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100 Ceriops tagal trees planted by NexxtGen Climate in our Eden Reforestation Projects, Madagascar.



In response to the large-scale loss of mangroves and upland forests in Madagascar, Eden initiated the Madagascar Reforestation Project. The cooperation with Tree-Nation began in 2019 and since its inception, Eden has successfully planted over 10 million mangrove and dry deciduous trees with TN in northwest Madagascar.


We are so very proud to support this project and we shall continue to plant trees both in Madagascar as well as here in the UK.


What the planter likes about it

Prior to the start of the project the mangrove forests found in this area were severely impacted by deforestation and forest degradation from charcoal production and wood collection for cooking, construction and other purposes.


Species particularities

Ceriops tagal is a small tree with a distinctive root growth. It´s a compact branched tree with thin breathing roots. It occurs in estuaries, swamps and lagoons in the coastal areas of the Indian Ocean from Africa to Asia, Australia and the Pacific. Ceriops tagal was once used as a source of tannins and dyes. Nowadays it is still used as a source of these products and as well as medicines, once numerous applications in traditional medicine have been reported.


Deforestation is a major issue in Madagascar because of its high concentration of endemic species and extreme rates of habitat loss. In response to the large-scale loss of mangroves and upland forests Eden Reforestation Projects initiated the Madagascar Reforestation Project. The program began in 2007 and since its inception Eden has successfully planted over 16 million mangrove and dry deciduous trees in this remote area of northwest Madagascar.


We are excited to report on two years of planting (2021 & 2022) at the Ankinao planting site sponsored by Tree-Nation. Here ares some key highlights:


• A total of 8,006,123 trees were planted at this site since January 2021.

• This site employs an average of 244 full-time staff members per month.

• This site has created an average of 5,124 working days per month between January 2021 and September 2022.



Reforestation at this site is crucial to ensure that the people of Morafeno do not experience food insecurity due to lack of available fishing ground and empowering them through fair-wage employment to preserve and protect their environment.


The destruction of healthy forest systems causes so many different problems. Trees provide a habitat for animals, purify water sources, control flooding and erosion and help to replenish the soil with nutrients needed for farming. When farmers can’t grow anything their farms fail and they have no option but to move to the overcrowded cities looking for work. Often they have to resort to selling themselves or their families into slavery just to survive.


We start by hiring the local villagers to plant trees.


This gives them a decent income so they can provide for their families again. As the reforestation effort goes on, healthy forests begin to emerge and all the negative effects of deforestation begin to disappear.


Madagascar is more than just an island from an animated movie. It’s a nation with over 200,000 species of plants and animals that don’t exist anywhere else in the world. But more than 90% of Madagascar’s original forests have been destroyed, displacing entire animal species and taking away the Malagasy’s ability to farm and live on the land. Entire mangrove estuaries are gone, leaving the bare earth to wash away into the sea.


Viamatsa


The restoration area is located on the farthest western point of Madagascar near Cape St. Andre and is a lowland mangrove forest surrounding the Vilamatsa community. Prior to the start of the project the mangrove forests found in this area were severely impacted by deforestation and forest degradation from charcoal production and wood collection for cooking, construction and other purposes. This community was eager to be a part of our mangrove reforestation initiative in Madagascar for years because of the success of the nearby Mahabana Estuary. Now that they have joined Eden, the Vilamatas community is a trusted and committed partner in the long-term reformation and protection of this important estuary.


With the help of our sponsors and the active participation from the Vilamatsa Community, Eden began a mangrove reforestation and forest protection project to bring back the vitality of the forest in this area. The project provides support to local communities to plant and manage mangrove forests on community land surrounding the village, offers long-term employment to local communities and livelihood improvements while protecting the important biodiversity that rely of mangrove forests to survive.


Papamena


The Papamena dry deciduous project is part of a much larger greenbelt forest restoration initiative which seeks to restore critical habitat and connect remnant forest patches across a broad landscape in Northwest Madagascar. The restoration site convers 715 hectares located approximately five miles east of the Mariarano Reserve in Northwestern Madagascar.


This site was once covered with flourishing dry deciduous forest harboring many endemic species such as the endangered Coquerel’s sifaka lemurs (Propithecus coquereli), golden-crowned sifaka (Propithecus tattersalli) and Perrier's sifaka (Propithecus diadema perrieri) as well as the island's largest predator, the fossa (Cryptoprocta ferox). Due to charcoal production and slash and burn farming practices most of this site has been converted to grassland.


As a result of Eden’s reforestation efforts, the dry deciduous forest is recovering quickly, to the point where many lemurs including Coquerel’s sifaka are moving back into the area and regularly visit Eden’s nursery. Also, the Madagascar side necked turtle, one of the rarest turtles in the world, likely inhabits the many lakes and water bodies in the area. Much work is needed to restore the entire site and Eden is actively looking for partners to assist in this effort.


Deforestation has long been an issue for Madagascar as it is one of the world's top biodiversity conservation priorities because of its high concentration of endemic species and extreme rates of habitat loss. In the coastal zone, mangrove deforestation results in destabilizing the coastline and increasing the vulnerability of coastal communities to storms and other weather events that are becoming more frequent and intense as a result of human-induced climate change. In upland dry deciduous forests deforestation threatens one of the most rare and diverse forest systems in the world.


In response to the large-scale loss of mangroves and upland forests in Madagascar Eden Reforestation Projects initiated the Madagascar Reforestation Project. The program began in 2007 and since its inception Eden has successfully planted over 16 million mangrove and dry deciduous trees in northwest Madagascar.


The program operates by working collaboratively with many different communities with full support from national, local and tribal governments to reforest large areas of mangroves and dry deciduous forest along the coast and inland areas. Eden’s local staff provides training and financial support to the local community to collect mangrove propagules, develop nurseries, and strategically plant millions of mangrove trees in coastal marsh systems and upland dry deciduous forests that have been heavily degraded or deforested.


Through this planting effort, Eden’s work has transformed how local people relate to their forests, now looking to protection and stewardship where they once sought only wood for cooking and construction materials. The restored mangrove systems stabilize the coastline with their dense areal roots protecting it from tropical storms, act as refuges for shellfish and juvenile fish supporting marine health/diversity, improving food security, and helping sequester carbon and mitigate climate change. The restoration of dry deciduous forest provides habitat to many endemic and endangered species such as the Coquerel’s sifaka lemurs (Propithecus coquereli), golden-crowned sifaka (Propithecus tattersalli) and Perrier's sifaka (Propithecus diadema perrieri) as well as the island's largest predator, the fossa (Cryptoprocta ferox).


About the Ankino planting site:


Ankinao is located in a mangrove forest, on the southern banks of the Betsiboka River Estuary. It is home to various wildlife, from fish to birds, who rely on the mangrove ecosystem to survive. Unfortunately, due to resource poverty, many of the local people in the nearby community of Morafeno are forced into harvesting mangrove trees for charcoal production. Due to the unsustainable and illegal harvesting, there is little habitat left for the birds and the fish making it difficult for the local people to get food.


Planting density:


Eden has found success planting mangroves at a density of 20,000 mangroves/ha, depending on the conditions and level of deforestation. The higher concentration appears to improve the mangrove’s resistance to sea level rise and predation from crabs without negatively affecting survival rate.


Land use history:


The land is a mangrove swamp that has always been a resource for the community as fishing grounds and lumber source. The land was not cleared in any way to facilitate this project.


Risks & mitigation associated with the planting site:


Many of the local people in the nearby community of Morafeno are forced into harvesting mangrove trees for charcoal production. Due to the unsustainable and illegal harvesting, there is little habitat left for the birds and the fish making it difficult for the local people to get food. Reforesting this area helps bring back mangrove forests which are crucial to fisheries and bird ecosystems.


Land rights:


The one consistent governance factor is Eden’s effort to establish an Association and or an NGO which grants our organization authority to operate in coordination with Regional and Local governance agencies.


The land at this site is community owned. Eden Reforestation Projects has developed deep and respectful relationships within all levels of community and government departments. In every case, Eden Reforestation Projects makes concerted efforts to form written agreements with a clause leading to a perpetual forest.


In addition, Eden hires people from local communities to plant trees. In this way, we alleviate poverty within the impacted community. Fair and consistent employment provides an economic incentive to ensure the wellbeing of the restoration project. Additionally, those who plant the trees have a sense of “ownership” over the restored forests so they protect them with great care. Most significantly, we have seen the local communities fall in love with their forest. They benefit from the restored forest through an increase in fisheries, improved farming, cleaner water, and the formation of micro-enterprises. As our employees work to restore their land, their lives are transformed as well.


Monitoring and maintenance protocols:

Eden's Monitoring & Evaluation protocols have been approved by TN. They include:


• Mapping and field verification of the site boundary

• Photo monitoring

• Drone mapping

• Forest inventory

• Socioeconomic livelihood surveys


Our teams in the field perform regular forest inventories on the planting sites for a variety of reasons: To inform timber harvests, assess fire risks, and restoration. We use them to help us measure our progress towards our reforestation goals.


Our semi-random permanent inventory plots, gather information such as:


• Tree condition

• Overall landscape condition

• Tree species

• Tree diameter

• Tree height

• If the tree existed prior to intervention


Ankinao:


This site employs an average of 244 full-time staff members per month.


• This site has created an average of 5,124 working days per month between January 2021 and September 2022.


• Improved diets and health due to purchasing nutritious food and increasing education as families can afford to send their children to school.


With a steady income, our employees can put savings aside, invest in their households, start micro- enterprises to diversify their income opportunities, and provide healthcare and everyday needs for their families.


Reforestation at this site is crucial to ensure that the people of Morafeno do not experience food insecurity due to lack of available fishing ground and empowering them through fair-wage employment to preserve and protect their environment.



Vilamatsa:


This community was eager to be a part of our mangrove reforestation initiative in Madagascar for years because of the success of the nearby Mahabana Estuary. Now that they have joined Eden, the Vilamatsa community is a trusted and committed partner in the long-term reformation and protection of this important estuary.



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