14 April 2009

April 2009 Update from SALVEASERRA

By Roberto Lamego - Project Director, April 13, 2009 10:39 AM
Dear donors and project friends,
Once again thank you for your support and donations that makes all this possible.

As we are about to finish our year plantation operations we want to share with you what we are do with our forests and the donated seedlings. Since 1995, SALVEASERRA recovers forests with agroforestry plantations methods in an effort to attract and convince economically land owners and cattle ranchers to protect the environment with the use of these ecological and economical possibilities that brings profits to them and avoids deforestation. As farmers have very little information about these agricultural techniques and procedures, our pilot demonstration areas are used in courses and field training programs to show students and land owners that it is possible to preserve the forest, protect biodiversity and obtain income doing things like we do. We add value to the forest with our planting methods.

All the work starts at the tree nursery and our nursery produces low cost seedlings and costs very little to maintain since it was built under the forest shade and with local materials. We have produced countless seedlings since we started planting and when we buy seedlings they are brought here until definitive planting. From the nursery the seedlings are taken to a place near the plantation areas and then separated by species before planting. Each tree species is planted in its best appropriate ecosystem condition. In our plantations, trees, palm trees and fruit trees are planted in squares that have 3 or 4 meters sides and a great quantity of new plants can be introduced in a small area. This year we opened three new areas for different agroforestry system planting plots. In two of them timber trees were mainly planted and the other one was directed to fruit trees. Remember that when you plant agroforestry systems you never stop planting and there is always room to plant something else in the same area. All plants must have an economical and ecological interest to be there and because these areas are ecologically balanced areas there are no pest attacks and ants are rarely a problem.

But maybe this is the easy part of the act of planting trees as people always forget that if we want these baby trees to become mature trees they have to be inspected and cared for at least 2 times a year and during 4 years. If you don't do this, there is an enormous chance that these very fragile seedlings will die, be it by drought, by fire, eaten by ants, crushed by branches or tree trunks, swallowed by lust vegetation or stepped up by cows. What I want to say is and it is absolutely necessary to have this always in mind, is that for at least 4 years, it is not possible to abandon these young trees after they are planted otherwise many plants will not survive and this international effort in resources and manpower to aid the environment will be useless and meaningless. I am very much concerned with this plant abandon situation because I have witnessed this happen many times here in Brazil and I would not like to see this happen with GlobalGiving Green so dearly donated trees. Donor must consider that in many situations one dollar one tree is not enough to make this sapling become a big, mature and reproductive tree.

I am writing this update in the middle of GlobalGiving's fundraising campaign, “
Give a Little Green" and you can be sure that if you want to contribute, every extra dollar our project can obtain from this campaign will become a nice tree, timber, palm tree or fruit tree.

Who knows if some time donors will be able to visit the planting areas and plant a few trees with their hands?

Thank you all very much and all the best,

Roberto Lamego

The "Give A Little Green" campaign at GlobalGiving runs until 28th April. Every donation made before then is elegible for a 50% match - which means you have 50% more impact!!

There is also a "Green Challenge" running until the 28th of April - GlobalGiving Green projects are competing for additional funding. The three projects receiving the greatest number of donations will receive bounty prizes of $5,000, $2,500, and $1,000, respectively - so donate to SALVEASERRA and spread the word!!

You can also help SALVEASERRA by purchasing a WE ADD UP organic cotton t-shirt - 10% of your purchase will be donated to SALVEASERRA.

By downloading and using the How to Make a Difference Toolbar you will generate donations for SALVEASERRA - all at no cost to you!

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