Monthly Archives: November 2010

Cheetah Sighting

Our rangers see wild cheetahs at least twice a month.  I will probably see them twice in my lifetime. I had my first pass while driving through the sanctuary with the models for the third day of our photoshoot.

As if they were waiting for the photographer, ready for their close up, they glided along the edge of the water tank silhouetting their sleek bodies against the morning skyline.

cheetahs at Rukinga. photo by www.peterzjones.com

Unfazed¬†by our presence within their 15 feet radius, they went about their business of lounging in the dawn’s cool mist before the sun started baking the red Kenyan earth.

Magnificent creatures.

Green Charcoal, a partial solution to natural resource degradation in East Africa

By Jimmy Eggers, Special Projects Director, WWC

On a worldwide basis, the destruction or degradation of forest vegetation by slash and burn agriculture and timber harvest is the largest contributor to increased CO2 emissions into the atmosphere.  This is more than manufacturing emissions, machine exhaust emissions, and petrochemical by-product emissions combined.  So by extension, some might say that forest resource misuse is the primary problem to be solved when looking at our efforts to reduce CO2 emissions, and thereby improve our climate change outlook.

In East Africa, a major portion of forest degradation is done by persons engaged in charcoaling.  Charcoaling is a production process whereby indigenous hardwood trees and shrubs are indiscriminately harvested and put through a slow burning/drying method which results in slow burning fuelwood used for daily cooking activities by a majority of the population in both rural and urban areas.

Natural gas and other alternative resources are for the most part felt to be too inconvenient and too unaffordable. In Kenya, as within several East African countries, this harvesting, almost always done on public lands or other lands not owned by the harvester, is illegal.  However, with almost no alternative(s), there is little or no enforcement.

The associated negative consequences are myriad, including habitat destruction, respiratory diseases from frequent smoke inhalation, and the undermining of the country’s revenue production by this huge underground economy not contributing to society.

We at Wildlife Works Carbon have recognized an accentuation of the illegal or bush charcoal supply problem with its associated higher prices in the local marketplaces. ¬†We feel this is a direct result of our protection patrolling by our Wildlife Works Rangers, featured in a recent article below, of an ever increasing number of forest acres—now somewhere over 450,000 acres.

The Green Charcoal Team, with their especially built briquette press and part of a day’s production. All team members are employed locally.

Just a few months ago we began to think about the possibility of somehow sustainably producing a legal, or “green”¬†charcoal as not only an affordable alternative to bush charcoal, but also as a way to channel some of our community reinvestment mission of job creation for local persons. ¬†Thus was born the idea of finding a way to make better, more price-competitive cooking charcoal form sustainably grown hardwood treefarms. ¬†After much research and consultation from biomass fuel proponents from around the world, we feel we are ready to try our solution.

Small fingerling-sized hardwood branches are pruned from trees left standing to regrow another branch for harvest the following year; the branches are put through a charing process which has proved to be much more time efficient and yield efficient than the traditional bush methods, and then the finished, dried charcoal is compacted into manageable briquettes by a mechanical press after being mixed with the WWC secret sauce slurry.

Approximately one day’s production for the Green Charcoal Team. The briquettes will be packages in tough recyclable bags, offering 5, 30, and 65 pound units.

The briquettes are then packaged into approximately 5 pound, 30 pound and 65 pound recyclable bags.  These are ready to be affordably sold in local markets, now being arranged.  We are hopeful that the marketplace embraces the product with the same enthusiasm our local workers have applied to their efforts.  Further, we are hopeful this solution can be transported to the many parts of the African continent and beyond where this problem is such a burden and misfortune on the human condition.

Wildlife Works Eco Tourism Partner Camps International Win Eco-Warrior Award

Camps International Win Eco-Warrior Award

On Thursday 25th November 2010 Camps International (CI) and more specifically Camp Kenya were awarded the Eco-Warrior Award for the Most Sustainable Community Based Tourism Enterprise in East Africa.

Camp Kenya

The Eco-Warrior Awards were launched by Ecotourism Kenya in 2005 as part of their drive to broaden industry understanding of responsible tourism and are assessed against four main criteria; outstanding innovation, real achievements, sustainability of the initiative and its replicability. This has to be achieved whilst respecting the environment, local people and cultures, and linking with communities to positively empower economies and promote self-sufficiency and environmental governance.

Camp Kenya

In the words of Ecotourism Kenya; ‚ÄėCamp Kenya partners, employ, buy from and build within community areas. ¬†By so doing, they achieve sustainable development by creating alternative business opportunities for the local communities to avoid sole dependence on environmentally damaging activities.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s3QmQ-KVfAQ&feature=player_embedded]

Over 80 diverse projects have been developed in partnership with local communities and provide travellers with unique meaningful and influential experiences. CI have launched, supported and developed numerous community based business enterprises including Mwaluganje Elephant Sanctuary, Kaya Muhaka Sacred Forest, Small-scale bio-fuel production in Muhaka and support for Imani Women’s Group.

Camps international started in Kenya and the model has been so successful that it has been replicated in Tanzania, Zanzibar, Borneo, and Cambodia. CI intend to open in Vietnam and Uganda in 2012’.

These burgeoning initiatives amongst many others have become great sources of local employment and revenue and the overall success of this model led Ecotourism Kenya to express that Camp Kenya was the exceptional choice.

Camps International‚Äôs Chief Executive and Founder Stuart Rees Jones stated:¬†‚ÄúMost industry awards end up on a shelf in the head office….this one is being driven around the communities we work with by way of a lap of honour. We work hard to balance our company profits with profits for the planet and this means a great deal for our team and the thousands of local people who benefit from Camp Kenya‚ÄĚ.

For more information and to order a free brochure and DVD visit: http://www.campsinternational.com or contact us via:

###
About Ecotourism Kenya
Ecotourism Kenya is a not-for-profit sector association directly serving more than 300 members and reaching out to hundreds more in Kenya and East Africa.  Its wide range of programmes enables it to attract membership beyond the mainstream tourism industry.  Since its inception in 1996, the association has been involved in a wide range of activities to promote sustainable tourism. From organizing international conferences and training workshops to developing guidelines, codes of conduct, best practices and a green certification scheme, Ecotourism Kenya has been working hard to broaden industry understanding of responsible tourism.  Ecotourism Kenya has had many firsts: it was the first Ecotourism Society in Africa; the first to develop a voluntary eco-certification scheme for hotels/lodges in Africa and the first to publish a Green Directory of producers of green products and services.

About Camps International
Camps International have an uncompromising commitment to social development and environmental protection in both Africa and Asia and offer responsible travel experiences to adults, gap year students and school groups.
Winners of the ‚ÄėBest Volunteering Organisation‚Äė category in the Responsible Tourism Awards 2008, we uniquely own and operate extensive ground operations in our destination countries, allowing us to ensure sustainable all year round projects and invest directly into the local communities.

We work in close partnership with local communities which allows us to respond to real needs and has seen us set-up over 100 different and unique projects in Africa and Asia.

Activities are varied and range from building schools, clean water initiatives and coaching sports to assisting anti-poaching patrols, environmental education, marine workshops and now healthcare programmes.

Key Contact Information
Dipesh PabariTel. – + 254 733 989082Email ‚Äď dipesh@campsinternational.com
Website – http://www.campsinternational.com

Indigenous Tree Seedling Distribution Program November 2010

By Silvester Mkamaganga, Forester Wildlife Works Carbon Р25th November 2010

TREE SEEDLINGS DISTRIBUTION PROGRAM INTRODUCTION

The seedlings, which have been bought from the community in the project area and nurtured in our green house to the right size to be planted in different degraded sites around to conform with the REDD’s concept.

Objectives

The objective of this activity was to distribute tree seedlings to different sites to be planted as to meet the objective of restoring degraded land and afforestation.

Tree seedlings distribution

Marungu Hill Conservancy approached different schools and community members, selling the idea of tree planting and doing quotations on the amount of tree seedling each sites needs. The strategy Marungu hill use in schools was each student/pupil to be allocated three seedlings of which one seedling was to be planted at home and two to be planted at school under his/her care.

The students were supposed to take care of the tree seedling until they are mature enough to be left. The seedlings, which have been sent to the community, were under their care.

We were able to distribute 15,940 tree seedlings to schools and communities around the carbon project area. When others are off loading seedling, the G.I.S specialist was taking the U.T.M co-ordinate and photos of the site, to show the conditions on the ground assisted by other staffs, for the purpose of monitoring and evaluation the project.

On 9th November, 2010, tree seedlings were distributed to James Mboga, Kale Primary and Westerman’s. In total the tree seedlings were 1,020. But the U.T.M co-ordinates of the planting sites were not taken.

On 20th November, 2010 we distributed seedlings in three places which includes Marungu Secondary School, Itinyi Primary and at the residential place of Mrs. Mercy Joshua. There were 3,100 tree seedlings were distributed. Mr. Joseph Mwanganda assessing Mrs. Mercy Joshua planting site .

The students at Marungu Secondary School were assisting Wildlife Works Carbon tree nursery workers in off loading 1,100 tree seedlings for Marungu Secondary and Itinyi Primary schools.

On 21st November 2010, more indigenous tree seedlings were distributed to the community, which was taken to Mwanangao hill to restore the degraded area: 4,500 tree seedlings were taken to the site.

Gully erosion on the hills is an indicator of forest degradation on the Hill, which has a great impact on the activities done down hill.

On 22nd November, 2010 we distributed seedlings to Kiteghe primary, Kisimenyi primary, Bughuta primary, Mkamenyi and Kale primary. We divided ourselves in to two teams where as on team distributed to kale primary and the other team started from Kiteghe primary coming towards Maungu. We managed to distribute 4,760 tree seedlings

On 23rd November, 2010, we operated as on 22nd November, 2010.One team went to Marungu primary and the team supplied seedlings to Mbele primary, Miasenyi and Misharini primary. On that day we managed to distribute a total of 2,760 tree seedlings.

Discussions

The activity went on well, but there were few challenges we faced here and there. We realized that most of the people in the schools have no plans in place for the planting programs; we assisted them to come up with one. Some of the challenges were poor roads, the teacher in charge of the environment had no precise information when were we coming, due to lack of convenient mobile network in place.

Conclusion

We managed to distribute the entire tree seedlings in time before the school closing according to plan, but for future smooth implementation of the same activity we propose that, there should be participatory planning with all the stakeholders so that each party should know its stake.

The summary of tree seedling distribution

Date Place distributed Total tree seedlings distributed
9/11/2010 James Mboga 500
9/11/2010 Kale Primary 500
9/11/2010 Westerman 20
20/11/2010 Marungu sec 200
20/11/2010 Itinyi primary 900
20/11/2010 Mercy Joshua res 2000
21/11/2010 Mwanangao Hill 4500
22/11/2010 Kiteghe Primary 500
22/11/2010 Kisimenyi Primary 850
22/11/2010 Bughuta Primary 1600
22/11/2010 Mkamenyi Primary 810
22/11/2010 Kale Primary 1000
23/11/2010 Mbele Primary 910
23/11/2010 Miasenyi Primary 600
23/11/2010 Misharini Primary 200
23/11/2010 Marungu Primary 850
TOTALS 15940

Indigenous Tree Seedling Collection – A Call for Partnership

We would like to let everyone know that twice a year before the rains we will be buying tree seedlings from the Communities. This will provide a small but much needed income to the people who live here and an important stock of hardwood and indigenous trees for reforesting badly degraded areas.

The seedlings need to be at least 6 inches long (15 cms) tall and can be presented to us in any container ….old water bottles, old plastic bags, or even a coconut shell. We will collect the seedlings from various collection points around the communities, these collection points and dates will be decided closer to the time.

TREE SPECIES at 15 Kshs

Newtonia hildebrandti (Mukami)

Manilkara (Mnago)

Brachylanea huillensis (Maribongo)

Albizia (Mporozi)

Terminalia spinosa (Msaghona; Maungo)

Terminalia  browni (Mkungu)

Terminalia prunoides (Mshoghereka

TREE SPECIES at 10 Kshs

Melia volkensii (Mukurumbutu)

Acacia Tortillas (Mwagubu)

Delonix  Elata (Mwarangi)

Acacia nilotica (Mchemeri)

Delonix elata (Mwarangi)

Warburgia ugandensis (Msindiri)

Lannae shweinfurthis (Mshiga)

Balanites aegyptica (Mwaghani)

Majidaea

Tamaraindus indica (Mukwaji)

TREE SPECIES at 5 Kshs

Leauceana leucocephala (Lusina)

Thank you to everyone for your participation!

WHAT IS WILDLIFE WORKS?

Protecting + Forests + Wildlife + Community since 1997.

Wildlife Works is the world's leading REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation), project development and management company with an effective approach to applying innovative market based solutions to the conservation of biodiversity. REDD+ was originated by the United Nations (UN) to help stop the destruction of the world's forests.