Madagascar

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Manifesting Miracles in Madagascar with Eden Projects

Eden have just passed their 100 millionth tree. They have huge vision, determination and gutsy, experimental audacity threaded through with heart and soul. For them it's not just trees - it's people, communities, mothers and children, heath care and education. They change lives and they think big. We're right behind them.

Planting Mangroves

 

Happy-Eden-GirlEden plant dry deciduous forest to counteract the charcoal stripping of the Madagascan interior, and mangrove forests to restore the coastal estuaries. They predict that it will take roughly 11 billion mangroves to do what's needed. Right now they are replenishing the enormous Malagasy mangrove forests at a rate of approx 1.4 Million trees/month.

Mangroves grow in the saline coastal habitats of the tropics and subtropics. They are powerful carbon sequesters, soil stabilizers and tidal buffer zones as sea levels rise and storms intensify, causing yet more precious top soil to erode into the oceans. These 'sea trees' also provide nursery habitat for countess species of fish that provide income and food for the desperately poor communities that Eden serve.

IMAGES PROVIDED BY THE EDEN PROJECTS

 

Eden-Children-and-TreesFreeing the Enslaved

In Madagascar whole villages are enslaved to the fish barons – boat and net owners who loan out their vessels for a specific yield, which if not met places their fishermen and women in debt – permanently. Enslavement comes with its various horrors, including giving children into slavery and much worse for the women. Eden go in, work with the community and start to employ them to grow and plant saplings on very large tracts of land. 60%-70% of their workers are women who get out of debt, get their kids into school with many starting their own micro-enterprises as well. Eden literally turn the enslaved into the foresters of our world, whole villages at a time.

Species Grown

 

Bergeria-seedlingsBruguiera gymnorhiza

Bruguiera gymnorhiza grow well on the inner and landward edges of the estuary where salt water rarely reaches. They also grow well in sunny locations amongst fringe grasses were few other mangroves grow. Their growth rate is moderate, typically 1/3 meter per year. They produce fat, short, smooth propagules that sprout quickly when mature. They form buttress roots with pneumatophores that grow like knee knobs. They grow in both sandy and muddy soil.


 

Ceriops-tagalCeriops tagal

Ceriops tagal grow throughout the estuary but tend to prefer the inner and landward areas. They are a slow growing species with a growth rate that is typically 1/4 meter per year under favorable conditions. In addition to sandy soil areas, they also grow on the landward side of the estuary near the edge where watering is infrequent. They produce thin propagules just less than one meter long. Ceriops form buttress roots from the trunk with small pneumatophores like knob roots breaking the mud around the tree. We have found that they are the most susceptible to crabs due their slow growth. Planting Ceriops in the rainy season has proven to be the most successful method with this species. Ceriops are a favorite house and fence building material and are also used for charcoal.


Rhizopora-6-monthsRhizopora mucronata

Rhizopora mucronata grow throughout the mangrove swamps wherever their are sufficient canals and tidal exchanges. They tend to be the dominate species along the canal banks and tend to make up the majority of the trees in mature forests. Their stilt roots create entangled structures that act as nurseries for fish and are the habitat for other animals. These claw like roots seem to reach out from the tree clasping the mud surrounding the trunk intertwining with other roots. They are the fastest growing species Eden plants, reaching 2 to 4 meters within 3 years. Typically, replanted Rhizopora trees begin producing their own propagules by year four, meaning the maturing forest begins to dramatically increase the density and stability of the mangrove estuary.

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