Wednesday, February 18, 2009

RIPPLE Africa finished another successful planting season in Malawi, Africa

Our planting partner RIPPLE Africa has finished another successful planting season in Malawi, Africa with about 1.5 million trees being planted on December and January! Kudos to RIPPLE Africa!

RIPPLE Africa was established in 2003 by Geoff and Liz Furber from the UK. RIPPLE Africa is a non-profit organization involved with environmental projects, education and healthcare in Malawi, Africa. It works in cooperation with local chiefs - traditional authorities and the local communities, who take a major part in RIPPLE Africa’s various activities, including its planting operations.

Malawi is a poor country and 80% of its people live in rural areas. Wood is a necessary part of everyday life, and there is also tremendous pressure to clear forests for agriculture. Hence, trees in Malawi are being cut down at an alarming rate. An area of forest the size of a football pitch is cut down every 10 minutes. RIPPLE Africa’s tree planting project is centered in Nkhata Bay District, Malawi, Africa, an area of 4,000 square kilometers.

We also had a part in this planting season with 26,575 trees being planted on behalf of Eco-Libris' customers (check our first year's assessment for further details)! We hope to bring you soon an interview with Geoff Furber who will tell us more on the planting season and about RIPPLE Africa's work in Malawi.

In the meantime, we would like to celebrate this planting season with beautiful photos we received from RIPPLE Africa, and for one week we'll show you every day a new photo they've sent us. We'll have soon all the photos on our planting gallery and you can already see them all on our Facebook group (which of course you're welcome to join!)

The first photo we have here is of Catherine and team budding oranges.

You're welcome to visit RIPPLE Africa's website at

Raz @ Eco-Libris

An update from our planting partner SHI

Our planting partner Sustainable Harvest International (SHI) has released their update for February 2009 and it's a good opportunity to get updated in the wonderful work they're doing in Central America.

Founded in 1997 by Returned Peace Corps Volunteer Florence Reed, Sustainable Harvest International addresses the tropical deforestation crisis in Central America by providing farmers with sustainable alternatives to slash-and-burn agriculture. SHI facilitates long-term collaboration among trained local agricultural staff, farmers and communities to implement sustainable land-use practices that alleviate poverty by restoring ecological stability. You can find the assessment of our first year of collaboration with SHI on this link.

So what you can find on the update?

Seed Loans Make An Impact -Testimony From The Field (Nicaragua): An interesting testimony of Alejandro Gutierrez of El Asentamiento, Kukra Hill in Nicaragua about his experience with SHI.

Here's a part of it: "Sustainable Harvest is not an organization that just gives over everything, but rather they teach mutual collaboration. They give us knowledge and we must put it into practice. They lend us grain but we return it so that it can serve other producers, like the loans of seeds and beans. Thank you for helping us so that we can have a little more."

First-Hand in the Field - SHI Board Chair, Tony Barrington, visits Panama:

Tony Barriganton reports on a visit that a group of SHI board members, spouses, friends and staff made to SHI's field program in Panama on January.

You can find there also links with details on SHI's Sustainable Chocolate Tour, Annie's Homegrown collaboration with SHI supporting village schools and more.

You can find February update on this link -

You're also invited to check out SHI's website, where you can find much more information (and great photos) on their work.

Raz @ Eco-Libris

* Photo above: Some SHI Board members with Panamanian staff and program participants in January 2009 (courtesy of SHI)