[UPDATE 14/02] New numbers on how far we have come are in the update section!
What is the challenge?
Despite the vital role as our planet´s life support system, the Amazon is still under threat from logging, mining and slash and burn traditions. Huge areas have been destroyed, and lack of resources force people to live on as little as $2 a day. Official statistics show that 60% of the children suffer from malnutrition.
Who are we?
The crees foundation is a conservation and sustainable development not-for-profit organisation, that works to reduce poverty and protect biodiversity in the Amazon rainforest.
crees` sustainable community project was founded as a response to these challenges in the Amazon. Through a combination of local knowledge and scientific research, we seek to protect the biodiversity of the forest while helping the local community improve their health and living standard through sustainable practices.
With help from the local community leader Reynaldo Ochoa (-watch the video in our gallery!) and the Environmental Change Institute at Oxford University, we have created a model that enables the community to benefit from the rainforest in a sustainable way.
Over the last three years the innocent foundation has helped us with our mission, but our funding ends March 2013. We have created a blueprint of our model, but to scale this up and inspire communities all over Amazon, there is a lot more work to do. That is why we need your help!
How do we meet the challenges?
We build biogardens with local families to combat malnutrition using sustainable practices. crees provides resources and knowledge to produce organic fresh fruit, herbs and vegetables, ordinarily not included in diets at all, in their own backyards. These go straight to the family table and provide extra income from the surplus. In stage two we want to support up to 30 biogardens with roofs protecting them from rain, leeched soil and flooding.
We plant agroforestry plots with local farmers where native Amazon trees are planted alongside banana crops. This is a sustainable wood and crop production alternative, which conserves surrounding forest from logging activity, and protects species biodiversity. It also creates carbon credits that can be sold to provide a further income for the project to invest in more trees.
We build knowledge and capacity through one to one training and workshops on small enterprises, sustainability and resource management.
We take the lessons learned with us into stage two. Now we want to strengthen the foundation of the project, and make expertise and resources more accessible by:
- Building a nursery that can house seedlings, fertilizer and provide a place where expertise and resources are readily available.
- Supporting the Technical Institute with a course in Natural Resource Management
- Helping families create a co-op for their agroforestry plots and biogardens - strenghtening internal cooperation and enhancing revenue by collectively supplying local lodges and tourist establishments.
- Building roofs for up to 30 of the biogardens
- Planting up to 50 hectares of agroforestry plots
So far we have:
- Positively affected the lives of 500 people
- Built 57 biogardens
- Planted 15 agroforestry plots
- Planted 10,000 trees
- Positively sequestrated more than 55 tons of carbon from the atmosphere
- Undertaken one to one training and capacity building workshops that build local expertise
- Built biogardens with the local primary school and planted agroforestry plots with the local Technical Institute
We are well along the path to our ultimate goal, a self-dependent, economically and environmentally sustainable future for the Manu community. However, there´s still a lot of work to be done, and to make the community truly sustainable we need your help.
What we can do with your help!
We have finished stage one, which has been a milestone in itself. Now we need to ensure that the platform we have built is developed and ready to inspire others.
With your help we can scale up and:
- Plant up to 10 more biogardens a year
- Build up to 30 roofs for the biogardens
- Plant up to 50 hectares of agroforestry plots
- Kickstart the most commited families to create a co-op for the agroforestry plots and biogardens.
- Build a nursery where we can produce seedlings and organic fertilizer, a place providing readily available resources, tools, and expertise
- Hold more workshops to support local knowledge on sustainability, small enterprises and resource management
- Develop the local Technical Institute with a course in Natural Resource Management and Eco-tourism, supporting both general Peruvian and local expertise on sustainability
By donating you will help generate healthier and more positive guardians of the forest, ensure sustainable development for the people of the Manu Biosphere Reserve, and enable us to fully develop our model of sustainable agriculture, so we can do our bit to create a more sustainable Amazon.