An Overview Of Our Solution
- Population Impacted
- Continent: North America
P.O. Box 99, 6905 Hwy. 17 West
Mattawa P0H 1V0
Local resources the community depends on, and for what purpose
Local threats to resources
Level of sensitivity
Level of adaptive capacity
The solution is two-fold: 1. Develop environmental education in schools: The intent is to promote sustainable forest management and reenforce ecological responsibility at the local level. By Increasing environmental awareness and understanding of their impact on the local environment through curricular and extra-curricular activities, we can increase the ability of communities in increase their preparedness and resiliency to climate hazards. Moreover, we can also inform on how sustainability and dependency on natural resources can co-exist in a win-win situation. 2. Develop tree nurseries in schools accessible to all community members: This enables communities to produce their own trees. Planting of trees provides them with fuel, food and financial resources, increasing overall social welfare of the area. The successful establishment of school nurseries has contributed to the development of community forestry in the area, has evolved and expanded into agro-forestry and the tourism industry (ie. diversifying economic alternative), enhanced community resources, food security and contributes significantly to ecological betterment; environmentally, planting trees results in less soil erosion, increased soil-water retention, and an increase in wildlife habitat. To follow through with these solutions, Forests without Borders provides the community with locally sourced durable school supplies selected by local educators and planting equipment, supplies and knowledge for developing and maintaining tree nurseries for the long-term. Seedlings are sold at a nominal cost to ensure the seedlings are actually used and the financial viability of the nursery.
Economic Indicators used to measure benefit
1. Number of seedlings produced and out planted in the school's multi-use nurseries 2. Percentage in tree cover 3. Forest tree health
Community/Social Indicators used to measure benefit
1. Development of tree nurseries and providing durable educational resources ($2500/ school) 2. Land and fencing provided by school
1. 3,000-4,000 forest, fodder or fruit tree seedlings will be planted in each nursery annually, providing increased economic opportunities
Ecological Indicators used to measure benefit
1. Revenue generated at nursery to fund ongoing activities 2. Number of seedlings and trees planted
What were/are the challenges your community faced in implementing this solution?
1. Getting support from the administrators of the educational system in Nepal and integrating into the educational system - Forests without Borders members have travelled to Nepal (at their own costs) to meet with teachers and representatives so teachers and principals get recognition for the work they do. 2. Establishing contacts abroad - Nepali foresters in Canada with contacts in Nepal
Describe the community-based process used to develop the solution including tools and processes used
Forests without Borders had contact with staff members from all schools in these vulnerable areas, who were critical in identifying the lack of resources for rural schools; for example, while remote schools receive international aid and urban schools are nationally funded, those in rural areas (the foothills of Nepal where this project is) become orphaned from financial assistance and support from experts. Teachers and principals from within the school were further essential in liaising with community members and students ie) the most vulnerable community stakeholders; local teaching professionals have facilitated the coordination and involvement of students and community members in growing and looking after seedlings/saplings and establishing opportunities for the nurseries to be used as learning laboratories for the community. Moreover, the teacher?s have also played major role in providing programs (curricular and extra-curricular) to generate environmental awareness. The curriculum has served to complement and reinforce sustainable forest management. Forestst without Borders also had close contact with local governments who have identified the environmental and socio-economic risks associated with the area. Coordinating with government officials has be key to establishing nureries and ensuring their longevity; each school has ben provided with contact to a district forest office (who has aided in community development and productive forest conditions) and other government line agencies (ie. district horticulture centre, district agriculture office) for technical assistance in establishing nurseries, preparing seedbeds, sowing or transplanting seedlings in polybags and more generally, in the formation of community forest user groups in the area. Length of implementation: Each school that we work with receives one year of support from Forests without Borders to develop environmental education programs and school nursery infrastructure to support their local community. The focus on schools enables us to transcend all socio-economic classes in the community.
Climate hazard of concern
How does your solution reduce the exposure of and buffer/protect the ecosystem affected?
Changing weather and extreme weathering events in this area have caused excess soil erosion and extreme run-off. The trees planted on the surrounding landscapes prevent soil erosion and increases soil-water retention, thereby protecting the ecosystem and natural resources the communities depend on. Pro-active approaches to to protect the environment are also being undertaken; by educating on the use and management for sustainability ecosystems, we decrease over-use, over-grazing, and land conversion, thereby rendering these ecosystems less susceptible, and conversely more resilient, to the exposure of climatic hazards.
How has your solution increased the capacity of the ecosystem to adapt to potential climate changes?
Forests without Borders works as a catalyst for local people to solve their own local problems. Planting trees on the landscape enables for the ecosytem to be more prepared and resilient to climate changes; restoring trees to the once forested, and now degraded landscape, mitigates again droughts by decreasing soil erosion, and recharging of aquifers; trees also act as the first defense again landslides, reducing the vulnerability to surrounding ecosystems and get further serve as windbreaks, lessening the effects of wind with extreme speed. With that being said, producing tree nurseries enables for the ecosystem to be more prepared, resilient and adapted to climate changes.
How does your solution reduce the exposure of and buffer/protect the communities affected?
By restoring trees on the landscapes, Forests without Borders enables local people to obtain some of their necessary daily requirements, including food, fuel and fodder, thereby increasing the adaptive capacity of both the community. Forests without Borders also develops the internal capacity of the community to work towards a community forest through the National government. Nepal has a large community forest program and Forests without Borders aids in facilitating the development of the necessary governance and skills to meet some of the requirements of the national community forest program in Nepal.
How does your solution reduce the sensitivity of the communities affected?
By providing a solution that is 2-fold, ie) education and the development of tree nurseries, Forests without Borders reduces the sensitivity of the communities affected in a numbers of ways. 1. Maintain the agricultural productivity of the area by reducing soil erosion and increasing soil moisture retention 2. By providing education, local people acquire the knowledge and skills to understand the consequences of their actions on natural resources, thus enabling them to sustainably manage their activities 3. By restoring trees, we restore ecosystem function, including wildlife habitat - this serves to benefit both the ecotourism industry and food production (pollination pest control). As a result of these, the local GDP will be stabilized and has a potential of increasing.
How has your solution increased the capacity of local communities to adapt to potential climate changes?
1. Enabling individuals to work together, creating a more cohesive, resilient community. 2. Knowledge is power - by providing education to local community members, we enable for increased preparation and adaptation to imminent climate hazards 3. Restoring trees on barren landscapes reduces drought and soil degradation, which acts as a buffer to mitigate against agricultural losses due to extreme weather events.
Can this solution be replicated elsewhere?
This solution is easily replicable, in fact, Forests without Borders has initiated similar projects with much success in Zambia, and Cameroon. Not only is the set-up and execution of such projects replicable, but because the economic costs involved are so low, communities, organizations or institutions of any size can develop a similar project. Factors leading to success: 1. Local teachers, forestry experts etc. willing to provide support and advice 2. Local demand for the trees and recognition that the trees need to be established