The Lake Albert region is a unique ecological zone with a rich array of biodiversity, from fungi to mountain gorillas, and over 42 bird species. Unfortunately, oil and gas exploration, large-scale agribusiness, and illegal logging have destroyed wildlife habitat and reduced indigenous tree cover.
Environmental Defenders has a track record of successful restoration to reverse habitat and species loss. Over the last three years, it has sustainably restored 75 acres, and supplied community partners with seedlings to plant an additional 100 acres of dry forest. The new restoration projects will focus on helping to regreen 450 acre additional acres by 2023.
Today, we’re thrilled to announce that Terraformation will partner with Environmental Defenders in restoring 450 acres of native savannah and dry grassland ecosystems. Terraformation will provide Environmental Defenders with an off-grid solar-powered seed bank and nursery, as well as botanical training to help scale up the organization’s restoration work and support a regional native seed hub.
This is part of the Environmental Defenders strategy on food sovereignty and expanding agroforestry. ED uses the nurseries to supply nearby farms with tropical fruit trees, like avocado, grapefruit, guava, and jackfruit, to support agroforestry businesses. But the existing nursery capacity can’t keep up with growing seedling demand. Though the region has no electrical grid, it receives 8 to 11 hours of sunlight most days, making it an ideal spot for Terraformation’s unique solar-powered seed bank and nursery equipment. The new seed bank and nursery will help ED meet even more seedling requests, and fulfill the goals of dry forest restoration. We intend to also provide seed banking services and serve as a hub for the community’s agricultural and reforestation efforts.
Communities throughout the Lake Albert region hold specialized medical knowledge based on native herbs and employ regionally adapted building techniques utilizing indigenous grasses. But recent large-scale commercial agriculture has reduced native species cover, making it difficult for communities to use their traditional knowledge. In addition to tree seedlings, ED will also propagate understory herbs and grasses critical to these local practices, helping to preserve cultural knowledge.