REFORESTATION: WORKING TOGETHER TO SAVE WATER RESOURCES!

Dahari, with the support of the Mayor of Adda, the Anjouan Environmental Agency and the village water management committees and producers, began the 2017 reforestation campaigns on 25th January in the villages of Outsa, Adda, Ouzini and Lingoni.

These initiatives have been made possible by financial support from the Franco-Japanese Programme for Sustainable Development in the Comoros and the GEF-Satoyama Project.

Misbahou Mohamed, Dahari’s strategic coordinator and head of our reforestation effort, would like to “thank all the sponsors, private donors, technical partners and experts who have contributed to launching this project, which began with the building of community nurseries in May 2016.  They inspire us to continue, even though the road will be long.  We must not relax our efforts either with the improvement to the approach to reforestation or with the mobilization of the population”.

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As well as the objectives of Project PFJDD, “A model of community forest management for the Comoros”, we also will also honour our commitments made in the crowdfunding campaign launched at the end of 2015, including the Sing4ComorosForests album about the reforestation initiative, which is currently being recorded with Ouvoimoja, Maalesh, Nawal, Cheikh MC, Eliasse and Costy.

The campaign attracted donors from all over the world (37 nationalities from the United States, England, Europe, Nepal, Argentina, Peru, the Comoros, Japan…) but also nine Comoron artists who undertook this musical project with us for the benefit of the Anjouan forests.  The fundraising campaign was a success; we managed to collect around €65,000 from 279 private donors and our international partners: Sustainable Lush Fund, the French Embassy in the Comoros, HRH The Prince of Wales and Biolandes.

We have planned a series of events in Anjouan to celebrate the release of the album.

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Étiquette sing4comorosforests

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As well as reforestation, the NGO has come up with a comprehensive and sustainable approach to forest management.  There have been numerous reforestation campaigns in Anjouan since the 1980s, but very little follow up work has been done to perpetuate the projects and their results.  The natural forest continues to recede rapidly, endangering water resources, soil fertility and the island’s unique biodiversity.

Dahari’s approach is holistic, integrated and based on the needs of the local population: restoring the fertility of the fields and improving the yield and distribution of produce, developing efficient agro-forestry systems in the intermediary zones, reforesting and protecting the watersheds and key zones for biodiversity conservation, particularly the Livingstone’s fruit bat roosts.  This project involves everyone: producers, village committees and experts.

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In parallel with our reforestation work, as part of the PFJDD programme, Dahari’s aim is to put in place a system of community management for 100 hectares of watersheds covering four villages in its target area, protecting their sources of water while developing the village committees’ autonomy in managing and following up on the project.

We have been working on this project in collaboration with three principal water management committees for three years now, having undertaken the first reforestation campaign in the watersheds at the beginning of 2016.  The committees are made up of farmers committed to the protection and management of natural resources in their respective villages.

Thanks to the recovery measures identified during a workshop held with the four committees last August at the Salamani CRDE, the teams have brought improvements to the 2017 reforestation campaign.  The work on identifying new target reforestation zones and creating a management model to adopt will also help the campaign.

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