Johnny Ipil-Seed News The quarterly newsletter of Trees for the Future
Spring 2011 Vol. XIX, No. 1
Ethiopia: Lessons from the Past to Guide Development for the Future The people of Konso, a semi-arid, mountainous re- topsoil and water to their fields, they were confronted gion in southwestern Ethiopia, have long been known with the challenge of identifying ways to prevent gravfor their innovation and foresight in soil and water ity from carrying their precious resources away. conservation practices. The evolution of agricultural It is difficult to say how long it took for these Konso resource management in Konso began over 400 years ancestors to identify solutions to this problem. It is said ago when early settlers began farming the valley floors. that the process was developed endogenously, originatTo address the problems of persistent water shortage ing in part from the earlier use of thrash lines for moisand soil infertility they developed systems to harness ture conservation and mulching. Presumably, people floodwater and fertile combined this technoltopsoil that ran down ogy with their observathe mountainsides durtions of how soil would ing the relatively short collect behind fallen rainy season. Around tree trunks. What we this time, it is said, do know is that over they also began plactime the Konso people ing crop residues, or developed a complex thrash lines, and tree system for conserving branches perpendicular soil and water through to the flow of the water building large netto trap water, retain works of stone terraces moisture and provide and tied ridges. nutrients to the soil. The construction of In this way, the Konso these intricate systems people were able to spanned from genmaintain a diversity of Stone terrace system developed in Konso over 400 years ago. eration to generation, crops in a climate and eventually covering the on soils that were not overly-conducive to agriculture. steep slopes of entire mountainsides. Moreover, these Over time, the population in the region began to early Konsos integrated complex agricultural systems grow. A need for more agricultural land, coupled with of intercropping, agroforestry, fallowing and manurincreasingly common attacks from neighboring tribes, ing into the physical structures they built to maintain forced people to move their settlements and farmlands soil structure and fertility. Today it is truly a marvel to from the valleys to the mountainsides. This topographi- witness the ingenuity that these Abyssinian forefathers cal migration obviously resulted in new challenges for displayed. With a keen understanding of the movethe Konsos. Instead of simply allowing gravity to bring ments and manipulation of soil and water, along with Page 1 Johnny Ipil-Seed News Vol. XIX, No. 1
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Johnny Ipil-Seed News is a quarterly newsletter of TREES FOR THE FUTURE, Inc., a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping people of the world’s poorest communities to begin environmentally beneficial, self-help projects. This newsletter is printed using wind energy on recycled paper with soy-based ink and is sent to all supporting members to inform them of recent events, plans, financial matters and how their support is helping people. BOARD OF DIRECTORS Dr. John R. Moore - Chairman, Dr. Peter Falk - Vice Chairman, Dave Deppner - President, Mr. Bedru Sultan, Mr. Franz Stuppard, Mrs Linda S. Katz, Mr. John Leary - Members, R. Grace Deppner - Recording Secretary (non-voting) ADVISORY COUNCIL Dr. Mizani Kristos - West African Development, Dr. James Brewbaker - University of Hawaii, Mr. William Campbell - Seasoned Energy, Mr. Steve McCrea - Global Climate Change, FL, Dr. Malcolm Novins - George Mason University, Dr. Noel Vietmeyer - The Vetiver Institute, Mr. Sean Griffin Forestry & GIS Specialist. STAFF Dave Deppner - Founder, Executive Director R. Grace Deppner - Founder, Associate Director Gorav Seth - Head of Partnerships and Operations Josh Bogart - Central America Coordinator Ethan Budiansky - International Programs Coordinator Jeff Follett - South America Coordinator Francis Deppner - Southeast Asia Coordinator David Tye - East Africa Coordinator Gabe Buttram - Greener Africa Coordinator Catherine Bukowski - Training Program Coordinator FIELD STAFF Louis Nkembi - Cameroon; Gerardo Santos Matta, Jose Hilario Osorio Giron, Guillermo Valle - Honduras; Sagapala Gangisetty, Manoj Bhatt, Aman Singh - India, Donal Perez - Nicaragua; Danny Zabala - Philippines; Omar Ndao, Karamba Diakhaby - Senegal; Kay Howe, Abdul Chamid - Indonesia; Fernanda Peixoto - Brazil; Paulino Damiano Mugendi, Dickson Omandi - Kenya; Mathius Lukwago - Uganda; Lovans Owusu-Takyi -Ghana; Robin Achah - Cameroon; Alexis Nitunga - Burundi; Timote Georges - Haiti; Mohamed Traore Mali; Merkebu Garedew - Ethiopia; Juan Alberto - Colombia To receive this newsletter or for more information, contact: TREES FOR THE FUTURE The Loret Miller Ruppe Center for Sustainable Development P.O. Box 7027, Silver Spring, MD 20907 Toll Free: 1-800-643-0001: Ph: 301-565-0630 firstname.lastname@example.org WWW.PLANT-TREES.ORG THANK YOU!
Opinion: Communication, We Didn’t Even Hear Them Coming It began, first, in West Africa, then spread east as far as Egypt, and on into several countries of the Middle East. Suddenly thousands of people, from various walks of life, were in the streets, assembling in public parks and on major roadways. They appear to have come for various reasons: in Cairo, Muslims and Christians prayed together in the streets in the early stages—and later fought with each other in those same streets. Yet they were unanimous in venting their anger against their dictatorial governments, the favoritism toward the select few and the resulting economic disaster that impoverished the many. They wanted government to be responsive to their needs. Obviously this caused quite a stir in a number of governments that had been less than responsive to the needs of most of their people. While America, as a symbol of democracy, came up in many discussions among the protesters, both as a source of inspiration and as a target for heated animosity, it was clear that these demonstrations were internal matters: if it came to revolution, it would be their revolution! Maybe, as things later developed in Libya and elsewhere, they would need some help—but only on their terms. For the past three decades, and longer, the United States has maintained a strong presence throughout these countries, at least as evidenced by the amount of money we spent, for both military and economic development assistance. That at least should beg the question: why were we surprised when all this happened? If we want to maintain a strong presence in these countries, how is it we aren’t talking to the people who make up the great majority of the population? Given that we must always be speaking with the country’s leaders but, apparently that leadership isn’t speaking to this great majority of their own people either. Otherwise, the present happenings would never have had a chance to escape early notice. Certainly the problem can’t be that there isn’t enough
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money to help that majority. Our foreign assistance efforts, there and elsewhere, have become a major industry, now spread between a great number of agencies and backstopped by an army of consulting firms. But it seems obvious that, for most of the peoples of these lands we try to befriend, it’s not bringing them any noticeable benefit. Would it not be in the best interest of all concerned if we were to initiate programs that respond to the needs of the people who are the most in need? Despite what is now taking place in Libya, and which will possibly spread elsewhere in the weeks ahead, they may be around for a good bit longer than the regimes we have been supporting. As this struggle for freedom continues, here at home we are also celebrating the 50th anniversary of the U.S. Peace Corps, a program where we have always talked, — and listened, to what people around the world are saying. Maybe that’s why, after half a century, the Peace Corps is still around.
Transition As many of you have noted, I haven’t been around the office, or answering my e-mail, much these past few months. For this, I do apologize. Several things started happening to me late last summer. Finally, I checked myself into a local hospital where, after some study, they let me know I have colon cancer. A couple of operations and some chemotherapy later, along with some great sacrifices by Grace and those terrific kids and, slowly, I’m making my way back to the real world. What’s the long-term outlook? So far, nobody seems to want to offer an opinion—or even make a guess. On the other hand, I’ve been fortunate to speak with so many wonderful people, some I had never met before. They sought me out, told me of their experiences, often very much like my own, of their fears and the stark changes this made in their lives, often ending with: “So here I am, ten years later and still around.” People, it seems, are very good at surviving. I feel far better about all this for having met them. Many of them have offered their prayers. I’ve learned that’s even better than medicine. What do these musings have to do with TREES? Well, for one thing, the experience has shown that we have some very capable people here and in our regional offices; that the program can survive—and do quite well at that, if I’m not looking over the shoulders of the staff all the time. In 2010, thanks
to their combined efforts, your organization worked in more communities, developed more new partnerships, and planted far more trees, than ever before. Thanks to them, and to you, for making that happen. So then, what do we do with me? Is it time, as the song goes, for this old cowboy to head down the trail and into the sunset? Grace thinks, as I do, that we should keep on going while we can, although we have many months of unused leave time built up over these 22 years. There are still plenty of places in this world we have yet to help trees get planted. While we contemplate this, your organization is trying to develop some new leadership and some better ways to address growing threats to our environment. I hope you will support us in this. For my part, I want to spend my time doing what I think will be most beneficial for whatever time I can still give: meeting more of you, learning what you want to see your organization accomplish, finding ways to get more of us involved and productive. Learning how we can better communicate ideas, back and forth, with people in the world’s developing communities. With your help, I’ll keep doing my best as long as I can.
Youth green club planting trees to restore degraded lands. Konso, Ethiopia
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Peace Corps Turns Fifty In 139 Countries, Bringing Peace and Friendship to the World At 2:00 AM on an October day in 1960, U.S. Senator the years, as thousands of former Volunteers recalled and presidential candidate John F. Kennedy made an their service and explained what had convinced them impromptu speech to 5,000 students at the University to join, there was one recurring theme: many of them of Michigan in which he threw out a challenge: Would were convinced that, just by being Americans, they had they be willing to contribute two years of their lives to been so blessed that they felt an obligation, even a duty, help people in the countries of the developing world? to share those blessings with others who had not been On the following March 1, President Kennedy signed so fortunate. That sense of duty may well have been the Executive Order 10924, making Peace Corps a tempo- biggest reason Peace Corps has been highly successful rary program. He named Sargent Shriver as Director (if in making so many friends around the world. it didn’t work, it was easier Peace Corps has always to fire a relative, he rehad a triple mission. We called.) As it turned out, it help developing countries did work and “Sarge” was to meet their need for more a great choice. Impatient skilled men and women. for results, he brought to We make it possible for the job the vision, the dedithe people of these lands cation and the leadership to see Americans as they without which the program truly are. And we help could never have survived people back home to know those early challenges. more about people in other Within only a few months, parts of the world. And we Photo Courtesy of Peace Corps more than 11,000 applicaare doing all this as private Members of Ghana I board “The Peace Corps Clipper” tions had been completed citizens. bound for Accra, Ghana on August 28, 1961. and submitted. Obviously The actions and printhe challenge of the previous fall had been given a posi- ciples we learned as Volunteers have been our guide in tive answer. successfully developing your worldwide TREES proThe same was true in the developing world. By the gram. Our Maryland office is dedicated to the memory end of the year, more than 500 Peace Corps Volunteers of Loret Miller Ruppe, the longest serving director of had already been assigned in nine host countries: Ghana the U.S. Peace Corps (1981-1989) whose home was in (the first country served), Chile, Colombia, India, nearby Bethesda and who, with her strong belief that Nigeria, the Philippines, St. Lucia, Tanganyika (now there can be no true and lasting peace without economTanzania) and Pakistan. With another 200 trainees back ic development, brought a new sense of purpose and in the United States, awaiting assignment. achieved so much toward assuring that Peace Corps By the end of 1962, another 28 developing countries would be able to reach its 50th birthday. had requested the program and over 2,800 volunteers Over the past 22 years, 37 Returned Peace Corps were then in the field. By the completion of Director Volunteers have come to work at TREES FOR THE Shriver’s service in 1966, some 15,000 volunteers (the FUTURE. Many have gone on from here to other very highest number in the history of Peace Corps) were in successful careers. As PCV’s they served in 18 countraining or serving in the field. tries and brought to TREES a great treasure of vital By the end of this first half-century, more than 200,000 technical skills, language and cross-cultural experipeople, young and not so young; including President ences, together with a shared love for the people of the Carter’s mother Lillian, had answered the call to serve. countries where they served. Why did we answer the call? Many of us believe we left a little bit of ourselves out Obviously, from such a diverse crowd, thousands of there. That’s probably why some of us are determined reasons emerged, covering a wide range of circum- to continue the work we started back then. stances and ideas. But, over Page 4 Johnny Ipil-Seed News Vol. XIX, No. 1
R. Sargent Shriver: Making Big Ideas Come True In his inaugural address, President Kennedy said: “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.” The following day he called on his brother-in-law, Sargent Shriver, to head a task force that would lead to the establishment of the Peace Corps. While recognizing the many difficult problems in the way of reaching that goal, within a month his task force reported back, recommending its immediate establishment. Less than two months later, the Peace Corps was established and, five months after that, the first group of Volunteers was on its way to Ghana. “Sarge” became Peace Corps’ guiding light over the next 50 years. He believed that it was to show the best of our society, and that serving there would be far different than working in various agencies of government. As its first director, tasked with building a working program from a great number of vague ideas about helping the world’s struggling poor, he personally visited many project sites, learning the realities of working in the mass misery of the huts and villages of the developing world, convincing foreign leaders to host the Volunteers and, at the same time, building a staff back home and convincing Congress that Peace Corps deserved funding. Sarge knew of TREES as one of the successful organizations that had spun off from Peace Corps service and, from his home in nearby Maryland, he occasionally called us with a question, or an idea, or sometimes just to growl about some of the dumb things that sometimes take place in Washington.
He almost made it to the 50th. He died on January 18, 2011 at the age of 95. President Obama’s statement said “Over the course of his long and distinguished career, Sarge came to embody the idea of public service.” Thanks for everything, Sarge.
Photo Courtesy of Peace Corps
Sargent Shriver, director of the Peace Corps & President John F. Kennedy at the White House, Aug 28, 1961.
Konso, Ethiopia (continued from front page) a great deal of hard work, they developed an advanced agricultural and natural resource management system that lasted for centuries.
ploughs, for instance, do not fare well on tree-scattered terraces. The need to produce more food on less land for an increasing population has discouraged fallowing periods. Modern monocropping systems are replacing The Malady of Modernization the diverse and complex production systems that were These laborious stone terraces and mixed cropping common before. Livestock, the numbers of which systems were maintained and expanded for many gen- have increased steeply, are consuming the crop resierations. In more recent times, however, population dues that were previously used for mulch. Agroforestry pressures have decreased land holding size in Konso and intercropping practices on terraces of the past are considerably. Furthermore, the introduction of more being abandoned and neglected for bush farming and modern, less burdensome farming technologies made monocropping on less fertile but more gentle slopes. these previously sustainable systems less compatible Natural resource management in Konso is now becomfor modern food production. The use of ox-drawn ing increasingly elusive and problematic. Top all of Page 5 Continued next page. Johnny Ipil-Seed News Vol. XIX, No. 1
this with increasing frequency and intensity of drought, sion, scarcity of fuelwood and other forest products and courtesy of global climate change, and it is no wonder lack of ability to generate income. that the Konso region is now commonly classified by Through stakeholders meetings and general observathe UNDP as being severely food insecure. tion, it became clear that the people of Konso, in general, In fact, the people of Konso are now less food and are not managing their natural resources as sustainably resource secure than ever before: malnutrition is wide- as their ancestors had done. There are a number of reaspread and severe; what were once perennial rivers sons for this, with population pressure, deforestation, now, for the first time in living memory, cease to flow in shifting rainfall patterns and increasing occurrence the dry season; the frequency of climatic and economic and severity of drought ranking at the top of the list. shocks and stresses are depleting household food stocks Unfortunately the current land scarcity challenge, along and other assets. It is generally agreed that wealth and with the introduction of modern social and political prosperity in Konso was more institutions, prevent Konsos from prevalent in the past. The quesreverting to their traditional landIn 2010, a four hectare, tion is: what can the people of use systems. This does not mean, highly degraded watershed however, that past practices canKonso do now to reverse this trend toward livelihood insecurity was selected for a commu- not be taken into consideration in and environmental degradation? the design of a more sustainable nity driven rehabilitation development framework to be Merging Past with Present for project. Over the course of undertaken presently. a Brighter Future several days, nearly 700 Trees for the Future, working A New Direction on an Old people worked collectively with our local partners Greener Path Ethiopia, made it a goal in 2010 Trees for the Future and their to combine traditional terto address this question through partners have now completed the racing practices with more our work with the Konso people. pilot year to a three year livelimodern soil and water con- hood development project that We realize, as the Konso ancestors knew centuries ago, that merges lessons from traditional servation methods solutions should be determined land-use practices with the needs through careful observation of the of the present-day Konso people. problems at hand. We are confident that lessons from This project focuses heavily on land restoration through the past, combined with new insights from more recent the planting of multi-purpose, beneficial trees. Nearly development experiences, might shed light on solutions 300,000 trees were planted in 2010. Some were planted to many of the livelihood issues in Konso. Moreover, to take pressure off of existing (and quickly disappearwe are thoroughly aware that effective solutions will ing) forests by providing fuelwood, timber and nonnever be achieved without the participation of all of the timber forest products for people to use in and around groups involved. their households. Others were planted as fodder trees, With all of this in mind, Trees for the Future and their leaves and pods to be used as a supplement for Greener Ethiopia began collaborating with a large group animal fodder, a scarcity in the dry season. of stakeholders, including the Konso Development Training on modern agroforestry practices is also an Association, the Office of Agriculture and Rural important objective of the project. Through the incorDevelopment and the Office of Land Administration poration of alley cropping for instance, an agroforestry and Environmental Protection, as well as with commu- technique where rows of trees are planted alongside nity leaders, and representatives of local schools and rows of crops in order to control erosion and increase community organizations, to identify some of the major soil fertility, people can continue to maintain trees in problems associated with decreasing livelihood secu- their fields, even in an ox-plough system. Through the rity in Konso. It was found that some of the primary provision of both seeds and seedlings, people are also problems most people are facing include: decreasing being encouraged to plant more, diverse, food-producsoil fertility, water shortages, lack of food and animal ing trees in their fields and gardens to provide food and fodder (particularly during the dry season), severe ero- reduce the risk of famine when other crops are scarce. Page 6 Johnny Ipil-Seed News Vol. XIX, No. 1
Continued next page.
Training on grafting for improved fruit production, on honey production and on processing, packaging and marketing of moringa leaves will also provide opportunities for participating families to generate muchneeded income. In 2010, a four hectare, highly degraded watershed was also selected for a community-driven rehabilitation project. Over the course of several days, nearly 700 people worked collectively to combine traditional terracing practices with more modern soil and water conservation methods, constructing stone terraces and gabions, soil bunds and water retention ponds to control erosion and collect water. They also planted over 40,000 seedlings to stabilize the soil and begin restoring fertility to the land. Overall the pilot year was a great success. Though the nature of this type of work takes time to reflect significant change, the stakeholders involved are well aware of the future benefits they will receive and are anxious to continue. In 2011, Trees for the Future and their partners in Konso will more than double their efforts. We are expanding to two additional nurseries, and will
plant 750,000 trees. We are also in the process of selecting three additional watersheds in target communities to pursue soil and water conservation projects. Though the people of Konso presently face challenges that scale far beyond what their ancestors overcame, it is encouraging to know that they have a long history of finding solutions to adverse situations. The path that the Konso people have followed for centuries has been fraught with difficulties. The task at hand now, when the path is increasingly ominous, is to find a new direction that will help them to adapt to current challenges and move forward. Through providing the support they need to meet the challenges they are facing, Trees for the Future is hopeful that future generations in Konso will enjoy wealth and prosperity as their ancestors before them had. Beshah, Tesfaye. 2003 . Understanding Farmers: Explaining Soil and Water Conservation in Konso, Wolaita and Wello, Ethiopia. Tropical Resource Management Papers, No. 41. Lemessa, Dechassa. 1999. Rapid Assessment Report: Konso Special Woreda, SNNPR. United Nations Development Programme, Emergency Unit for Ethiopia. Retrieved from: http://www.africa.upenn.edu/eue_web/ somo0999.htm .
Stone and soil damns, terraces and gabions were built to slow down and trap moving water and soil. This picture was taken during the first season after the conservation project began. The water that does not penetrate the soil to replenish the groundwater supply is used for irrigation.
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Leucaena: A Tree of Many Uses The genus Leucaena has a number of excellent agroforestry species; L. leucocephala, L. diversifolia, L. collinsii, L. pallida, and L. salvadorensis are all being used in Trees for the Future's worldwide program. The many products and services this genus provides, including fuelwood, remediation of degraded lands, sustainable fertilizer, forage, and nectar for honey production, make it this issue's featured tree. Although the specifics for each species varies, all are small to medium-sized, growing up to 10-20 meters when left unharvested, and are covered with many small evergreen leaflets with a sparse, bipinniate morphology. In their natural state, the tree forms a single smooth dark to light gray trunk which then forms many angular branches, giving the tree a goblet shaped crown. Depending on conditions, the tree provides white flowers throughout much of the year. Native to Central, and South America, several species are known to have been used by the Maya in their agricultural systems. Leucaena species are still very important in indigenous agricultural systems in the lowland of Central America. According to Leucaeana guru Jim Brewbaker,“Leucaena the tree has been spread pan
tropically, possibly as early as 1600, as Spanish trade ships reported bringing it to the Philippines; however, more attention has been given to these species as a tropical agroforestry tree since the 1960's." A desirable characteristic of this fast growing tree, which allows it to be a key species in many agroforestry systems is that it “coppices,” well, or grows back many new trunks after being cut year after year. This enables the tree to alleviate the pressure on the surrounding forests, as farmers can regularly harvest Leucaena's trunks and branches for fuel, timber and posts. Farmers in many regions in which TREES works plant Leucaena directly into their agricultural fields. During the rainy season they harvest branches and mix the nitrogen-rich leaves and branches directly into the soil as a renewable source of fertilizer. TREES Senegal program is currently making wide use of Leucaena for this purpose. This technique is also being used in Brazil, Colombia, Eastern Africa, and the Philippines. In areas where Leucaena has a tendency to spread out of control, such as India, farmers are able to reap its benefits while keeping it in check by cutting its branches before the tree goes to seed.
Coppiced Leucaena providing material for human needs, year after year.
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Leucaena's roots provide significant quantities of fertilizer due to their symbiotic relationship with beneficial nitrogen-fixing bacteria. Nitrogen, a vital nutrient for plant growth, is abundant in the atmosphere but must be "fixed", or converted to usable forms, in order to be utilized by plants. In this way, fixed nitrogen, along with other nutrients brought up from deep in the soil are deposited by leaf-fall into the surrounding soils. Thanks to high levels of nitrogen fixation, Leucaena can be used in agroforestry systems to significantly improve soil fertility. As a catalyst for bringing damaged lands back to life, Leucaena is a hardy tree whose aggressive roots penetrate and loosen poor, compacted, rocky soils, and help direct rainwater into the ground, replenishing water tables. By establishing favorable conditions such as partial shade, and water and soil retention, Leucaena acts as a pioneer species, enabling other vegetation to take root, thus starting the process of regenerative succession. TREES' local Ugandan technician, Mathius Lukwago, reports that in the hills of Buddha District, where Leucaena is planted on agricultural terraces, topsoil conditions are improving, accredited to its presence. Also, in the Philippines, Leucaena is being planted along with Vetiver grass on terraced, steep hillsides to help control erosion. Due to its high calorific value and low smoke content, Leucaena is a valued firewood. This is important as unsustainable firewood harvesting is one of the leading causes of deforestation. The ease with which Leucaena coppices makes it a sustainable source of fuel year after year, and its small branches fit well in fuel efficient
stoves, reducing the need for splitting the wood. In Central America Leucaena trees are being planted in plots to provide sustainable fuel for expanding cities and rural industries. Palatability and high nutrient value make Leucaena's leaves a desirable supplement for cattle feed. Paulino Damiano, TREES local Kenyan program coordinator currently reports that cows and goats who receive limited Leucaena rations in their diets are gaining weight and increasing milk production by 40-60%. It must be noted that Leucaena leaves should be fed to singlestomach animals in limited amounts (25% for goats and sheep; none to horses or mules) but can be fed to large ruminants up to 30% of the total ration., as excess consumption of mimosine, an amino acid found in the leaves, can cause adverse effects. Leucaena grows well as part of windbreaks and as posts of living fences. These are ideal places from which to harvest forage leaves, as the farmer receives a double benefit from one tree. Leucaena flowers throughout much of the year, providing nectar for honey bees (which are now under threat in many areas). The bees, in return provide a crucial role in that they pollinate species, ensuring that the natural environment continues to function and support life. TREES' Central American Coordinator, Joshua encourages local honey groups to use Leucaena in their bee forage plots, as its presence helps provide bees with a continuous supply of nectar. For these reasons we celebrate Leucaena and look forward to continue putting it to work in many of the projects you help support. Thank you!
Leucaena being used for alley-cropping in Senegal.
Leucaena's evergreen, bipinnate leaves and round white flowers.
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Introducing Andrew Zacharias We're happy to introduce Andrew Zacharias as TREES Northern Tanzania Coordinator. Originally from Columbus, Ohio, in 2008 he graduated from Miami University of Ohio with a bachelors in Political Science and Comparative religion, and a minor in Russian, Eastern European and Eurasian Studies. Having joined The Peace Corps in 2008, he left for Tanzania one month after graduating college, and spent the next two years living in a village on a dirt road north of Same, Kilimanjaro, where his work was geared towards environmental education. There, he met and worked on nursery and agroforestry projects with TREES East Africa Coordinator, David Tye. “I knew that I wanted to join the Peace Corps since my
sophomore year of high school, during my second trip to Mexico to build houses for impoverished families,” Andrew says. “ I enjoyed giving back to humanity.” Having extended his Peace Corps tour for one year, afterwards he plans to remain in the area, working for TREES, and continuing to strengthen the relationships we have with village groups, local governments, and the international organizations we partner with. His future goals include getting his masters degree, and continuing to work in foreign nations. In a year that Peace Corps turns fifty, Andrew is doing an outstanding job of being a goodwill ambassador of his country. Thank you for your service Andrew Zacharias, please keep up the good work!
Fuel Efficient Stove Project, Uganda The Waldorf International School in Baltimore, at the site. Establishing a tree nursery corresponds well Maryland provided funds to the Trees for the Future, with construction of fuel-efficient stoves, since firewood Uganda Program to facilitate a fuel-efficient stove and is still needed by the school. The school has established tree planting project for the 1,500 Leucaena, Calliandra, Bright Star Junior School in and Gliricidia seedlings at the Nansana Town near Kampala, tree nursery, which will be priUganda. Bright Star Junior marily used for firewood. The School did not have a proper school has about an acre of kitchen facility and was usland about 10 kilometers from ing substantial amounts of the school on which the trees firewood to cook food for will be planted. the students every day. With Mathius has taken the opthe support from Waldorf portunity provided by the International School, and tree nursery and fuel-efficient under the guidance of The stoves project to educate the These fuel efficient stoves will accommodate 200 Uganda Program Coordinator, students at Bright Star Junior students, and reduce the amount of fuelwood Mathius Lukwago, two large School on the importance gathered from local trees. fuel-efficient stoves have been of effectively managing the built to accommodate the needs of the 200 students at- environment. Mathius conducted a workshop with the tending the school. students on how to establish and maintain a tree nursCombined with the construction of the fuel-efficient ery, and the uses of different tree species including, stoves and a proper kitchen structure, Trees for the Gliricidia sepium, Leucaena leucocephala, Moringa Future also took the initiative to establish a tree nursery oleifera, and Calliandra calothyrsus, among others. Page 10 Johnny Ipil-Seed News Vol. XIX, No. 1
Beginning New Tree Planting Efforts in Terat Ward, Tanzania Warm greetings from Kilimanjaro, Tanzania! My name is Andrew Zacharias and I am one of the newest members of the Trees for the Future (TREES) family. After two years of serving in the Peace Corps here in Tanzania, I decided to extend my volunteering experience with Trees for the Future, as they are an organization that has assisted myself and other Peace Corps Volunteers to establish forestry projects in our villages and has a solid reputation within the Tanzanian Peace Corps community. Working throughout northern Tanzania to introduce agroforestry and reforestation projects has been a challenging and rewarding experience for me. Terat Ward, located south of Arusha, is comprised of the three main villages of Njiro, Mkonoo and Nadosoito. Community members are Masai, a tribe that is traditionally pastoralist but is gradually shifting their focus to agricultural production. We were contacted by Anita Boiling of Village Network Africa (ViNA), a development NGO which has worked with the Trees for the Future Uganda Program. Anita saw an opportunity for ViNA and TREES to work together on tree planting projects in Terat. The area of Terat is nearly devoid of trees and the effects are impacting the livelihoods of local villagers. Women must travel several kilometers to illegally harvest firewood from protected forests simply to prepare food for their families, and men find it increasingly difficult to provide fodder for their large herds of livestock. They keenly understand the relationship between trees and rain (or rather, denuded land and drought) and
were eager to start a project to reintroduce tree cover to their villages. After a short visit home, I returned to Tanzania in February and conducted three days of seminars throughout Terat. Sixty people were trained on how to establish tree nurseries, the benefits of different species of trees, and were provided around seeds to start three forestry groups in their villages. I then left them with the challenge for the three groups to each produce 10,000 seedlings by the end of the year. With the tools, education, and continued support provided by TREES, this tribe of Masai herdsmen, caught in the difficult transition from pastoralism to agricultural production, has developed their capacity to improve the future of their environment and, more importantly, their lives. The next few months in Njiro, Mkonoo, and Nadosoito should prove interesting and I am excited to visit my new friends again and see how TREES can further assist them in this process. Kind regards, Andrew Zacharias Peace Corps Volunteer, Tanzania Trees for the Future, Northern Tanzania Coordinator
A group member of Mkonoo rakes smooth a nursery bed in preparation of planting (above); Group members of Mkonoo work together to plant a tree nursery (left).
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One Million Hows, Two Million Wheres, and Seven Million Whys When asked, “what do you do?” at conferences or environment and helping people. meetings, Trees for the Future coordinators respond with, In the coming months, you will see updates from our “I help farmers to plant trees,” or “I work on sustain- programs in South America in the form of newsletable agriculture in region or country X.” Unfortunately, ters, pictures, videos, and short stories on the project this is usually the end of the conversation. The “what” pages of our website. All of these updates will provide question is answered simply and people can move on. information on what we are doing in our programs and Sometimes, people move from the “what” to the will explain a bit about how we are doing it. When you “how.” Well, here at TREES we plant trees in a diverse receive these updates, please take a moment to think agriculture system called agroforestry. We plant trees about how they fit within the themes that we identified by distributing seeds, conducting workshops, and start- above. ing nurseries. We understand that recent economic times have made Despite the importance of knowing what we do and decisions about supporting non- profit work much more how we do it, this information provides no context for difficult. Please know that your support is for much our work. If someone hears about our organization and more than planting a tree. You are supporting improved only learns that we plant trees in agroforestry systems agricultural production, enhanced nutrition, and the then we are simply a “tree planting organization.” To conservation of resources. It just so happens that we truly know our organization you must know why we do think trees provide the best way to accomplish these what we do. goals. All of the people who work at TREES have worked in communities around the world that have suffered due to the loss of forests. We have seen firsthand the social and environmental costs of deforestation. We believe that people have the power to solve their own problems when given a little assistance, so we focus our efforts on small groups of people in remote communities that can implement lifechanging projects on their land. We understand that farming has the largest impact on the environment and that the poorest people in the developing world are farmers, so if you want to improve the environment and help people, farming is a great place to start. Over the past three years we have tried to match why TREES exists with the needs of communities in Brazil, Colombia, and other countries in South America. Sometimes it is difficult to work on abstract concepts such as “improving the environment” and “helping people,” so we have identified several specific “whys” for our programs in South America. We work to improve agricultural production, to enhance nutrition, and to conserve resources. These three themes provide Alvina Mouro planted Gliricidia sepium as part of a windbreak in guidance for all of what we do, and how we the community of Promissao Reunidas, Brazil. The windbreak will do it, in the region. They also contribute to conserve soil in her fields and will protect her crops from damaging winds. the organization’s mission of improving the Page 12 Johnny Ipil-Seed News Vol. XIX, No. 1
Meeting with Managing Directors of Carcar Water in Philippines The beginning of the year is a busy time for our partners in the Philippines as we are working with several new groups in various places in the Philippines and the dry weather has our technicians literally on guard watching for wildfires. The end of 2010 brought many people from the Philippines to Trees for the Future seeking assistance in providing them with seeds, training materials and insight as to how to aid in our tree planting efforts. One of these groups is called the Justified Development and Reforestation Association who are aiming to produce and distribute 1 million seedlings by the end of 2011. This group is headed by Ms. Janet Orin who owns the Don Luis College of Criminology located not too far from our planting sites in Iba, Zambales. Her group was recently awarded with a 500 hectare (1,235 acre) plot from the Department of Natural Resources through a Socialized Industrial Forest Management Agreement (SIFMA). The terms of the agreement are in line with the goals of Trees for the Future including increasing food and forest products, accelerating the natural regeneration of the lands, increasing soil and water quality, and generating additional sources of income. They are coming to us for technical assistance, seeds and training materials and working with TREES
Philippines, our main working partner there as they have much experience in the area. We have also been extending our reach to other places in the Philippines by sending seeds to other groups throughout the country and assisting them to start tree planting projects. One of these groups is The Carcar Water District located in Carcar City on the island of Cebu. The water company realizes the importance trees play on maintaining a steady supply of water throughout the dry season and is why they are encouraging tree planting in denuded watershed areas. We sent them seeds and have recently gotten word back that the seedlings have already sprouted and will be ready for transplanting in a few months. Another group is called ALEY-NM located in Northern Mindanao near Cagayan de Oro who we have put in contact with a group of students looking to assist on tree planting projects in the area. During a visit to the Philippines last October, we met with representatives from the group and discussed plans to work together on tree planting projects that would engage the local communities and would also create an ecotourism destination that would provide supplementary income to those involved in the projects. A priest by the name of Father Beltran has a parish that wishes to engage in tree planting activities to prevent erosion and as a source of income for residents of Galbadon, a municipality located to the East of our projects on the island of Luzon. They want to plant fast growing vegetable and tree species for immediate returns, as well as slower growing tree species such as Mahogany and Teak as a longer term investment which will also make people involved less likely to abandon the projects. In addition to all of the groups looking to work with us, many individuals have contacted us from all over the Philippines looking for ways to assist us in our efforts there. We are glad to have been able to successfully reach so many people in the country and word of our work is definitely spreading. The Philippines is a difficult place to work due to the weather and red tape but we look forward to planting Initial meeting with Managing Directors of the Carcar Water and more trees and assisting more people this year than we ever have in the past. TREES Director Dave Deppner. Page 13 Johnny Ipil-Seed News Vol. XIX, No. 1
Trees for the Future, Inc. Annual Report - 2010 2010 saw a year of significant growth for the international tree planting program. We are presently working in 28 developing countries: Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Columbia, Ecuador, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea, Haiti, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Malawi, Mauritania, Nepal, Nicaragua, Niger, the Philippines, Rwanda, Senegal, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe. TREES has been able to provide more on-site technical support to these projects and this has resulted in a major increase to approximately 17,100,000 trees planted in 2010â€” about 21% more than in the previous year. New technology has been made available to local groups. We have established a training office to make technology more available to participants and we have developed sources of seeds in five countries, where we are also training local farmers in the selection of seed bearing trees and in the harvest and storage of seeds. We are now assisting local groups to plant more than 80 species of beneficial, noninvasive trees. The Forest Garden concept is gaining popularity also. All this is increasing the benefits to the participants, resulting in more groups asking TREES to help them start programs. Personnel: In order to provide the necessary on-site technical assistance to these projects, we now have staff coordinators for six (6) regions. Three of these are permanently based in the regions they serve. Additionally, we have trained and now support three country program coordinators and six country representatives. In addition we now have 46 locally-hired field technicians. This assures us a continuing presence in many areas where major programs have been started. Additionally, TREES has six trained technicians working from the Maryland office assisting programs worldwide. The Haiti Program: Through a major grant from Timberland through the Yele Foundation, TREES has been able to initiate a major program for the coastal city of Gonaives, which is surrounded on three sides by barren mountains and, in times of heavy rainfall, has experienced great loss of life. This, together with programs in two other areas, allows us a major presence with two field offices and 11 local technicians. On January 12, Haiti was struck by a major earthquake which devastated the capitol, Port-au-Prince and surrounding areas. Nearly 300,000 people were killed and over a million left as refugees, wandering
the countryside in search of food and a place to rest. The program was virtually closed down: almost every member of the staff there lost at least one close relative. However because of the great need to produce food , safe drinking water and other essentials, team leader Timote Georges and the Haiti team quickly recovered and new communities continued to join in. Largely for the sake of the hapless families wandering country roads, they devised an emergency program distributing seeds of grain and vegetables, which could be harvested in only a few months to address the growing threats from malnutrition and cholera. Because hand tools are always short of need in Haitiâ€™s rural areas, a second effort distributed tools as well. These successful seed and tool bank programs continue to this time. Despite these great obstacles, the Haiti Program planted over 1,250,000 trees in 2010. We began 2010 with a surplus of over $300,000 in cash and securities, mostly the result of surpluses in 2007-2008, and with the promise of a major grant to expand the Haiti program. Along with this, contributions and grants had been most generous in late 2009. The program had successfully moved into many new areas and we were receiving more requests from local organizations than ever before. We therefore decided to expand your program as rapidly as possible in 2010. Tree planting is seasonal and our major effort is in the first 5-6 months of the year. By early July we discovered that gifts were not arriving as expected. At the same time, we were making every possible effort to assist all the communities that had asked for our assistance. We made every possible effort to economize without turning our backs to the people asking for our help. By year's end, your program had expanded by more than 21%. Income, however, only increased by 6%. All considered, I believe 2010 was a very successful year in that we built momentum that continues well into 2011. And I believe most of our members would prefer we keep helping all the communities we possibly can. For the year, TREES remains financially solid, we met all our obligations, on time, and the program continues to grow in 2011. Our main problem has been with cash flow and that is slowly resolving itself. We appreciate your continuing support and make every effort to produce the greatest possible benefit to the participating communities and to the environment.
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Preliminary Financial Report - 2010 Income: Individual Donations Foundation Grants Corporate Gifts Other Income Total Income Investment Gain/ Loss INCOME - 2010
$325,390 136,413 753,092 2,607 1,217,502 (8501) $1,209,001
Expenses: Salaries, Consulting, Benefits Salaries Consulting Fees SSS/ Taxes / SUTA Health/ Other Benefits Payroll Processing SUBTOTAL
$550,821 44,685 44,052 31,299 1,909 $672,766
International Tree Planting Program Support for Partnering Groups Support for Local Technicians On-Site Expenses Project Materials International Travel Bank Charges Develop New Technology Phone/Fax/e-Mail Mail Project Materials Computer Maintenance SUBTOTAL
$471,481 98,377 27,864 33,376 32,644 1,889 576 1,544 1,410 3,822 $672,983
Public Information Program Local Travel Print/Copy Advertising Computer Maintenance Postage/Delivery Phone/Fax/E-Mail SUBTOTAL
$5,940 5,570 4,886 4,109 2,880 1,544 $24,939
Occupancy Expenses Interest On Mortgage Property and Taxes Depreciation Utilities Repairs/Maintenance Liability Insurance SUBTOTAL
10,495 5,805 7,208 5,473 3,648 2,148 $34,777
Office Expenses New Database Supplies/Materials Print/Copy Bookkeeping/Accounting Legal Charges Permits/Charges Local Travel Phone/Fax/Email SUBTOTAL
$5,928 10,342 10,453 5,600 4,000 4,141 5,940 1,544 $47,948
Fundraising Local Travel Print/Copy Postage/Delivery Advertisement New Database Computer Maintenance Phone/Fax/Email SUBTOTAL TOTAL EXPENSES - 2010
$7,925 5,600 6,123 11,401 13,610 2,089 1,584 $48,332 $1,501,745
Summary Net Income Expenses: Net Income 2010 (incl. depreciation)
$1,209,001 $1,501,745 ($292,744)
Expense Breakdown Project Expenses: Administration: Fundraising:
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$1,187,880 $265,809 $48,056
79.1% 17.7% 3.2%
Address Service Requested
Loret Miller Ruppe Center P.O. Box 7027 Silver Spring, MD 20907
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In This Newsletter
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p. 1: Ethiopia: Lessons from the Past to Guide Development for the Future p. 2: Opinion: Communication, We Didnâ€™t Even Hear Them Coming. p. 3: Transition p. 4: Peace Corps Turns 50 p. 5: R. Sergeant Shriver: Making Big Ideas Come True p. 8: Leucaena: A Tree of Many Uses p. 10: Introducing Andrew Zacharias p. 10: Fuel Efficient Stove Project, Uganda p. 11: Beginning New Tree Planting Efforts in Terat Ward, Tanzania p. 12: One Million Hows, Two Million Wheres, and Seven Million Whys p. 13: Meeting with Managing Directors of Carcar Water in the Philippines p. 14: Annual Report - 2010 p. 15: Preliminary Financial Report - 2010 Page 16 Johnny Ipil-Seed News Vol. XIX, No. 1
Trees for the Future Spring 2011 Newsletter A quarterly newsletter of Trees for the Future, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping p...