|Date||18 Jul 2017|
Over the past seven years we have been working with the community at Kanjonde village, Mount Moco, to reduce their impacts on the habitats of the mountain and to restore the Afromontane forest here. We have developed successful methods for growing and replanting native forest trees, in so doing creating long-term employment for four villagers and part-time employment to up to 20 additional villagers during shorter visits.
However, because growing and planting trees in this terrain is very labour intensive, we are beginning to use fire breaks to promote natural habitat regeneration over a much larger area. Fire is currently the largest threat to forests and forest regeneration, and by creating a permanent series of firebreaks around the largest forest patches on the mountain we aim to both stop fires from burning any more forest, and allow forest to regenerate naturally. Firebreaks will initially be cleared manually, creating further local employment, and will be maintained by a combination of the use of herbicides and further manual clearing of vegetation.
The regeneration of forest through the use of firebreaks will further be aided by continuing to expand the nursery, and to use the trees from the nursery more strategically by planting islands of trees within fire-protected areas, which will naturally be joined up through regeneration.
Working with the community is key to the success of the project, as is the running and maintenance of the project by Angolan nationals, with minimal input from abroad. Over the next 2-3 years we will be working towards this, and especially working to have the four resident nursery workers do more rehabilitation work independent of team member visits. We are also working more closely with the villagers to help them improve their social conditions, especially the health of villagers and cleanliness of the village. We will also ensure that they better understand why we are undertaking this work, and what the consequences are of how they use the environment.
Read about Michael's previous project http://www.rufford.org/rsg/projects/michael_mills or for more information contact: