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Agriculture & Reforestation

Phase I: Land Results

The first phase of the project started in November 2015 with an on-site team meeting and was officially launched in January 2016. This phase, which will be finalized in January 2017, encompassed the conceptual design, the launch of a baseline and documented scientific reports about the area and the start of implementation on the pilot site. Barangay Udalo is one of the most pristine areas of the Philippines, remarkable for the presence of a relatively large indigenous population and the lack of road infrastructure.

As of November 2016, the road project to connect the whole island of Mindoro with Barangay Udalo as the sole missing link was put on hold in order to study various options to divert it to a non-coastal alternative preserving the unique habitat of many species, in particular a 1km long turtle-nesting beach. This step towards an environmentally conscious solution was obtained as a combined effort from local communities, the Local Government Unit (LGU) and Ecotone Resilience (ER).

Our team, led by Elsa and Fidel carried out agriculture surveys with local farmers, which resulted in identifying local agroforestry products with an estimate of local production.

ER partnered with Masipag, a major Filipino farming organization, which provides technical assistance around sustainable and organic practices. This led a number of farmers to organize themselves locally and several pilot experiments have been conducted on new organic rice seeds (provided by Masipag) with mixed results. This is nevertheless providing new opportunities and a direct access to a powerful local network that had totally overlooked the area.

In order to complement these experiments, ER approached international fair trade companies to consult them about possible market links.

Finally, Jonathan, a top-level scientist, conducted a study about the long-term impact of traditional burning agriculture technique on the soil, also known as kaingin.

Phase II: Land Goals

New initiatives to be launched are:

  • Biocoal using vegetal waste: coal made locally is very destructive as it uses cut trees and contributes to a rampant deforestation.
  • Reforestation: ER plans to fund an ambitious reforestation program through an international company. Replanting local trees is a crucial initiative to limit erosion and preserve biodiversity.

Other initiatives that will be launched :

  • Solar energy: a number of villages have no electricity or irregular feed. ER will partner with a solar provider to electrify a pilot site chosen among indigenous villages.
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