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Let's go Ecoparc !, Senegal

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Project data

Diembering
Sustainable management
Oceanium
10.10.2017

140 €

of 3500 € Target Amount
4%
31.12.2017

Note: Donations start at 5 euros. Up to 15% will go to project transaction costs such as PayPal and money transfer. For more information please read the FAQ.

Summary

Following the request of an increasing number of Anglophone visitors we would like to add an English version to the 32 French information panels about the forest’s fauna and flora situated alongside the two ecological trails.

This 3rd phase of the Casamance Ecoparc project is a continuity of our efforts during the last 7 years together with Augustin and his association APES and in partnership with Eiffage Senegal and the German Embassy in Dakar to preserve the 32 hectares Ecoparc endemic littoral forest in the south of Senegal, next to his village of Diembereng in Casamance, see our funded ecoprojects Casamance Ecoparc >>>

By becoming the first privately managed protected community forest reserve in Senegal, Ecoparc is a proof of what passionate people can accomplish together.

One year after its official opening, we are back in the Ecoparc accompanied by our 3 young children. It is an immense pleasure to escape from the dusty and busy streets of the capital city Dakar into this green lung of Casamance and to see our kids listening attentively to the explanations of forest guide Jean Michel about the life inside the huge termite mound or about the sausage tree and the medicinal virtues of its fruits.

Thanks to the engagement of the Ecoparc team all information panels alongside the two eco trails are well-maintained despite the rain seasons and the dust and salt winds from the nearby ocean.
According to the forest guide Michel, since its official opening Ecoparc has registered a steady number of visitors and researchers coming to explore this “green lung”:

“There are school groups from our Casamance region but also from the distant capital city Dakar. The city kids love to explore the vast forest, so different from their daily living environment. Thanks to the 32 panels placed along the two nature trails they discover and learn about the importance of the natural treasures of the forest and the need for their protection. They are very curious and quite surprised when they read about the medicinal uses and virtues of some trees and plants; they feel like in an open air pharmacy.”

The tourism into the Casamance region revives slowly thanks to the recent termination of travel restrictions imposed by European embassies. Thus, Ecoparc registers also more and more foreign tourists.

“Thanks to nearby boarder with Gambia, more and more Anglophone tourists come to visit the Ecoparc. Recently a Polish tour operator included a visit to Ecoparc into his circuit from Gambia. Because the tourists coming from Gambia usually do not speak French, we would like to place also an English version of the 32 French information panels alongside the two eco-trails and so spread even further the information about the importance of protecting our forest” says Augustin.



How will your donation help the project?

The Ecofund Community is solicited to help financing the costs of printing aluminium plaques of the English version of the 32 information panels.

Furthermore, because the Ecoparc is situated far from the neighbouring villages and hotels, Augustin would like to acquire two bikes for his Ecoparc team to facilitate the provision of the Ecolodge and the contact with tourists wishing to visit Ecoparc.

APES, Ecofund and its Community will contribute in kind to the project by installing the panels and by translating the content of the information panels into English: Thanks to our contributors Anne-Mai for translation, and Karima, Jan and Camilla for grammar and spelling check!

As in the past, your support thanks to the community based and participatory approach of Ecofund is an important pillar in protecting 32 hectares of this beautiful endemic littoral forest in the south of Senegal, next to Augustin's village of Diembereng in Casamance!

Ecopartner for Let's go Ecoparc !

Oceanium

www.oceaniumdakar.org

Haïder El Ali is 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.

Updates

10.10.2017 › Badamier - Terminalia macroptera

Description

The Badamier or Terminalia macroptera, its scientific name, is a fruit tree of the Combretaceae family and of the Terminalia genus. Its name in Diola is Nifoguafong. Typical of the Western and Central African savannahs, the species has adapted to numerous tropical regions of Africa. The badamier is common in clear deciduous forests and in bushy and grassy savannahs. It can often be found by rivers, in poorly drained clay soils. The badamier is a small tree of 20m in height. Its trunk can reach 40 cm in diameter and its bark typically has deep cracks. The species can be propagated using its fruit (the badame, enclosing an edible almond) and with cuttings. In spite of its thick and corky bark, which increases its resistance to fire, the badamier is locally threatened by overexploitation.

Uses

Terminalia macroptera is an important medicinal plant species in West Africa. Many different parts of the plant are commonly used in traditional medicine against numerous diseases. Tea made from its roots cures malaria, hepatitis, venereal diseases and eyesores. The roots are also used against depression, coughs, syphilis, urinary infections, female infertility, tuberculosis, snakebites and skin diseases. Juice from the bark cures earaches and the leaves are used against tuberculosis, fever and hypertension. 

Did you know…

In some African communities the leaves of the badamier are eaten as a vegetable when famine strikes. They are also fed to cattle during periods of drought.

30.06.2017 › Sausage Tree - Kigelia africana

Description

According to its scientific name, Kigelia africana, the sausage tree is a species of the Bignoniaceae family and of the Kigelia genus. Named Nilimbankote in Diola, the sausage tree is native to Senegal and can also be found in the Sudanese and Guinean forests and savannahs. This tree adapts to its environment in a most remarkable way: for example, it needs another sausage tree nearby to grow its fruit. Also, the seeds borne by the very hard fruit cannot germinate unless they are first consumed and then defecated by an animal. Bats contribute to the pollination of the flowers, which open only at night, when they also release a foul odour. Because the propagation of the sausage tree happens in perfect symbiosis with the surrounding flora and fauna, the tree is very sensitive to changes in its ecosystem.

Uses

The big, brown and fibrous fruit is seldom used as food, although it is sometimes cooked and eaten by local populations. However, its properties are well known and used in alternative medicine. The pulp of the fruit is used to firm the skin of women’s breasts, thanks to extracts called flavonoids. The dried fruit and the bark are used for their anti-inflammatory properties. The bark has even more virtues: it cures snakebites and toothache.

Caution: the green fruit is toxic!

Did you know…

The fruit of the sausage tree is used by the Diola countrymen to protect their anti-salt dams from aquatic animal species. The odour of the fruit when thrown in the water is so strong that it repels these animals.

21.05.2017 › Fromager - Ceiba pentandra

Description

The Fromager/Kapok, also known by its scientific name, Ceiba pentandra, is a species of the Bombacaceae family and of the Ceiba genus. Its local name in Diola is Houdioufeii. In Africa, it can be found in tropical zones, in dense and rainy forests but also alone by itself. It can live up to 600 years through ensuring its self-defence throughout its life. When it is very young, the trunk and the branches are covered with thorns that protect the tree from animals. Once grown up, the trunk becomes smooth and develops strong buttress roots to become storm-proof. This tree can grow amongst many other species like lianas (long-stemmed, woody vines) and parasitic plants. The propagation of the species is assisted by the kapok it produces. This cotton-like fluff envelops the seeds and allows them to be carried away by the wind. Because of its huge stature, the fromager is often chosen as a resting place by migrating bird species.

Uses

The fluff of the ripe fruit (kapok) is used to fill cushions, pillows and small mattresses. Emptied trunks become pirogues or musical instruments. The buttress roots are used to make doors as well as coffins. Cattle can feed on the leaves from the tree. And the tea brewed from the bark is renowned as a treatment against headaches, dizziness, constipation, mental troubles and fever.

Did you know…

Because of its size, its strong resistance and its longevity, the Fromager is believed to keep all the villages’ stories. It is also called the “Sacred Fromager”, shelter of the genies who protect people from malicious spirits. By the animist Diolas, a Fromager can be used as a house for a fetish (a dwelling place for a spirit).

07.05.2017 › Baobab - Adansonia digitata

Description

The Baobab or Adansonia digitata, its scientific name, is a species of the Bombacaceae family and of the Adansonia genus. Its name in Diola is Nibissawe. The baobab is an impressive “bottle tree” which can reach 30m in height. Its huge trunk, 4 to 5m in diameter, is filled with a very large quantity of water which gives the tree a resistance to drought. The baobab needs animals to propagate, particularly birds to disseminate its seeds. It is a tree typical of Africa and the emblem of Senegal. It often grows in the vicinity of species like the acacia, the tamarind and the albizia. The massive branches of the baobab are a favourite home to bird species including vultures, eagles and parrots.

Uses

The fruit of the baobab is edible. Their slightly acidic taste is appreciated by animals as much as by people. It is commonly referred to as “monkey bread”. The juice of the fruit, which the Wolof people call bouye, is highly recommended for its vitamins and calcium. The leaves, once dried and crushed into a powder (lalo in Wolof) are rich in proteins and minerals. Lalo is a common ingredient in Senegalese cuisine, such as thiéré (Senegalese couscous). The fibres from the baobab’s bark are also used to make everyday items like handbags. In traditional medicine, the leaves cure malaria and the bark helps regaining weight after childbirth.

Did you know…

The baobab holds a truly mythical position due to its life expectancy of more than 1000 years. In the Serere community, the great griots (musicians or poets) are buried inside the trunks’ cavities. It is thus possible to find the tombs of several generations of their ancestors inside baobab tree trunks.


Project data

Diembering
Sustainable management
Oceanium
10.10.2017

140 €

of 3500 € Target Amount
4%
31.12.2017

Note: Donations start at 5 euros. Up to 15% will go to project transaction costs such as PayPal and money transfer. For more information please read the FAQ.

Note: Donations start at 5 euros. Up to 15% will go to project transaction costs such as PayPal and money transfer. For more information please read the FAQ.