Peace Corps Dominican Republic Agro-Forestry
FACTORS (Why) The issue of natural resource conservation, reforestation, soil conservation and agro-forestry are some of the most important developmental issues for the DR today. At all levels of the Dominican society there exists clear consensus to promote reforestation and to implement conservation measures in order to protect the major watersheds, increase soil stability. Watershed protection in the DR is one of the most important endeavor in conservation due to the fact that water production is needed to supply domestic consumption of the population, and to sustain agriculture production in order to increase the standard of living for the rural poor. PARTNERS (With Whom?) Secretary of Education Secretary of Environment Secretary of Agriculture Local NGOs Local Community Based Organizations How was the Project Developed ?
Snapshot View of Agro-Foresty in the DR • Commercial exploitation of natural resources in the Dominican Republic can be traced back to the XVI century, and occurred without technical input, nor institutional support. This resulted in an accentuated deterioration of the resource base, especially of the forestry resources. The degradation of the natural resources along with the population explosion has resulted in one of the highest population densities in the world subsequently creating an over-whelming pressure on the existing resources. The country suffers from one of the highest soil erosion rates in the Western Hemisphere; The soil erosion lends to a sustained poverty cycle and low agriculture and forestry productivity, which in turn causes a state of social disparity that in the long run threatens the social stability of the country.
Agro-Forestry PROJECT PLAN
Project Purpose Low-income small-scale farmers living in rural communities will improve land use practices through establishing sustainable agro-forestry systems and tree plantations to enhance their income capacity and long-term production.
Project Goals • GOAL #1: Strengthening the Agro-forestry Management Capacity of Community Members • GOAL #2: Strengthening the Capacity of Organizations
GOAL #1:Rural communities will adopt appropriate management practices that will contribute to the improvement of their production capacity, income generation, and reduce soil erosion. • Objective 1:By the end of FY2006, 50 PCVs, and project partners will assist farmers and community members to establish 50 soil conservation plots, 350 improved wood stoves, and 30 small nurseries with a capacity to reforest with 200,000 trees benefiting 1,000 farmers. • Objective 2:By the end of FY2006, 50 PCVs, and project partners will train 1,000 farmers in soil conservation, small tree nursery management and reforestation/agro-forestry .
GOAL #2:Dominican Organizations will have the capacity to train agricultural extensionists and small-scale farmers in general conservation practices that promote the sustainable use of their lands. • Objective 1:By the end of FY2006, 25 AF PCVs will train 50 Dominican technicians and community conservation promoters from 10 NGOs on sustainable conservation practices. • Objective 2:By the end of FY2006, 30 AF PCVs will train 150 conservation technicians and promoters from 15 NGOs in planning and organizational skills (monitoring, evaluation, community diagnostic), as well as hands on sustainable practices (cover crops, fruit tree plantations and organic gardening).
Typical Volunteer Cycle • Pre-Service Training (12 weeks including CBT) • Months 0-3: Community Diagnostic and Relation Building • 3 Month IST: Diagnostic Report and Start the 1st Year Project Planning Process • Months 3-12: Complete Project Plan, Implement, and Monitor project • 12 Month IST: Evaluate 1st year progress and Plan 2nd Year • Months 12-24: Reformulate, Implement, Monitor, and Evaluate project • Months 21-24: Begin transition process • Pre, 3, 12 month Site Visits • Close of Service Conference
Top Ten Activities in the Environmental AwarenessEducation Project • Tree Nursery Construction and Management • Reforestation with Fruit and Wood Species • Soil Conservation (Live and Dead Barriers) • Compost and California Red Worm Production of Organic Fertilizer • Organic Café and Cacao Production and Cooperatives • Home Gardening and Small Animal Projects • Clay and Ceramic Stoves and Energy Farms • Small Businesses (Eco Tourism, Ceramic Art and Salon) • Water Shed Management Education • Et al: Latrines, Potable Water, Solar Panels, Cement Floors
Success Story: Nathan Kennedy Nathan Kennedy (2002-2004). Nathan worked in the small community of Guayajayuco a small town on the border of Haiti where the people make their living planting cash crops on steep hillsides and raising small animals. Nathan mobilized the construction of the environmental infrastructure of the community and trained community members to conserve their environment. His day-to-day routine consisted of helping small farmers adopt soil conservation practices to reduce soil erosion as well as helping farmers to establish agroforestry systems with a mix of fruit and wood trees species, and building live barriers to prevent soil erosion. Nathan also promoted organic gardening in the community. The gardens became both a link in developing trust with the community as well as a demonstrative learning tool, which he used to teach organic gardening techniques and the importance of including fruit and vegetables in your diet. Nathan also contributed to the community by establishing a small fruit tree nursery that will produce tree seedlings that small-scale farmers will plant in their lots.
Project Impact Snapshot • Over 6,800 farmers and community members trained in soil conservation, tree grafting, organic production, certification, and tree nursery management techniques in 109 communities • Thousands of acres of land reforested with over 140,000 fruit and wood species trees • Over 1,800 youth engaged in environmental conservation activities • Over 26,000 square meters of land treated with barriers for erosion control • 100 fuel-efficient stoves built in small rural communities.
Being a Volunteer is… • A Unique Experience • A Challenging Experience • A Growing Experience • A Sharing Experience • An Unforgettable Experience • IT ALL DEPENDS ON WHAT YOU DECIDE IT WILL BE!
Peace Corps Dominican Republic Are you ready for the challenge? Welcome to the Agro-Forestry Project