Pasantía publicado por: CRACYP - Progreso Verde
Publicado el: 19/01/2013
Our sugar cane farmers' cooperative sells fair trade, organic alcohol, produced on around 300 farms in 26 communities at altitudes varying from 300m to 1400m above sea level. To distill the alcohol, the farmers need sufficient flow of water on each farm throughout the year. No water = unable to distil alcohol = no income. Solving water supply issues makes the difference between seasonal poverty and a fair income all year round, and managing the vegetation in watersheds above the farms is a key part of this. To maintain fair trade certification, the farmers must plant 10 trees for each one they cut down.
Water management analyses of individual farms will highlight those lacking sufficient rainfall and suggest solutions, which may include planting more trees in watersheds. In these cases, forestry interns will identify the most appropriate species. By visiting watersheds receiving a high level of rainfall and those not attracting sufficient rainfall, interns will identify the "best" trees to plant – bearing in mind the altitude, soil type and other factors impacting each individual watershed.
Other forestry issues include the need for firewood, ecotourism potential, wildlife habitat and food security (i.e. production of fruits or nuts), and forestry interns will also consider these issues in their recommendations. Depending on the time of year you are here, you will either collect suitable seeds or cuttings, or leave recommendations for future reforestation volunteers to follow, so that appropriate species can be cultivated in our tree nursery. At the appropriate time of year, the relevant seedlings/saplings will then be handed over to the farms for planting.
This is a great opportunity for those studying forestry to gain practical field experience in a developing country. Interns will participate in monthly development workshops and may help with a range of environmental and development projects as well as carrying out their own forestry project.
Forestry internships are available for 4 to 12 weeks, any time between February and November. Interns will be based mostly in the organic sugar cane farming communities in the western foothills of the Andes, a beautiful area with a subtropical climate.