Save rainforests with sustainable farming

by rainforestsaver in Edinburgh

We did it
On 10th July 2014 we successfully raised £2,105 with 38 supporters in 28 days

We aim to support education to promote a new sustainable alternative to slash and burn farming of rainforests to help the forests and people

by rainforestsaver in Edinburgh

This  project you have opened has finished.

Go to 

www.crowdfunder.co.uk/sustainable-farming-to-save-rainforestshonduras-2

for our current project, ending on 18.6.15 at 6 pm.

 

WE’RE OVERFUNDING – LET’S KEEP GOING – THERE’S SO MUCH MORE WE CAN DO

We can expand the teaching and maybe even provide some school meals – see the updates 4 and 5.

Help us to provide education to promote a proven,  yet little known, form of sustainable farming, called  Inga alley cropping.  This is a wonderful alternative to the slash and burn agriculture which destroys rainforests but keeps the farmers poor.

Slash and burn farming is a leading cause of rainforest destruction. Everyone loses:

  • To live, farmers must keep destroying new forest
  • The farmers remain very poor
  • The local ecosystem is destroyed
  • Carbon is pumped into the atmosphere

With Inga Alley Cropping: Everyone wins:

  • Farmers can grow enough to eat and sell
  • The same plot is used long term so no new rainforest is destroyed
  • No artificial fertilizers or pesticides are required.

Inga trees are planted as hedges with alleys between them and crops are grown in the alleys.The animation shows how this works in a section across one alley for the first three years.

This solution is so unbelievably simple and yet so effective. This is not a hand out. It is a way for local populations to break out of poverty and become successful farmers without destroying the environment.

 

 

Desert from slash and burn, Inga alley

 

The Project

Africa map showing Cameroon

With your support,  our Cameroon partners will teach this technique, together with general environmental education, to farmers’ children in six rural Cameroon schools. They will plant Inga alleys at these schools and the children’s parents will also be invited to participate.

A Case Study

Mrs. Mendo Antoinette is the mother of several children. Like many families in Cameroon, she found it extremely challenging to grow enough crops for her family. The land near her house was infertile after slashing and burning. So she cleared more forest. This meant not only did she have to travel further, but elephants were able to destroy her crops. 

Mrs. Mendo with Inga seedlingsShe was delighted to learn about Inga in a training class run by our local partner Gaston Bityo. He gave her 200 Inga seedlings, which she planted in the infertile land beside her house where elephants don’t go.

They were planted in the dry season so she carried water uphill to water the young seedlings. After two years the Inga had naturally fertilized the soil and she planted maize and peppers.

She also planted maize in a second plot beside her Inga plot, so that we could see the difference Inga made.

There was a great crop from the Inga plot, but next to nothing from the comparison plot. For the next two years, she got the same results. She says

“My life has changed thanks to the Inga Project. I am now the president of a women’s group …. I see Inga Alley Cropping is a very good technique…that's why I am extending my inga plot.”

She is now promoting the Inga system to her neighbours too.

This was achieved without pesticides or controversial GM crops, just a simple sustainable system that works in harmony with nature. That is what we want to teach at the schools.

 Comparison of maize harvest with and without Inga 

 

What your money will be used for

Our Cameroon partners, Gaston Bityo and Atanga Wilson, will teach about the environment,  the need to stop slash and burn and how the Inga system works. They will demonstrate the system and include practical hands on experience.

 Kids ready to plant Inga seedlings

The money will pay for:

  •  Travel expenses for Gaston and Atanga
  •  Transport of Inga seedlings to schools
  •  Basic tools like diggers, hoes and rakes for the schools
  •  Pens, paper etc. for the students (there is severe poverty)
  •  Starting and supporting environmental clubs at the schools
  •  Meals for all participants of training sessions
  •  Follow ups
  •  Hand-outs and posters

What we have achieved in Cameroon schools already

Atanga has planted some Inga at some schools with the students. He has contacted 5 schools who all want to participate.

 Handing out Inga seedlings to school kids

 Planting Inga seeds and later growth

Gaston has been working with a large secondary school, the Lycée de Nkoumadjap. One of two Inga trees planted there in 2012 has born fruit which, with your help,  will provide seed for some of the alleys when the September rains come.

 Environmental club and staff at Lycée de Nkoumadjap

 

Stretch goals

 With additional funds we will:

  •  Do environmental training with more groups at Nkoumadjap
  •  Include more schools
  •  Enlarge the school Inga plots to provide extra nutrition to the children during the school day. 

This project will serve as a foundation to expand the knowledge and practice of Inga alley cropping to many more schools and farmers in Cameroon.

 

Why rainforests matter

 You’re probably familiar with the immense value and beauty of natural rainforest, but here are some facts you might not know:

  •  They recycle water to provide rain over large areas and reduce flooding and landslides.
  •  We have studied less than one per cent of  the plants and animals in them.
  •  About a quarter of our medicines contain a rainforest derived ingredient
  •  The rosy periwinkle from Madagascar’s rainforest, which provided one of the earliest cancer cures, is now extinct in the wild.
  • They are the wild source of many food plants. We need the wild genetic materials to improve pest, disease and climate change resistance
  •  They contain half the world’s species

 

Main causes of rainforest destruction

 

main causes of rainforest loss

 

Why does Inga alley cropping work?

The fertility of rainforests is in the trees, not the soil. In an intact rainforest the nutrients are recycled from leaf litter through the tree roots to the trees. As the trees drop leaves the cycle is repeated.

Slash and burn farming removes the trees. After the crop is harvested the rains wash the nutrients out of the bare soil, so the farmer must clear more forest to survive. The Inga tree is a legume that increases fertility by fixing nitrogen and recycling nutrients, particularly phosphorus, with the aid of bacteria and fungi in its roots. Inga alley cropping imitates the natural rainforest by recycling the nutrients and providing a permanent protective cover of leaf litter on the ground.

 mature Inga alley

 

Who we are

We are a small yet passionate UK based charity working with local organizations in Cameroon and Honduras to promote Inga alley cropping. In Cameroon our partners are Gaston Bityo, (a farmer with a Botany degree), and agronomist Atanga Wilson. We’ve been doing this for 5 years and had some great results. Both Gaston and Atanga are leaders of local environmental NGOs.

Our Cameroon partners

 

For more information visit www.rainforestsaver.org

Or email us at contact@rainforestsaver.org

Rainforest Saver is a registered charity in Scotland SC039007.

We are crowd funding for more money to build on the excellent ground-work already laid in Cameroon.  To thank you for your support we have designed many rewards which we hope you will like.

Follow the blog at http://rainforestsaver.blogspot.co.uk/

Some images of rewards

rewards

 

Rewards

This project offers rewards in return for your donation.

£5 or more

£5 Reward

Our gratitude and your own good feeling, confirmed by our thank you email

£10 or more

£10 Reward

Small pack of greeting cards, our own rainforest designs based on RFS’s photos. £10 would pay for at least 100 Inga seedlings from picking the pods to being ready to plant out

£10 or more

£10 Reward

Two Bookmarks, our own designs specially acknowledging your support

£10 or more

£10 Reward

Two Cameroon recipes, by email. We’re asking Gaston Bityo’s wife, the lovely Melanie, and can vouch that she’s a great cook

£20 or more

£20 Reward

Printed, illustrated copy of Charles Barber’s marathon poem that he was sponsored to write. £20 would pay for at least 200 Inga seedlings from picking the pods to being ready to plant out.

£20 or more

£20 Reward

Bespoke poem written by Charles Barber, on any plant or animal of your choice

£20 or more

0 of 20 claimed

£20 Reward

“A signed copy of the limited samizdat edition of a Rainforest Folk Tale called 'In the Footsteps of the Jaguar', by Charles B. Wordsmith, an up and coming author” – quote from the author

£20 or more

£20 Reward

An emailed thank you letter from our Cameroon project partner, Gaston Bityo Delor

£20 or more

£20 Reward

Larger pack of greeting cards, our own rainforest designs based on RFS’s photos

£25 or more

£25 Reward

A year’s membership of Rainforest Saver

£30 or more

2 of 20 claimed

£30 Reward

2015 calendar, A5 opens to A4, illustrates the stages of Inga alley cropping. Specially made for this crowd funding only. £30 would pay for Atanga to set up a nature club in one of the rural schools

£30 or more

£30 Reward

Your name in a role of honour on our website. You will also be posted a certificate that you can display

£45 or more

0 of 10 claimed

£45 Reward

Cameroonian meal (per person) with Cameroonian beer, great company (you’re all supporters!) cooked in a house in London in Highbury near the station. Join the feast on Friday 5th September. And you also receive your name in the role of honour on our website.

£45 or more

3 of 10 claimed

£45 Reward

Cameroonian meal per person with Cameroonian beer, great company (you’re all supporters!) cooked in a house in London in Highbury near the station. Join the feast on Friday 3rd October. And you also receive your name in the role of honour on our website.

£50 or more

2 of 3 claimed

£50 Reward

One Inga seed tree for a school dedicated to you or someone of your choosing. You get a certificate, your name placed by the tree, and a photo of the seedling and later, if possible of the grown tree. You also receive your name in the role of honour on our website.

£50 or more

£50 Reward

Choice of T-shirt with our own rainforest design. You also receive your name in the role of honour on our website.

£60 or more

1 of 3 claimed

£60 Reward

Two good quality mugs hand painted just for you with rainforest flower designs in dishwasher safe paint. You also receive your name in the role of honour on our website.

£75 or more

£75 Reward

A T-shirt (described above) and a year’s membership of Rainforest Saver. £75 would equip one small rural school with all the gardening tools they need to cultivate Inga alleys now and in the future. You also receive your name in the role of honour on our website.

£75 or more

£75 Reward

A T-shirt and calendar (both described above). £75 would equip one small rural school with all the gardening tools they need to cultivate Inga alleys now and in the future. You also receive your name in the role of honour on our website.

£75 or more

£75 Reward

The telling of a Traditional Rainforest Tale of 45 minutes duration, either at a School, a Community Hall or in the privacy of your Living Room (and yes he is CRB checked). Available in London or the South-east (email us to check if you’re not sure if your location is included).

£100 or more

£100 Reward

Your annual carbon footprint calculated and offset. We cannot guarantee total accuracy, but you will have done much good. £100 could pay for posters and hand-outs for many students at the large Nkoumadjap school. You also receive your name in the role of honour on our website.

£120 or more

0 of 3 claimed

£120 Reward

Sponsor one school Inga plot. You get your name on the plot, a photo, certificate, and hopefully another photo later. It costs about £120 to provide the plot and environmental teaching at one small rural school. You also receive your name in the role of honour on our website

£150 or more

0 of 2 claimed

£150 Reward

Turn your kids into rainforest animals! 2 hours of face-painting and balloons within a 20 mile of Edinburgh if there is public transport, or anywhere if you provide transport. Perfect for a party, or family fun. You also receive your name in the role of honour on our website.

£250 or more

£250 Reward

Your name in our role of honour on the website, and your choice of any four of the above rewards

£500 or more

£500 Reward

Your name in our role of honour on the website, and your choice of any eight of the above rewards


Got an idea like this?

Our crowd has raised over £60 million for bright ideas and good causes.