We have been off the radar for a while with a fairly chaotic transitional period, but we have continued the hard work in the meantime. After a very dry summer, we had a fairly wet rainy period, certainly more rainfall than usual but that has helped tremendously with our task of planting.
Since Stuart and Amy left Ecuador, Peter shear is now managing our planting activities and he has opened up a new area in Morochos where we are also co-funding a tree nursery with members of the community.
In Intag the pace of work has increased due to Pete’s new home being there and more tree nursery activity is in progress there with Finca la Fe playing an active role in our work.
So in the last 6 months we have planted a total of over 3500 trees, in cloud forest and higher Andean forest ecosystems with 2 communities with 12 different tree species planted; 4 cold climate species and the rest for the cloud forest:
Morochos: Pumamaqui, Arrayanes, Tilo, Aliso
Intag: Yaloman, Huyacan, Aliso (blanco), tura, Poroton, Sangre de drago, Capoli
We are also due to receive another sizeable donation from a key sponsor Globalworks who are continuing with the their Ecuador Service Learning programme. So a big thanks to them and more work for Pete!
That’s all for now; we hope to be in touch with increased frequency now things are back to normal and to update you with more details about each community project.
Thanks for your collaboration.
On Saturday, after a few hiccups which we finally achieved our goal of planting a few native species to help with the global movement “350”. As the image demonstrates, and thousands like it all over the globe, 350ppm of carbon dioxide is deemed the safe level for humans to live on the planet as we know it.
Act now, and reduce your carbon footprint.
Our action for the day was to native Alisos, Acacias and Yaguales (local names) around a small plot being regenerated for organic agriculture at the Fundacion Brethren Y Unida. The soil is in a pretty bad state and so it took as a good while to get the holes dug, but with some careful maintenance over the next few months, and hopefully some rain, they will be flourishing come summer.
This week-end there is an international movement to raise awareness and help push atmospheric carbon levels down a peg or two.
The initiative, devised by 350.org a group of Vermont students has been taken global, and for more details and ways as to how you can get involved please visit www.350.org
The 350 represents the suggested scientifically safe level for atmospheric carbon dioxide in parts per million, that will hopefully avoid many of the pitfalls expected with global warming. Current CO2 levels are at around 390ppm and with this sustained high concentration we can expect many changes to the planet as we know it.
This week-end, CanopyCo, with a small group of volunteers will be planting trees on an organic farm to increase the farms diversity, break the strong summer winds and provide useful habitat for the bugs and birds that help maintain a natural balance.
This will be the first of many plantings whereby we are identifying local organic farms that would benefit from the presence of the trees, yet whose economy cannot afford the costs.
This is just one other way donations for carbon offsets with CanopyCo are helping the environment and communities of Ecuador.
This month saw our first major contribution from an international company with Bupa, a British based health care company sending out a total of 120 staff volunteers to help build a new health center in a small community called Miraflores outside of Quito.
The volunteers have all raised money to fund the centre for the next 3 years whilst Bupa have paid for the construction and the costs of sending the volunteers. The project is being coordinated with the help of the Martha Estrella Foundation here in Ecuador.
CanopyCo will be able to plant a hectare of forest with the contribution, offsetting around 700 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions.
The first volunteers to visit the site helped with brick laying, mortar making and the like to get the first walls up, as well as some ad hoc teaching with the locals, but a lot more detail can be found on their blog at http://communityconnections.bupa.com/
Thanks again to Bupa for their contribution to CanopyCo and their even bigger contribution to Ecuador’s rural communities.
A little later than hoped we recently returned to the reforestation sites and gathered new data as to the growth of our first trees that will have completed one year and 3 months in the ground at Peribuela.
Some interesting observations were made, not least that 100% of the Alisos measured last November (see previous blog) have survived another 8 or so months and well into the summer dry period in the community; fingers crossed they make it through their second summer. The average growth of the 30 tagged trees was 58cm with some growing 80 plus centimeters. The average height of the trees there is now 111cm, up from just 50cm back in November. The overall mortality rate based on the sample size of 40 is just over 25% (9 dead); much better than expected.
In the graph, the light green represents their original size one month after planting back in April 2008, the forest green represents the trees new height in November 2008 and the dark green represents the new height as of last week. All the trees indicated as less than 40cm had died by November, with just 2 new additions this time round, the remaining tagged Rosa trees.
So now all the experimental Rosa trees have died and unfortunately the more recently experimental planting of Arrayans, look like they may follow a similar route. These observations further support our mechanism for establishing a quick growing shade canopy using the Alisos with a view to planting other more sensitive native species afterwards, once soil is improved and shade provided.
As always, we would like to thank our supporters for their help and funding.
The CanopyCo Team
I thought the below link would be of interest to those following CanopyCo’s activities; an interesting theory that again, repeats the need to reduce our CO2 emissions, this time to prevent levels of atmospheric CO2 passing a critical 3.7 trillion tonnes.
Therefore, we must globally reduce our future emissions, but by planting trees we can at least absorb some of the current atmospheric CO2. Go on, get your hands dirty!
With the dry season closing in (if weather patterns are to be trusted, in June) we have planted for the final time until the steady rains begin again in October. In February we planted 610 trees with the help of the old faithful in Peribuela community plus a few German volunteers that are here on long stay volunteer placements.
At the beginning of April, we planted a further 930 trees, bringing the total for 2009 to 2572 in Peribuela, plus 100 trees on some private land, old cow pasture destined for reforesting in Pucara, Intag.
The majority of the trees planted are still Aliso Blanco (Alnus acuminata), but we have also now planted Pumamaqui (Oreopanax sp), Arrayán (Myrcianthes sp.) and Cedro (Cedrela montana), all native to the area.
On the next few weeks we shall be taking our third series of measurements to check the growth and progress of the trees planted. The first month is a critical period so we expect to have an idea of survival rates by mid May.
Last year we and some of our client base were interviewed by a free lance internet journalist, Jenny Moore, and for those interested you can read and hear her broadcast concerning reforestation initiatives and climate change at the following link;
Once we have our latest measurements, we shall be back in touch. As always, thanks to all of you who have helped and supported CanopyCo.