cancun in December. Effective participation is both the ends and means of ecosystem restoration, but is not easily achieved.

A Burkinabè association tiipaalga (meaning ‘new tree’) has worked with the country’s farmers for over a decade to help them bring their degraded lands back to life. The organization’s aim is to help improve ecosystems for the purpose of improving the well-being of local households. The organization considers – and calls – farmers its partners. Mr Alain Traoré, Director of tiipaalga, shares insights from his long-term efforts in fostering farmer-led restoration initiatives in Burkina Faso.

This is the fifth blog in the CBD COP13 Forest and Landscape Restoration Blog Serieshighlighting why mainstreaming agricultural and tree biodiversity in sustainable food and production systems is critical to achieve the CBD’s Strategic Plan for Biodiversity, with a particular focus on forest and landscape restoration.

Q: What is tiipaalga’s approach in supporting farmers?

A: Our main approach is assisted natural regeneration, which is a low-cost forest restoration method aimed at accelerating growth of existing natural regeneration by removing competition from weeds and other disturbances and creating a more favorable micro-environment for growth. In some cases, if natural regeneration is not sufficient, planting of valuable species to supplement the existing tree populations (enrichment planting) can be carried out.

While we support planting trees, we recommend farmers only plant in small numbers, to allow them to maintain the trees. There is no point in planting one million trees which we cannot tend. It’s better to plant 10 trees per year and in 50 years we will have all we want. We want our partners [farmers] to be sure to be able to care for their trees so they can bring life; as our slogan says: “a tree for life”.

Read the full article: Bioversity International

Reforestation with native trees, mostly willows

 

Photo credit: The San Diego Union-Tribune

Flavio Sanchez, of Habitat Restoration Sciences, Inc., carries a cottonwood tree to be planted in a habitat restoration area at the Lake Calavera Preserve. (Charlie Neuman)

Going native at Lake Calavera Preserve

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by Phil Diehl Contact Reporter

Hunndreds of carefully cultivated young native trees and shrubs are taking root at Carlsbad’s Lake Calavera Preserve where a grove of invasive Mexican fan palms was recently cut down and hauled away.

A wide palette of trees and plants — oaks and cottonwoods, marsh elder and lizard tail — was installed at the preserve this week as part of a habitat restoration project coordinated by the city.

The palms may have been pretty, but in wildlife areas such as the preserve, they are a nuisance that attracts rats and other rodents, while crowding out desirable native plants and animals, officials said.

“You give them an inch, and they’ll take an acre,” said Eddie Rosas, a foreman for Habitat Restoration Sciences, the company hired by Carlsbad to tackle the replanting project.

The restoration project is designed to compensate for vegetation removed as part of the maintenance of the Lake Calavera dam. The preserve, with more than six miles of public hiking trails, is on the northeastern end of Carlsbad near the Oceanside border and is notable for the ancient volcanic cone at its center.

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Most of the trees planted this week were willow cuttings. Workers took hundreds of cuttings from three types of willows — arroyo, red and black — already growing in the preserve and then stored the inch-thick, 4-foot-long cuttings for a week in buckets of water, like flowers in a vase.

 

Poverty, low water availability, deforestation and land degradation are fuelling conflicts, but Kenya greens drylands.

 

Photo credit: IPS News

A Kenya Forestry Research Institute technician pruning an acacia tree at a drylands research site in Tiva, Kitui County. Credit: Justus Wanzala/IPS

Kenya Greens Drylands to Combat Land Degradation

High levels of poverty, low water availability, deforestation and land degradation are fuelling conflicts among communities in East Africa.

Faced with growing degradation that is swallowing large swathes of land in arid and semiarid areas, Kenya is heavily investing in rehabilitation efforts to stave off the threat of desertification.

Charles Sunkuli, secretary of the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources, says a programme targeting 5.1 million hectares of degraded and deforested land for restoration by 2030 was launched in September 2016. He added that Kenya is increasing its forest cover from the current seven percent to a minimum of 10 percent.

“We have introduced an equalisation fund to help communities living in dry and degraded lands eke out at a living and participate in rehabilitation initiatives,” said Sunkuli.

He was speaking in Nairobi during the Fifteenth Session of the Committee of Review of the Implementation of the Convention (CRIC 15) of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), which concluded last week.

Afforestration, he noted, will mainly be done in the country’s arid and semiarid areas which make up 80 percent of Kenya’s land cover, although other areas of the country to are being targeted too.

To succeed in its ambitious endeavour, Sunkuli said Kenya is implementing a programme to promote drought-tolerant tree species such Melia volkensii (locally known as Mukau) in the country’s vast drylands to increase forest cover.

Indeed, Kenya is heavily investing in research into drought resistant trees to enhance afforestration of dry lands and improve livelihoods. At Tiva in the dry Kitui County, eastern Kenya, the Kenya Forestry Research Institute (KEFRI) has established a research centre to breed tree species ideal for planting in arid and semiarid areas. The centre is supported by the government in partnership with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

Read the full article: IPS News

High value trees in Africa RISING Ethiopia

 

Photo credit: Africa Rising

Photo 1: Avocado sapling in Lemo Upper gana. Photo: ICRAF/Hadia Seid)

Intensifying with high value trees in Africa RISING Ethiopia – some reflections from the first phase

A daunting task to improve the drylands through afforestation for people’s wellbeing

 

Photo credit: China.org.cn

Kubuqi Desert [China.org.cn]

Poverty alleviation: Greening the desert for people’s wellbeing

As noted by Chinese President Xi Jinping, promoting ecological progress is of vital importance to the people’s wellbeing and China’s future; and it remains a daunting task to improve the ecosystem through afforestation. Nearly 30 years ago, the Kubuqi Desert in Inner Mongolia, the seventh largest desert in China, was a barren land with no water, electricity, or future. To alleviate poverty through desertification control, Elion Resources Group (ELION) has successfully afforested an area of over 6,000 square kilometers by means of technological innovation, leading to a 95 percent decrease in sand-dust weather and an increase by six times in precipitation in Kubuqi.

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Seven Stars Lake Desert Resort and convention complex, built by Elion Resources as part of an effort to turn the desert green and bring create and education and recreation center in the Kubuqi Desert, just south of the Yellow River. – A hotel built by ELION [China.org.cn]
During the process of ecosystem restoration, ELION has blazed a trail in the industrial development simultaneously driven by desertification control and poverty alleviation, while building up a new mechanism that integrates the government policy support, corporate commercial investment and market-oriented participation by farmers and herdsmen.

At this time of the year when forage has to be prepared in pastoral areas, Chen Ningbu no longer needs to worry about the forage for his over 300 sheep this winter, since he has enjoyed a bumper harvest of crops he planted in the sand.

The village where Chen Ningbu lived is located in the Kubuqi Desert and it used to be afflicted by sandstorms throughout the year. Large tracts of grassland and farmland were swallowed then. In the 1990s, average annual income for each person in this area was less than 400 yuan, and the local pillar business, Hangjinqi Saltworks, was also having a hard time, suffering from an annual loss of five million yuan for years.

When the saltworks was on the verge of bankruptcy, ELION stepped in and took over its operation. To save the business, urgent actions against desertification were needed. It was then decided that for each ton of salt sold,  5 yuan should be used in afforestation efforts. However, the survival rate of trees in the arid desert was even under 10 percent.

To solve the problem, ELION used grids made from twigs of bulrushes and the Salix mongolica to protect the trees against strong winds and the sand, effectively increasing the survival rate to 60 percent, but the cost for each acre of trees soared to up to 6,000 yuan.

Read the full article: China.org.cn

Who owns the seeds produced in nature ?

 

Photo credit: Bioversity International

Women’s shifting rights to precious tree resources in Burkina Faso

By Barbara Vinceti, Scientist

Néré (Parkia biglobosa)—the African locust bean—is a very important tree species not only in Burkina Faso but across West Africa. It plays a significant role in the diet of rural and urban populations in Burkina Faso’s Sudano-Sahelian zone. The fruit provides seeds, which women process into a highly nutritious sauce (soumbala) that is eaten with grain-based dishes. Although women are the ones to harvest néré seeds for income and direct consumption, they have no secure access to tree resources. Moreover, the density of néré is declining because of threats hindering its regeneration, including population growth and the expansion of cultivated crops in an extensive agrarian system. In a condition of resource scarcity and increasing demand, changes in women’s use and access rights are taking place.

Catherine Pehou, a young researcher from Burkina Faso, shared her findings on shifting access rights to néré in a session on ‘Adoption, innovation and gender perspectives’ at the annual Tropentag conference held in Vienna from 19-21 September, 2016. Pehou analyzed the dynamic nature of women’s access rights and control over néré in three villages in Central-West Burkina Faso, inhabited by autochthonous (Nouni) and migrant ethnic groups (Mossi and Fulani). Through a mix of methods including participant observation, Catherine mapped the access rights of 180 women to 400 néné trees.

Read the full article: Bioversity International