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Eden Reforestation Projects is an NGO that works with local communities to restore forests on a large scale, thus creating jobs, protecting important habitats, and helping to combat climate change. So far, the NGO has produced, planted, and protected over 977 million trees and established 266 project sites in 11 countries. Eden Reforestation Projects has also empowered over 11,500 employees with fair wages.
Eden Reforestation Projects works in some of the world’s most remote and politically unstable regions. The NGO has an unwavering commitment to saving lives and planting trees. The NGO also works to maintain planting levels even in civic unrest, severe weather conditions, wild animals, or any other situations.
Eden Reforestation Projects tries its best to restore the forest cover and leaf litter so that biodiversity returns and the environment begins to heal. Communities struggling with extreme poverty in restored regions are given employment and new opportunities for economic self-sufficiency, education, and improved health.
Eden Restoration Projects uses a bottom-up approach to carry out its mission. It begins with restoration projects by communicating with local communities and building relationships with the community leaders who want their environment to flourish. The local communities help guide the NGO to planting opportunities, build their people’s commitment to conserving and restoring the forests, and together overcome restoration hurdles.
Eden Restoration Projects provides economic incentives and easy planting methods to encourage and support the local communities in protecting and restoring their surroundings and economy. Its techniques and systems are simple so that local communities can follow them easily. The NGO puts the local community at the center of its work as it promotes a significant commitment to restoration and a sense of ownership to protect and preserve the environment in the long run. The success of Eden Restoration Projects and the local community becomes the same.
Eden Restoration Projects work on several projects- one of them is restoring Madagascar. Over 90 percent of the region’s main forests are destroyed, affecting the people living in extreme poverty the most. Only 10 percent of forests remain in Madagascar. According to estimates, around 1 or 2 percent of Madagascar’s remaining forests get destroyed every year. Approximately 80 or 90 percent of Madagascar’s land area is burnt annually.
Madagascar is today one of the most important biodiversity conservation priorities in the world because of its native species and extreme habitat loss rates. Restoration of Madagascar’s forests and habitats is essential because the destruction of most of the mangrove estuaries along the coastline has led to mudflats washing into the ocean. Thus, destroying several fisheries and increasing the vulnerability of fishing communities to floods, cyclones, and tsunamis. The destruction of habitats and forests threatens some of the world’s most unique and diverse species and forest systems. Around 75 percent of species are unique to Madagascar.
Due to the huge loss of mangroves in Madagascar, Eden Restoration Projects began to restore mangrove estuaries in Mahajanga in 2007. The NGO worked together with the local communities of Madagascar to clear the area of dead trees, select and collect a variety of endemic propagule species, and plant trees during the low tide.
5 or 6 years after the restoration in 2007, Eden Restoration Project’s work in Mahajanga, Madagascar, grew into a flourishing mangrove forest. This led to the return of several aquatic species and a healthy aquatic ecosystem. It started as a mangrove restoration project in 2007 but grew to include a large variety of upland dry deciduous forests in 2012.
Eden Restoration Projects works in Inland areas, coastal areas, and Madagascar’s protected nature reserves and parks. The coastal areas include northwest Madagascar. The work there includes mangrove restoration, providing stability against erosion, and improving the ocean’s health.
The restoration in Inland areas includes Northwest Madagascar as well. The work conducted there includes the ‘dry deciduous projects’ to restore and reforest land that was destroyed by slash and burn activities, restoring and expanding essential wildlife habitats, and providing stability to the land and protection against erosion and flooding events.
The restoration of protected natural reserves and parks includes the Ankarafantsika National Park. The work there includes the restoration of tropical dry deciduous forests. The national park is home to 8 species of vulnerable and endangered lemurs. Around 70 percent of the 820 plant species found in the national park are native to Madagascar.
Eden Restoration Projects works hard to protect forests and habitats even in the face of danger. For instance, a fire in the Ankarafantsika National Park burnt more than 1,500 hectares in September 2021. The fire department in Madagascar reached out to the NGO’s Madagascar project team for help as the fire began to spread and because of the project team’s experience in mitigating fires. The Madagascar project team gathered all the necessary tools like buckets, water packs, and shovels and joined the other firefighters.
Eden Restoration Projects train their teams in fire management to ensure that the trees planted are protected from such brutal events as they grow to maturity.
Eden Restoration Projects has established 93 project sites in Madagascar, making it the NGO’s most prolific restoration and poverty alleviation project nation. The NGO has extensive infrastructures like fire towers, seed banks, and guardhouses. They also have developed training centers for local nursey managers to obtain experience in seed management and efficient reforestation methods.