Elmer Sayre of Water, Agroforestry, Nutrition and Development Foundation in the Philippines has given us WAND’s one-year-on update.
The project is in Naawan Highlands, Mindanao (the large southern island of the Philippines), where the aim was to establish a 3000 seeds and seedling nursery and implement 2 permaculture design courses for the local communities.
The seedling nursery is flourishing with timber tree seedlings and high-value fruit trees like jackfruit, durian and rambutan. These will help restore the degraded lands and provide income opportunities for the farmers.
Elmer ran the first PDC in September, in collaboration with a local youth organisation called Association of Locally Empowered Youth in Northern Mindanao (ALEY-NM). They focused on young people, who are losing interest in farming and leaving their ancestral lands. WAND wanted to inspire them to “embrace farming as a noble and rewarding profession”, and to learn how to regenerate their farmlands using permaculture principles.
The second PDC will be held in December, and will prioritise the indigenous Higaonon communities, who are still practicing slash-and-burn farming, which is harmful to the environment and their livelihoods. WAND hopes to empower them to adopt more sustainable and productive farming methods, and to preserve their rich culture and heritage.
WAND has also distributed open-pollinated vegetable seeds, such as okra, tomato, eggplant, squash and pechay, as well as sweet potato and ginger, to trainees and neighboring farmers. These will help to diversify their crops and improve food security and nutrition. A total of 175 individuals have benefited from the seeds and planting materials.
WAND are grateful to their village volunteers, who have been instrumental in facilitating technology transfer and monitoring the needs in the field. They are “the backbone of our project and the agents of change in their communities”.
Lastly, WAND has partnered with Mindanao Forestry Ventures, an organization working on carbon credit/offset advocacy, and hope to generate support from this facility to scale up their land regeneration initiative. This will not only help combat climate change, but also create more value for farmers and their lands.
Elmer concludes. “Thank you Permafund for your continued support and interest in our project. We will keep you updated on our achievements and challenges. Please feel free to share this post with your friends and networks, and help us spread the word about our work.”
Contributions to the Permafund can be made here. Many thanks.
For more information and to share fundraising ideas for Permafund please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Story by Jed Walker of the Permafund committee