Green Village Wood Products Action Hylates Ltd, Cyprus, 11th â€“ 19th September 2011
Introduction: In the framework of the Green Village program, Hylates hosted an action in Cyprus about traditional wood products. The action was organised in Limassol District, and it involved a variety of activities related to wood. Participants from Ireland and Germany attended the action which took place between 11th and 19th September 2011. The main theme of the action was small scale charcoal production. We engaged professional charcoal makers, to teach the participants on how they can produce charcoal for their own, or for family, use, in reused metal oil barrels. This technique is very efficient and can be applied easily by any farmer in their piece of land, or by anybody who has a small place to put the small metal kilns. Other activities included the production of other traditional wood products such sticks, which are made from coppice shrubs, without damaging the plant. Apart from the practical activities, the participants had the chance to visit small scale wood processing mills, which produce a diversity of wood products for local supply, and it was demonstrated how a saw-mill owner can diversify the products and cope with small scale supply and demand.
The team that worked for the charcoal production next to the three kilns and the charcoal produced during the action
Exchange of Skills and Knowledge (WP2): The participants of the action were involved in all the stages of charcoal production, and were explained in detail on the whole process from a practical and from a scientific point of view, for example on how is the carbonisation process proceeds during the production.
(1) – Wood is prepared
(2) – The wood is arranged at the base
(4) – The barrel is filled
(5) – Wood is arranged inside
(7) – Closing around to start carbonisation
(3) – The metal barrel is going over
(8) – Sealing the finished kiln in a few hours
(6) - Lighting up of the kiln
(9) – Charcoal is uncovered the next day
(10) – Finished product going into bags
Engaging Communities (WP1): Local knowledgeable persons were involved in the action, who had long experience in charcoal production. Many people from the local village of Episkopi spent time with the rest of the team and watched the whole or parts of the process and many of them showed warm interest on the production quantities, timeframe etc, and they asked the trainers to help them prepare their own barrels to start producing charcoal themselves. The scale of the production is such that allows individual people and farmers to easily proceed with the production. A documentary was filmed to disseminate the knowledge to the communities and to individuals.
Learning By Doing (WP3): The partners in Green Village program that send participants to this action were Ireland and Germany. The Italian partners were not able to attend, but we hope that they will make use of the documentary that will be sent to them when it is produced. Locally a skilled charcoal producer was employed and worked with Hylates personnel to organise and implement the action.
Eco-Check (WP6): The production of charcoal was from wood that most times is thrown away such as from pruning of farm trees. The kilns were reused oil barrels. The sticks were produced from coppiced shrubs and the plants are not damaged when the pieces are removed, actually most times the sticks are made from pruned parts of the shrubs or trees such as olive trees. The local travel was minimised during the action.
Monitoring and Evaluation (WP5): The action was a great success, and the participants had the chance to practically work and see the outcome of their efforts. Every effort was undertaken to have a full programme, which although short was very productive. Participants were introduced into small scale work, in contrast to the large scale projects they are used to and they got a lot of ideas on how to be diverse in their work. Questioners were given to the participants to evaluate the action. The interest from local people to proceed with their own kilns is an indicator of the success of the action.
Everybody was curious to find out about the efficiency of the production, so the charcoal were weighted at the end!