Once completed, the WWF team – especially field agents – has been trained to master additional, new, agriculture practices such as fruit growing or cover crops.
Dozens of farmers trained
WWF actively promoted these alternative cultivation techniques within the local communities, focusing mainly on subsistence farming, beekeeping, intensive rice and fruit growing.
Thirty farmers in three commons have been trained to use these improved agriculture systems.
Many communities structured
Six forest areas – involving 11 fokontany (the country’s smallest administrative unit) – have been identified to carry out transfers of natural resources management.
Over the past year, efforts have focused on developing proper structures for grassroots communities (COBAs), such as organizing them in committees with presidents, treasurers, etc.
GPS-led delineation of the zones allotted to transfers has already been done and data is now under process.
Meanwhile, information and awareness campaigns on transfers of natural resources management are continuing, targeting communities, local leaders and authorities at the fokontany, common, district and regional levels.
In terms of forest landscape restoration, the following activities have been undertaken during the first year of the project:
1. A series of information campaigns on the need to restore degraded forest landscapes, targeting local people;
2. Negotiations to secure the land to be restored. It is very common that restoration takes place on former cultivated land, which needs to be acquired first;
3. Negotiations to acquire the land where community tree nurseries will be established;
4. In nine villages, management of the land where tree nurseries will be established to produce indigenous tree seedlings, which will be used for active restoration of savannas, fallows or degraded forests areas.
Training sessions focused on the selection of the restoration sites and their management, the establishment and maintenance of tree nurseries and the production of seedlings have been organized for the nursery gardeners of five villages (two per village).
In the future, these gardeners will lead on the choice and production of the tree species to be used for restoration activities.
Tree nurseries ran by schools
Preparations for the reforestation work have also started. Again, training is a major component of the initial activities. Indeed, once they master the complex restoration techniques with indigenous species, gardeners will have few problems with the production of exotic species for fuel-wood. The project team also worked on establishing tree nurseries ran by schools.