Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Agro-Forestry, Nitrogen Fixing Trees and Starting a Tree Nursery. LINKS

Since returning to UK I have been hunting on the internet, see links below. I’ll keep looking and adding links. Please let me know of any additions, errors or omissions.   hliebling@gmail.com

Zambian Organisations and Information

annieandandrew | Andrew and The Wife in Zambia
Blog Dec 2011 - April 2014 from a Peace Corps couple living and working in Solwezi Zambia helping the locals with agricultural projects.

Projects | Peace Corps | Zambia
"Peace Corps Volunteers in Zambia work on a variety of initiatives. Primary projects focus on Education, Aquaculture, Health and Environment. In addition all volunteers perform secondary activities relating to HIV/AIDS prevention as well as other initiatives."

"Felix Nguluwe our facilitator has been working very hard at providing environmental education and how to set up tree nurseries every year. We have been able to harvest seeds from trees we have planted in the past to distribute to our other community forests across Zambia and into neighbouring countries. "

CFU Conservation Agriculture in Zambia, African Conservation Farming Unit
"Our CFU Zambia web site is for anybody interested in the promotion of Conservation Farming and Climate Smart Agriculture and we hope you will find it useful. In many parts of Africa, stagnant productivity, population pressure, environmental degradation and the threat of climate change suggest an increasingly bleak future for millions of African families whose livelihoods depend on farming."

Greenpop - Planting trees, changing lives. Social Enterprise
"Greenpop is on a mission to (re)connect people with our planet & each other."

Farm Forestry | Zambia National Farmers Union
"The Zambia National Farmers’ Union (ZNFU) recognizing the rate of deforestation in Zambia, embraces the urgent need to reposition agriculture towards green climate-smart farming practices that will add value on agriculture as a sector and environmental sustainability on the other hand."
About Us | Trees 4 Zambia
Based in East Lusaka. Indigenous tree nursery.

Lists of Our Species | Trees 4 Zambia
Complete list of what is available. Prices around K20 - K50 for a small sapling.

Zambia – KATC | Canadian Jesuits International
"Vision: Promoting organic, sustainable agriculture to produce more, healthier crops."

International organisations, research, reports, and other organisations.

"Agro-forestry Net, Inc. is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing educational resources about agro-forestry, trees, and sustainable stewardship of land and water."

Alianza SIDALC
"The SIDALC Alliance provides access to information generated throughout the Americas and stored in Agricultural Institutes, its libraries and other related information centers." (Orton CATIE)

CIFOR annual report 2008 : Thinking beyond the canopy - Cifor - Google Books
Sweetening the deal for Zambia's honey industry. p22-23

Forest Products and Trade | Center for International Forestry Research
"Timber, nuts, fruits, resins, gums and charcoal are only a handful of the many forest products that people have been collecting and harvesting for centuries. "

"Working to alleviate poverty and preserve the natural environment in Africa for present and future generations through support for community tree planting" PATIA, fiohnetwork.org

UN-REDD Programme -- About REDD+
"Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) is an effort to create a financial value for the carbon stored in forests" Zambia a participant

Simply REDD: CIFOR's guide to forests, climate change and REDD | Center for International Forestry Research
"Center for International Forestry Research" Reduction in Emissions from Deforestation 2010 (might need careful watching)

South Africa’s forests and people. Investing in a Sustainable Future: Success, challenges and ways forward.  This publication was produced for the XIV World Forestry Congress 2015, Durban, South Africa.

Table of Contents
"State of Forest and Tree Genetic Resources in Zambia" P M Sekeli & M Phiri FAO May 2002

TREE AID: who we are
"To enable people living in the dry-lands of Africa to unlock the potential of trees to reduce poverty and protect the environment"

Why trees mean life - TREE AID
"Trees make the land more fertile by keeping the top soil in place and putting important nutrients back into the ground. Their roots stabilise the ground preventing it from being washed away during the annual rains. Trees mean: food, vitamins and nutrients all year round, even when other crops fail; money from selling tree products to buy food, education and health; health as some trees can be used in natural medicines; enriched soil, making the land more fertile for crops to grow; shade from the scorching heat for people, wildlife and for the crops; tools and shelter made from bark and fallen wood"

TREE AID Insight series: Building Resilience to Climate Shocks
"'Climate resilience’ is how prepared a system is to withstand weather extremes, without losing its ability to function properly. These “systems” could be ecosystems or social systems. " 5pp pdf

Why Trees? - International Tree Foundation
"Trees are a vital part of our planet’s ecosystem. We all rely on trees and their products: oxygen, fruits, wood, water, medicines and soil nutrients to name a few."

Manuals, Guidelines and Information.

Kasisi Agricultural Training Centre
An excellent source of KATC training manuals in pdf format.

Conservation Farming Information
information packs for Zambian farmers

CFU Research
important research articles about bio-char and other subjects

Trees for the Future » Resource Center
"Agroforestry Manual - English (small)" Excellent simple and detailed information on tree planting and many species.

Trees for the Future » Resource Center
"Good Tree Nursery Practices: Practical Guidelines for Community Nurseries" IRAF 2014 Very detailed

Trees for the Future » Resource Center
"Design, Construction and Management of a Nursery PowerPoint Presentation" Short, useful presentation 2011

Trees for the Future » Resource Center
"Trees and the Environment (Manual Section)" 4th ed'n 2014 version of start of manual 11pp

12 patrick-van-damme-forests-trees-for-sustainable-diets-tree-diversi…
good graphic to show how ethno-ecology and agro-ecology can work together

YouTube Videos

Kasisi 2015: "The Art of Mimicking Nature" - YouTube
Published on 30 Apr 2015 "The Art of Mimicking Nature": How Kasisi Agricultural Training College is promoting organic farming in Zambia."

50 Million Trees and Counting Trees for the Future - YouTube
"This 8 minute video documents the work of the late Dave Deppner and Trees for the Future. Communities around the world turn to Trees for the Future for technical knowledge and planting materials so that they can bring degraded lands and struggling farmlands back to sustainable productivity. Since 1988, Trees for the Future (TFTF) has helped thousands of communities in Central America, Africa, and Asia improve their livelihoods"

"A farmer from the NW Region of Cameroon explains the uses of different tree species. These species, and many others, were grown in nurseries as part of the Eucalyptus Replacement Project which replaced 1.5 million felled eucalyptus trees with 3 million trees (60 species) for agro-forestry and water catchment preservation. The project was carried out in two stages between 2004 and 2009 and was funded by the Future in Our Hands"

Information on Trees and other plant Species

Tropical Forages
Amazing site with factsheets and a selection tool.

Casuarina - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
NFT from Australia. Regarded as invasive by some. Makes soil more acidic!

Azadirachta indica - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
"Azadirachta indica, also known as Neem, Nimtree, & Indian Lilac is a tree in the mahogany family Meliaceae." drought resistant, evergreen, shade tree, neem oil has many medicinal & pest control uses. Illegal in UK!, soap made from neem oil. Used in India for millenia.

Copy this file and make it your own. Try the videos if you can. The manuals are at different levels and detail. You have permission to use them as long as you acknowledge the source. I've had very positive feedback from nearly all the sites mentioned here.  The “forest forages” software could be very helpful, but you can use their fact sheets anyway. “Trees for the Future” reckons to plant a tree for 10cents. $50 = 500 saplings! Currently not in Zambia. Tree Aid cover all costs for £10 a tree.

This code gives you access to the Outliner in Diigo, a set of links.
Henry Liebling November 2015

Deforestation in N W Province Zambia around Mwinilunga

Sorry not to have blogged during 2015. Will explain in a future blog.
This is a long one! The full set of LINKS are in a separate blog.

In early October 2015 Cynthia & I returned to Zambia after 43 years. Charlie Rea very kindly met us in Ndola and flew us up to Mwinilunga. We were surprised to see that much of the Mwinilunga Secondary school farm, that Steve Bodsworth & I ran and developed, has been built on, the fish ponds are still there, but not being used. Mwinilunga is hardly recognisable with a new concrete bridge replacing the narrow open wooden one and a broad tar road replacing the red mud cart track of the 1970’s. The 1 bar and 2 shops have grown into a large town with serious markets, many shops and a bank. The township has enlarged significantly and many new communities with well built houses have sprung up alongside the new road. Much of the available land is cultivated where before it was bush or forest. The extent of the de-forestation visible from the air is significant. I was upset at how few trees there are where once I remember forest. No trees, no rain, no water, no rivers, no fish, no food.

Look at Nyangombe, using Google earth, and the tree cover around the Training Centre is clearly evident as an oasis of tree cover. The population has grown, Zambia is exporting maize, crops have to be grown. We saw a lorry loaded with pineapples bound for Lusaka, a store filled with maize ready to sell to the Gov’t, some excellent vegetable plots and a promising fish farm. Most villages had fruit trees, shelter trees and a church or chapel. A number of significant hydro-electric schemes provide their local areas with sustainable electricity. Some of the old PFAs Protected Forest Areas are still in place, but trees are chopped down for chitemene (slash & burn), to provide fire wood, to fire bricks, for building and furniture and to make charcoal (much of it for the towns and cities especially when the electricity is cut due to load shedding). Charles Sachikando who trains the carpenters talked about the increasing difficulty of getting hold of Mukwa timber but that Ikamba was readily available. His trainee carpenters are making quality doors and furniture.  He mentioned the old Lunda custom of planting a tree when a child is born and how that seems to have died out.

We were concerned to have found little or no sign of any tree planting schemes, tree nurseries or any initiatives to encourage agro-forestry in or around Mwinilunga. One or two people we spoke to are aware of the potential for NFT nitrogen fixing trees. No-one has heard of bio-char. We saw an abandoned Community Farming Project site near Mutanda Falls, outside Solwezi. Maybe they had tried forage plants, hedges and intercropping. We found a glimmer of hope meeting Anita, who works with Ross and Mel Ferguson at the newly formed, currently being built Orphanage, just above the river below Nyangombe. Anita has always been a keen gardener and has already started collecting seeds and planting them to produce saplings and grow fruit and vegetables. She knows about and understands the Miambo forest. Our hope is that with some help and encouragement she will be able to develop a local tree nursery in which the orphans can participate as they grow up.

Using the internet helped track down a few hopeful places in or around Lusaka. We had one day before our flight back. Sandy’s Creations Garden Centre sells good quality saplings and larger trees, mainly ornamental and fruit, for between K40 and K85. Casurina, the only NFT, had sold out this season and costs K45. After some serious phoning around and queries by our taxi driver we found the old Woodlands Nursery, the original Lusaka Forest Nursery from the 1950’s. The 1955 bulletins are available online for £30 - £50, so still in demand! David Masamo and his colleagues were very helpful, delighted to show us round and very knowledgeable about the numerous different saplings they had and their potential for agro-forestry, soil and crop improvement and re-forestation. Prices were K5 or K10. They were unable to give us any information about Tree Nurseries in either Solwezi or Mwinilunga. We didn’t get to meet anyone from CIFOR, but have since learnt of Davison Gumbo’s work at national and international level. Maybe we were looking in the wrong place and should have gone to the Ministry of Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection.
Sadly we didn’t have time to visit the following Zambian initiatives:

KATC,  Kasisi Agricultural Training Centre, 30km from Lusaka where Canadian Jesuits have been running farming and agro-forestry courses since 1974, started by Br Paul Desmarais. Interestingly they changed to organic farming methods in 1990’s and have an excellent collection of guides and manuals. Kasisi Agricultural Training Centre
An excellent source of KATC training manuals in pdf format. 

Also a recent 30min video, worth a look. Kasisi 2015: "The Art of Mimicking Nature" - YouTube
30 Apr 2015. How Kasisi Agricultural Training College is promoting organic farming in Zambia."

Trees for Zambia founded and still run by Adam and Claire Pope. About Us | Trees 4 Zambia
Based in East Lusaka. Indigenous tree nursery.

Conservation Farming Unit, now on Leopards Hill Rd, with influential director Peter Aagaard who has done much research and development, with some very interesting work on bio-char and information packs for Zambian farmers.          CFU Research   Important research articles about bio-char and other subjects.
"Our CFU Zambia web site  is for anybody interested in the promotion of Conservation Farming and Climate Smart Agriculture and we hope you will find it useful. In many parts of Africa, stagnant productivity, population pressure, environmental degradation and the threat of climate change suggest an increasingly bleak future for millions of African families whose livelihoods depend on farming."

We feel this statement summarises both the problem and potential solutions. It suggests that farmers will need to adapt and mitigate the effects of climate change, make best use of existing forests and cultivated land, take control of their own seeds and saplings, and reduce their reliance on fossil fuels for fertilizer, farm work and transport.         
 This can be achieved by:
·         rolling back the effects of deforestation with extensive localised tree planting schemes,
·         continuing to develop small scale sustainable agriculture,
·         using local affordable resources to improve the soil, improve diversity and yields using techniques from:
·         agro-forestry (forest products such as timber, charcoal, bio-char, honey, fruit, jam, oil, soap, medicines..)
·         permaculture (planning for a particular terrain, minimum or no till, forest gardens..)     
·         organic farming, seed collection and distribution, natural pesticides, companion planting, intercropping
·         bio-char from hulled corn cobs, and                  
·         careful use of NFT nitrogen fixing trees for soil improvement, forage, food, shade and timber/firewood.  
This is a big ask for Mwinilunga District; can more of it be done?

A Peace Corps couple in Solwezi: annieandandrew | Andrew and The Wife in Zambia
This blog from Dec 2011 - April 2014 from a Peace Corps couple living and working in Solwezi Zambia helping the locals with agricultural projects, provides many examples of the work that can be done.

At the National and international level, there is a legacy of work from R K Hart (1955 Lusaka Nursery Bulletins), D B Fanshawe, (1971 Vegetation of Zambia), to Emmanuel Chidumayo (1995 handbook on miambo ecology and management) and Davison Gumbo, KATC’s Br Paul Desmarais, Peter Aagaard at CFU.... current initiatives include REDD+   (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation),   FAO Agroforestry, ......

Basically we feel that there have been promising initiatives and research by different groups and individuals, but little evidence of the theories, plans and promises being put into practice especially in the NW Province. This presents an enormous challenge, but we wondered if the information presented in this briefing paper might help to inspire the formation of tree nurseries in the NW Province alongside promised Gov’t initiatives. Do you know of any local tree planting initiatives or tree nurseries? Do you know of interested individuals who might be able to help in some way, or who might make a small start armed with some of this information? What might they need? A small patch of land, a supply of good quality seed &/or saplings, a handbook, some labour, plastic sleeves, compost, soil and water! As a family we are happy to try to make small initial contributions to help get individuals or groups started.

We will be very happy to receive any response to this briefing paper. hlieblng@gmail.com

Cynthia and Henry Liebling have just returned from a three week  trip to Nyangombe Training Centre near Mwinlunga in the NW Province of Zambia staying with their old friends Les & Jean White. Cynthia & Henry went to teach at Mwinilunga Secondary school in Dec 1969, after completing a secondary PGCE at the University of Zambia in Lusaka. In September 1972 they left Mwinilunga with a toddler and a baby to return to UK. Henry was head of Science and together with Steve Bodsworth ran and developed the school farm. Cynthia taught English.

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Ireland's National Strategy on Education for Sustainable Development, 2014-2020

The Minister for Education and Skills, RuairĂ­ Quinn, T.D., today published the “National Strategy on Education for Sustainable Development, 2014-2020”, Ireland’s first such strategy.

Education for sustainable development fosters and strengthens the capacity of individuals to make judgments and choices in favor of sustainable development.

The Strategy aims to ensure that learners are equipped with the relevant knowledge, and the key dispositions, skills and values to motivate and empower them to become informed citizens acting for a more sustainable future.

Eight ‘priority action areas’ have been identified. They include leadership and coordination, data collection and baseline measurement, and promoting participation by young people in decisions that affect them.

Each of the eight priority areas has a series of recommendations. These recommendations encompass all areas of the education system, from pre-school through to further and higher education, as well as non-formal and community education, and the Youth sector.

The ESD plan promotes greater participation by children and young people in decisions that affect them within the education sector, principally through student councils. This is in keeping with the Minister’s drive to ensure the voice of students is included in education. The establishment of more student councils at primary level will be encouraged, and the existing student council model at post primary level will be reviewed.

Welcoming the Strategy, Minister Quinn highlighted the importance of the Department of Education and Skills promoting sustainability in its own practice, “As an architect, I am delighted that the Department has won awards for sustainable design in our school building projects.

“This National ESD Strategy commits the Department to continue to build infrastructure that is cutting edge in terms of sustainability, as well as seeking to reduce its own energy usage and that of other institutions within the education sector.”

“I would like to extend my appreciation to those who generously contributed their time and expertise. In implementing the ESD Strategy, the Department will be seeking to work closely with you in this important area.”

An ESD Advisory Group is to be established, representing stakeholders, and chaired by a DES official, for exchanging best practice, building partnerships and mobilising stakeholders.

The publication of the National Strategy for ESD fulfils Ireland’s commitments under the United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development. It is also one of the commitments in Our Sustainable Future, the National Strategy on Sustainable Development, which was published by the Department of Environment, Community and Local Government in 2012.

Eight priority action areas:

1. Leadership and coordination

2. Data collection and baseline measurement

3. Curriculum at pre-school, primary and post-primary

4. Professional development

5. Further education and training

6. Higher education and research

7. Promoting participation by young people

8. Sustainability in action

The report is available at http://www.education.ie/en/Publications/Education-Reports/National-Strategy-on-Education-for-Sustainable-Development-in-Ireland-2014-2020.pdf
- See more at: http://www.education.ie/en/Press-Events/Press-Releases/2014-Press-Releases/PR14-07-04.html#sthash.Ci9YjTNd.dpuf

Friday, 24 January 2014

Do we know what we are doing? New online text and some other things!

Do we know what we are doing?  Reflections on learning, knowledge, economics, community and

 Rolf Jucker has just published what he terms "his farewell text on ESD" text online. I an impressed by the depth and breadth of his thinking. Do have a look.      http://rolfjucker.net/

Abstract: The discourse of education for sustainability has been severely limited by the fact that it
largely refuses to acknowledge important insights from other fields of learning and
knowledge. A denial to engage with central insights with regard to how the world and more
specifically how human interaction with the human and non-human world work means that
it has been to a large extent a self-centred discourse. It is tangled up in reflections on
education without contextualising this in the real world. My main point is that not just
education in general, but also so-called education for sustainable development (ESD) needs
to perform a radical paradigm shift and become communal learning in real-time in a real
place. And this necessitates a willingness to face some tough questions on the prevailing
denial.  (Berne, 2014)

Se-ed are continuing to do great things and are running a series of webinars at around £10 a throw.

Ellen McArthur is busy at Davos and Unilever have just joined her Circular Economy group. Also The Ellen Mc Arthur Foundation has just published the 3rd chapter of their work to try and mainstream Circular Economy thinking and turn it into practice.

"Following the release of Towards the Circular Economy vol.3, the Ellen MacArthur Foundation announces Project Mainstream, a collaborative project which could help businesses to shift towards a circular economy and as a result save US$ 500 million in materials and prevent 100 million tonnes of waste globally."

Saw a 3D printer at work yesterday. Hard to believe what I was seeing and touching.Imagine wanting a part for a machine and living far away from the parts dept. A local 3D printer could be the solution. Find and download the software and away you go.
Here's a tale for you! In 1971 in Mwinilunga, NW province of Zambia, near the source of the great Zambezi river, we were working in a secondary school of 800+ students and  100+ staff when the town water-pump broke. We, well mainly my colleague Steve Bodsworth, kept the school and hospital going for 3 months until the parts arrived. Households had to survive on two buckets of water a day. Luckily we had just installed two 2000 gallon tanks on the school farm. These were uprooted and one placed near the school kitchens and the other by the hospital. Then making one out of two very old 250cc Villiers water-pumps useable, borrowing a 500 gallon water-bowser, putting onto a "donated" gov't trailer hauled by a borrowed land-rover, Steve filled up the two tanks nearly every day for months taking water from the river Lunga. The pupils washed in the river and kept a look-out for crocs!

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

The Global Learning Programme (GLP)

The Global Learning Programme is funded by the Department for International Development and runs from 2013 to 2017. It is managed by a consortium of leading global learning and educational organisations: Pearson (lead), Geographical Association, Institute of Education, Oxfam UK, Royal Geographical Society, SSAT and Think Global. The Institute of Education (through DERC) is leading on two workstreams: Continuing Professional Development and Research and Evaluation. 

We are delighted to let you know about the new Global Learning Programme (GLP) for England which launches this month. The GLP is a ground-breaking new programme which will create a national network of like-minded schools, committed to equipping their pupils to make a positive contribution to a globalised world by helping their teachers to deliver effective teaching and learning about development and global issues at Key Stages 2 and 3.
The programme supports teachers to help their pupils learn about the challenges our world faces and think critically about how to deal with issues such as poverty, inequality and sustainability. It helps pupils make sense of the world in which they live and to understand their role within a global society. It puts a primary focus on developing pupil’s knowledge and understanding of development and global issues through subject-based learning in key curriculum areas. It also recognises the important role global learning initiatives can have in encouraging pupils’ values and skills development.
The GLP offers schools in England:
  • A free peer-led locally-based programme of support to enhance teaching about global issues and whole school approaches to global learning; 
  •  e-credits which schools can use to pay for CPD from approved providers;
  •  A specialised online audit tool for schools to highlight current global learning strengths and areas of priority; 
  • An individualised action plan for schools to understand how they might enhance future global learning provision; 
  • Curriculum guidance to support global learning in key subject areas; 
  • Easily-accessible and approved resources available to support classroom teaching and whole-school global learning initiatives; 
  • An online tool to assess pupils’ global learning; 
  • Opportunities for teachers to become accredited GLP Lead Practitioners and for schools to become GLP Expert Centres;
  • The Innovation Fund to support teacher-led research on a global learning issue.

To find out more about the GLP and to register your school visit: 
Website: www.glp-e.org.uk.
Email: glp@pearson.com 
Twitter: @glp-e