Trees and Training

19:09 on April 10th 2012


Our efforts to secure UN involvement in the proejct are paying off and yesterday a

Msr Axel from UNDP training the ALT MG team

specialist trainer from the UN Development Programme (UNDP) arrived in Ft Dauphin and delivered  a training about human rights to the local team of the Village Voices for Development project .There were a number of informative presentations and useful tools provided which will help training villagers about their rights. The team found the session extremely useful and they discussed ways that they can apply the training in the field at the end of this week. Mme Sahondra, a local trainer working with a civil justice project in Ft Dauphin (Anosy region) called ‘’Trano Aro Zo” also attended and will be helping the team as they go into the communities in Androy.

UNDP human rights training with ALT Mg

This will be the first time that a team has gone into Androy to train villagers directly on their human rights and it will bring new challenges to the team and the villagers. The plan is also to record an interview with Msr Axel from the UNDP which will be broadcast widely to listeners across the region so that those villagers  not directly involved in the project will also have a chance to learn about their rights.


Emergency Relief Programme

Since last week we have also been preparing to send 15,000 trees to Marovato in the deep south , where dunes have been burying villages and agricultural fields. The dunes problem has been growing over the past decade when ALT first began working with a local technical consultant to find ways to stabilise them in order to conserve the environment and protect local communities.

planting dunes in southern Madagascar

The work we are doing now is part of ALT’s Emergency Relief Programme funded by the Balcombe Trust which has supported this project since 2010. Communities are mobilised in large numbers and paid a daily rate under a ‘money for food for work’ programme. The communities are paid to plant the tree seedlings (causerina ) on the dunes together with succulents,  hardy plants such as sisal and lalanda, in a bid to slow or stop the dunes from advancing. Other activities of this progrramme have included digging water catchment basins .

The local people gain by earning cash to buy food at times of hardship whilst also benefitting from the longer term environmental results of their efforts.

Marek Mayer dedication stone in ALT’s Tshiombe tree nursery

All the trees planted for the project to date have been grown in a local tree nursery launched by ALT in memory of one of its founders and Trustees, Marek Mayer – environmentalist and editor of the Environmental Data Services publication, who died in 2005.  The nursery was handed over to Andry Lalana Tohana, our local partner, in 2010 as part of our sustainability strategy and they are now implementing the emergency relief programme.

planting filao seedlings

15,000 trees were grown and planted on dunes from the tree nursery between 2010 -2011. This year due to severe drought, unseasonal weather and ant invasions, the attrition rate on the seedlings has been high and other nurseries have been called upon to provide trees for the project. (Manatantely and Ranopiso)

This Easter saw unseasonal rainfall in the deep-south and with this blessing we are trying to transport as many trees as possible to plant in the watered sands. However, while the rain is great for the trees it is bad for the roads which have been broken up by flooding  – so the lorry carrying the trees cannot get through. 

Dune planted up by ALT in 2002

These are the challenges of the deep south. Hopefully by the end of this week we can transport the trees and the sands will still be wet and ready for planting.

Dunes ALT planted back in 2002 have seeded successfully and we hope for similar results for the Marovato and other dunes we will be planting up this year.




As well as Nogabe’s concert on the 27that the Green note in Camden ( see last blog) another Madagascar music concert from Madagascar All Stars will be happening in June, also in London at: 

 Kings Place, 90 York Way on Saturday 9th june

The music in Madagascar is just as remarkable as its wildlife. A stunning band including Dama from Mahaleo, Regis Gizavo and Justin Vali.

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