No. 96 Highlights of the Rainforest Saver AGM
By Patrick Miller | Ultimas Noticias No. 96 September 2019

We try to give an overview of who we are, what we do and how are finances are at the AGMs. We thought that you might like to see it too.

Highlights of the Rainforest Saver AGM 2019

By Patrick Miller

This was held on 19th August in this solid and austere looking building in Edinburgh in the LiveCode offices located therein.

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However it was warm and cozy inside and the boring bit on the election of officers and last year’s minutes was soon disposed of. 

The officers remain

Antony Melville (Chairman), Tiiu Miller (Secretary), Patrick Miller (treasurer), Sally Marullo (committee member), Paul Messing (committee member)

One highlight was Antony’s presentation on Ecuador. There is an exciting new possibility here.  Ermel Chavez who is the leader of the Ecuador projects had applied to the Regional Government for funds to firstly develop the Inga project as an organic farming network, secondly undertake research e.g. soil tests and thirdly create a market for organic products grown in the Inga alleys.

Patrick Miller  presented the accounts for the year to April 2019, showing that, after some bumpy passages, we ended up with £19,883 in hand, having given out grants totaling £48,009. The financial prospects for next year were very good as we had received a large and unexpected legacy.  He then gave thumbnail sketches of the people receiving the grants and what they did.

Not all of them are featured here but among them were:

Gaston Bityo, our head of operations in Cameroon.

 

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Amidst his other work, the highlight of his year was an international trip to Sierra Leone where he introduced Inga alley cropping and in return learned about bee-keeping.

 

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Inga pods getting ready to travel, young seedlings germinating in Sierra Leone, and bee suit.

Pastor Nsandah Forzong, who had to leave Cameroon and seek refuge in Kenya, but, despite this was going ahead with starting Inga alley cropping in that country.

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Pastor Nsandah

Professor Alphonse Tabouguie, in Cameroon, who has done some good work in the neighbourhood of Kumba

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Atanga Wilson Nebafor, who has worked for us in a highly organized and efficient manner for several years.  He continued his work with schools, followed up farmers near Buea and contacted two other organisation

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Atanga Wilson

Marco, working in Honduras with farmers on the very steep slopes of the Cangrejal valley.

 

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Marco’s farmers cultivate steep hillsides

 There was one good harvest during the year but unfortunately some cows ate it. However, he was undeterred.

Linus Arong Melike working in forest villages in South West Cameroon

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Linus Arong

This is a brave man and clearly a good leader.  Despite having his home village including his house burned down and having to move his family to the town of Kumba, he has managed to go to 11 villages in the back of beyond and get 13,000 seedlings planted.  His technique is to get the whole village involved in growing Inga and Tiiu showed video clips of teams of villagers planting Inga seeds.  All those watching them were most impressed and a remark was heard ‘that’s the way to get things done!’

 

In correspondence Linus had expressed great concern about the poaching that is going on in the national parks or reserves. There is much unrest in Cameroon at present and that is making it very hard for the authorities to do anything about it. He wants us to supply a cassava grating machine (cost about £450) to each village to make it easier to process cassava, including cassava grown in the Inga plots and, more generally to afford the villagers greater financial support. He wrote that, if this was done, it would be easier to set up committees to stop the killing of wild animals and to encourage Inga alley cropping rather than slash and burn farming. Those present at the AGM were uncertain about the possible value of the extra expenditure, considering that our resources are always limited and Inga alley cropping is what will give the most lasting benefit.  What do you think? We would love to hear from you. Just click Reply to this email to comment.

 

All in all it was a heart-warming and encouraging meeting which gave us good grounds for optimism in the year ahead.

If you want to join us there is a membership form on our website (www.rainforestsaver.org). Next year our AGM will be in London.

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