Casamance and so the Ecoparc, has experienced an exceptional rain season this year. These are good news for the agriculture (see photos below) but has until now made inaccessible the Ecoparc and thus impossible to build the fence around the forest.
However, in the meantime our champion Augustin – as always – was on the move. He signed an agreement with the regional authorities in Ziguinchor on a sensitization of the local population as well as on the environmental education of the schools on the long term protection of the forest of Ecoparc.
Furthermore, the enclosure has been already fabricated by a local enterprise specialized in wildlife reserve protection and safely stored until the rain season is over, see photos below.
The enclosure works should start in December. We keep you informed. Follow the project updates !
The German Embassy in Senegal and the Senegalese Construction Enterprise Eiffage appreciate your efforts for the protection of the Ecoparc and decided to add 9,000 euros each to the 2,500 euros raised on Ecofund!
Instead of building a natural enclosure consisting of planting citrus trees during the coming rainy seasons, the forest can be protected immediately: The now available funding of total 20,500 euros allows for a local fabrication, transport and construction of a professional fence around the forest. The fence will be provided by a local enterprise specialized in wildlife reserve protection, the “SIF Clôture Ferlo” in Senegal.
These are great news for our Ecofund-Community, for the Ecoparc and for future generations! And You make it happen!
In the coming ecoproject updates we will inform you step by step about the construction of the fence. Follow the updates!
Before the Ecoparc is enclosed we are establishing the park’s biodiversity. Last week, together with Paul, British ornithologist, Celine, a wildlife biologist at the French CNRS, and Folemine Manga, Senegalese ornithologist and long-time guard in the Delta du Saloum National Park, we started with a bird survey of the Ecoparc. The species we caught are forest specialists last recorded in Senegal between 1976 and 1980!
In the coming Ecoblog articles we will inform you on each bird species recorded in Ecoparc.
The magnificent Fromagiers-trees in Casamance Ecoparc's are several hundred years old ...
In 3 to 4 years the lemon trees will form a natural enclosure similar to the one shown on the picture below. Moreover, their fruits will benefit the local community of Diembereng.
This week the Ecofund team has been on a visit to the Casamance Ecoparc. Augustin has shown us the row of 145 lemon trees he and the members of his association APES have planted on the north side of the forest during the last rainy season from June to September 2011. Thanks to the chilly climate of the Ecoparc, six months later almost all the seedlings have grown up to small lemon trees. Your donations collected in October 2011 have not yet been spent. They’re kept on the Ecofund account. Your donation will finance the natural enclosure (see update from 02.08.2011) during the coming rainy season.
Augustin and his association APES have already cleared the north side of Ecopark and planted 145 seedlings of lemon trees. During the clearing, they were “attacked” by porcupines and had to withdraw. "First of all, it’s a good sign for the rich fauna of our Ecopark," says Augustin, and add with laughing "and moreover, porcupines are an excellent natural protection"
The natural enclosure of Augustin’s Ecopark consists of 2 parts: first, a row of lemon trees, then a band of acacia mellifera, a thorny plant replacing the barbed wire that was initially planned. In order to give the young lemon trees and the acasias time to grow so they can protect the forest, a wooden enclosure will be built around the most endangered sides of the Ecopark. Copy the following link (Casamance_Ecoparc_Limites_2011.kml) to Google Earth to visualize the Ecopark's enclosure. Your donations will fund the wood and the supporting structure of the fence. The wood comes from a plantation controlled by the Forestry Administration of Ziguinchor, the capital city of Casamance. The plantation in Ziguinchor serves also as a training center for young forest rangers established thanks to the cooperation between Senegal and Switzerland.
On behalf of my community in Diembereng in Casamance I would like to THANK you for your donations. In the comming weeks we will inform you on all activites concerning the enclosure of Ecoparc Casamance and how your donations helped our project. THANK YOU ! Augustin
Enclosing the forest: A vital step to project success! At present, Augustin still needs to build an enclosure to avoid forest degradation caused by aimless grazing by domestic animals, or other exploitation of forest land (like wood poaching without any clear benefit for local communities). Like Bandia, Niokolo-Koba or other Senegalese nature reserves, enclosures visibly declare reserves as protected spaces to residents and visitors alike. The enclosure will be divided in 3 sections: North section measuring 1.400 meters, south section of 1.600 meters, and east section of 1.200 meters. Donations will help us plant a natural enclosure Citrus and Anacardium-cashew on the north side of the forest, its most endangered side. Help us finish the first enclosure by October, before the rainy season is over in Casamance! All of us here at Ecofund, Augustin and the trees thank you!
Augustin on the move ! For five years now, Augustin has been solidly progressing in his efforts to establish the Ecopark. Diembereng, a rural community located in the extreme southwest of the Ziguinchor region, near the Cap Skirring resorts, has entrusted Augustin with the protection of their 400 hectare natural heritage. This vast area includes forests, dunes, mangroves, rice paddies and coastline. This project chef dynamically promotes sustainable management of 32 hectares of the communal forests not only against their disappearance, but also for the benefit of the maximum amount of people: at the time of this writing, 700 visitors and 6 researchers have discovered firsthand this vibrant green heart, rich in little known medicinal plants, fruit trees (lemon, mango) and wildlife (monkeys, warthogs). Who are these visitors? School groups, students from the agro-forestry department from the University of Casamance, European researchers, tourists visiting from Cap Skirring, curious locals from Diembering and other neighboring villages. Each and every one discovering the already well defined forest trails, or visiting the new filao nursery for students and locals to reforest coastal zones. And when will you be there ?!
We have signed two protocols with the University of Ziguinchor and the Senegalese National Water and Forestry School! They need land for their research on environment and nature and the Ecopark provides the perfect place for such observation. This important partnership also brings more researchers and international friends from Europe to our welcome center. We can’t wait to see you!
Augustin, Champion of the project, and his Association for the Protection de l’Environnement du Sénégal–APES, wants to preserve 32 hectares of a beautiful endemic littoral forest in the south of Senegal, next to his village of Diembereng in Casamance.
Augustin and his association have already secured the legal rights to the forest and so saved it from eradication by land speculation. Today the forest is still endangered by poachers, wild fires and grazing domestic animals (cows, goats).
Your financial contribution will further protect the forest and preserve it for future generations. “For our rural community, preserving the forest will create a win-win situation for the ecosystem, tourism, and our local community.” Augustin Diatta
Haïder El Ali is the Senegalese Minister of Environment and one of the most prominent ecological figures in West Africa. Driven by his firm conviction and willingness, he devotes every day to preserve the ecosystem of his country. He leads the Oceanium Association in Senegal, and travels to every corner of West Africa in order to convince everyone through discussion, organizing or action to preserve the sea and its resources, as well as the rivers and the forests.