Greetings from the International Analog Forestry Network

A pleasure to share with you news from the first four months of 2018, focusing on outreach actions within the Global Alliance for Green and Gender Action (GAGGA) program and news from our partners around the world. Within GAGGA we have broadened our outreach to 11 countries on three continents -Togo, Benin, Ghana, Cameroon, Uganda, Bolivia, Sri Lanka, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Guatemala and Honduras – with the objective of establishing better livelihood conditions for women by sharing knowledge on our restoration methodology, facilitating discussions on topics of environmental justice to then connect with stakeholders/policy makers to enact changes that promote a clean, healthy and safe environment. Thank you to BothENDS in the Netherlands, who provides support on the ground, to be able to work with these wonderful new partners. Like our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/foresteriaanaloga/ to keep informed, as well as our Instagram: FORESTERIA_ANALOGA.
April Analog Forestry and Lobby & Advocacy workshop
IAFN partner, the Center for Nursery Development and Eru Propagation (CENDEP) is sharing the Analog Forestry methodology, strengthening alliances with women and policy makers, organizing training workshops in five African countries to gather baseline information to inform decision making and position taking, on solutions to environmental challenges. Between April 11-13, in Kpalime, Togo, a 3-day workshop on Analog Forestry/Lobby & Advocacy offered the opportunity for women, members of environmental justice groups as well as local decision makers to focus on priorities regarding land rights, rights to water and food security. The women – notably the queen mothers – clamor for increasing the political space to negotiate with traditional authorities (village and canton heads), and the need to value and put into practice decisions already taken on the land tenure law at the national level, with respect to improving access to land & ownership by women. Problems, causes, impacts and possible solutions to these themes were identified and prioritized, and an action plan elaborated with some of the traditional leaders present.
An update on Madame Bridget’s Analog Forestry demo site
As reported last December, Madame Bridget’s farm, given to her by her father, is being turned into an Analog Forestry Demonstration Site. With resources and technical support provided by CENDEP, she is establishing a tree nursery, a reforestation site, a food crop area and an apiary. She is growing maize, potatoes, beans and cocoyams to provide food and an income. Obstacles such as stray animals and lack of water are being addressed, and empowered by her family and the community, Madame Bridget keeps working on her farm, despite external adversities. Her farm hosted a visit by a group of farmers in February, an opportunity for her to share her new skills. Her father shares the following:”I think this is a good project that is providing economic tree seedlings for the development of our community forest. The same way (other) projects helped people to plant coffee, this project too has come to assist us get our forest back. So i am pleading with my daughter, Bridget, to hold on to this project just as I will, so that with the help of God the project will improve on our lives. Despite the many problems we have here like stray animals and water scarcity, I will continue to wish my daughter good luck in this project. I have 11 children and 36 grandchildren so I can only pray for the strength and means to carter for them”.
A warm welcome to Bakia Mary Moulobe GAGGA point person in Cameroon
Excerpts from an interview with Bakia Mary:
How did you come into contact with GAGGA and IAFN? I came into contact with GAGGA and IAFN through CENDEP (IAFN partner in Cameroon) to help organize analog forestry workshops and lobby and advocacy gatherings in Togo, Benin, Uganda, Ghana and Cameroon. What is, in your opinion, the biggest obstacle for women in Cameroon? The biggest obstacle for women in Cameroon is the patriarchal nature of the society in which the women live. They have to cope with the tradition and culture of their various social norms that keep them from carrying out one activity or the other. These range from economic, political and socio- cultural activities considering the fact that women represent the majority in terms of the population. Do you feel supported by the government and stakeholders for your initiatives? Cameroon, like most countries around the globe, has made some major international commitments regarding the issue of gender equity and women’s empowerment. It is important at this point to underscore that much of the progress is only visible in the major cities of the country; the rural areas are seriously in need of these initiatives. Where do environmental problems and gender issues overlap in Cameroon?
Land and ownership rights are the key elements that link women and gender issues to the environment. Rural women constitute the majority of the population in the rural setting and therefore rely heavily on the land for their livelihoods. Any action therefore that impedes women from acquiring or owning land impedes on the positive development of women in general and by extension the family, since in Cameroon, some women are the sole bread-winners. Several organizations in the Northwest region, especially, have grouped themselves into a coalition known as the North West Land Observatory (NWLO) whose role is to accompany women and other marginalized groups in society to engage with policy stakeholders involved in formulating and implementing land policy to integrate women’s issues.
More workshops with ADAR just outside Managua
In February 2018, by invitation of our friends from the Agroecological Regional AssociationADAR, AF trainer Jean Arnold led a two day Analog Forestry workshop with members of the bio intensive movement, diverse ngo’s, producers and youth, providing an interactive and educational experience for all. On the second day, a special treat involved visiting the Montibelli private reserve, a dry tropical forest 30 minutes from Managua. Analog Forestry fits in well with the growing permaculture and bio intensive movement in Nicaragua. Participants were introduced to the Analog Forestry methodology, application of the physionomic formula, AF design and use of data bases, concluding with a seed exchange and plans for continued collaboration with ADAR in the near future.
Women led kitchen gardens going strong
On the northern coast of Honduras, in the Garifuna community of Ceiba Moncho and Salado Barra, kitchen gardens are being supported by GAGGA with technical support from an IAFN trainer. Women are working together designing and growing their own kitchen gardens to increase biodiversity, encourage food security and to have a forum to exchange understandings, issues of the region and to save and share seeds. In this process the Analog Forestry methodology is shared and implemented in the growing of gardens and plant nurseries, creating a base for exchange of knowledge between the women and their families. The results and stories resulting from women saving and planting seeds with passion while being a part of the solution to climate change is exciting. Each of the participants pledges to bring in 2 more in an area where food is not abundant due to the banana companies occupying a large portion of the agricultural land.

Beginning 2018, IAFN, along with the Foundation for the Development of the Central Volcanic Range (FUNDECOR), led five workshops with producers from the communities of El Roble, Chilamate, Río Magdalena Settlement and La Delia in the Sarapiquí region of Costa Rica. The objective of these workshops: to observe the forest and put into practice the Analog Forestry methodology to restore forests while promoting economic opportunities for rural communities.  AF trainer Milo Bekins and Gabriel Villalta, also member of the FUNDECOR team, led the workshops. These activities are part of a project managed by the Association Costa Rica por Siempre and carried out by @Fundecor and our network, with funds from the US-CR Nature Debt Exchange.

This newsletter is supported by BothENDS // Global Alliance for Green and Gender Action
The IAFN Secretariat along with its four Training Centers in Sri Lanka, Cameroon, Bolivia and Costa Rica integrate the Analog Forestry (AF) methodology with the women’s rights and environmental justice agendas.Both seek to unite and strengthen womens’ and grassroots organizations’ capacity to promote and enhance the right to clean water, healthy food, and a clean and safe environment.

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