One Million Hour Tree planting project with youth volunteers to reduce land degradation and build resilience to climate change with increased knowledge skills and experiences for participation and leadership in conservation work
Million Hour Palm, is a project designed to invest 1 million man hours in an environmental project by creating or enhancing green spaces in all communities around Dominica. Dominica has been dubbed the nature island of the Caribbean due to its lush green environment and many natural attractions. However the topography of the island makes it prone to a number of natural disasters such as floods, landslides and erosion. Dominica’s forest also contains a wide variety of flowers and ferns some of which are considered to be indigenous to the island and also endangered.
Prompted by a realization that land erosion and floods were increasing and occurred in many parts of the country side, the government of Dominica issued a call two years ago for Dominicans to undertake a natural beautification and environmental protection program in order to preserve the pristine environment of the nature island. After two years very little has been achieved thus this project speaks to the youth of Dominica to get involved in a two year program which will respond to the need to mitigate against land erosion while creating green spaces that will in turn conserve and enhance the natural environment. The project will also seek to promote Dominica’s world heritage sites (the Morne Trois Piton National Park) and to draw attention to the needs to protect the habitats of many of our wildlife species some of which are quickly moving to extinction.
1.2. Organizational Background and Capacity to implement the Project:
Generation of Opportunities (GO) Inc. is a non-partisan, non-profit, non-denominational regional youth organisation that develops youth holistically. It is a legally registered entity under the laws of the Commonwealth of Dominica and has conducted many local and regional programs.
Generation of Opportunities is run by a regional board of directors that stem from various islands in the region namely, St. Kitts, Grenada, Guyana, Guadeloupe, St. Vincent and Dominica. It is the parent to the branches that are operational on other islands and here in Dominica which bears the name of their country (GO Dominica).
GO Dominica is also functional by a local board of directors that are versed in various fields, the organisation has been very successful in conducting several regional projects through partnerships with other NGOs. GO continues to form partnerships and now facilitates programs on behalf of a global network.
1.3. Project Objectives and Expected Results:
Million Hour Tree Planting, has already sensitized scores of youth organisations around the country including Scouts, Girl Guides, churches, and sports groups, as well as village councils and P.T.A’s to
participate in the program. The project has also been endorsed by various government ministries including the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, ministry of Youth, the ministry of Public Works and ministry of Tourism.
The main objective of the project is to allow the youth of the country to invest 1 million man hours into beautifying Dominica while creating green spaces in all communities around Dominica. Due to its lush green environment and many natural attractions, the need to preserve the topography of the island is of key importance as the land is prone to natural disasters such as floods, landslides and erosion.
The project will establish 12 plant nurseries around the island to propagate exotic plants for beautification and land protection. Two agronomists one tourism officer as well as three forest officers have agreed to be attached to the steering committee, in order to assist in the management of the project and advice on the best practise to be employed in the execution of the activities.
They have also committed to providing training in plant propagation and establishment of forest trees and plants. This is particularly important in regards to the activities to be undertaken within the natural parks of Dominica.
Various village and Urban councils will be sensitized to work in collaboration with the youth organisations within their respective communities to identify areas where green spaces and beautification hedges will be established, individual families will be encouraged to beautify their home surroundings which will culminate in a natural village beautification competition to later be judged at various levels and promoted throughout the media and throughout the life of the project.
It is expected that the results shown at the end of the project will be phenomenal as the youth and villages will be proud to have invested one Million man hours towards the beautification of their country. The project would have also served to preserve the land from erosion and depravation.
1.4. Description of Project Activities
This project focuses on the planting of trees, plants, scrubs and various other exotic plants in the green spaces created along the coast, inland, and in various communities particularly at the entrance and exit of villages and main roads across the island. The project will involve youth from across the island and get them involved with after school activities, that will keep them occupied and to help build credits for graduation among the 5th formers and college graduates.
The project will also teach the participants propagation methods as well as strategies for the maintenance of programmes geared towards environmental preservation.
Training programs are also to be undertaken in the areas of team building and leadership. This will be geared towards building a cadre of youth leaders who will lead the effort towards ensuring the sustainability of the project after its full implementation.
1.5. Implementation Plan and Time-frame
During the program, there will be strategic time frames in which the measuring of the man hours will be calculated, recorded and distributed to the various stakeholders, organising bodies and organisations. The project will document various milestones:
1. The planting of the first plant/tree.
2. The first 250,000 man hours
3. The half mark man hours
4. The 750,000 man hours
5. The million man hours
6. The gender putting in the most man hours
7. The community with the most individuals participating
To every milestone a report will be presented to all stakeholders as well as the photographs and evaluation of every period.
1.6. Plan to Ensure Community Participation
All communities have been integrally placed to be involved in the process, village councils, schools, youth groups, organizations through their direct involvement and inclusion in the planning, design and implementation of the project. Communities have been engaged in identifying areas to be targeted.
The sustainability of the project will depend on their continued maintenance of keeping their village entry and exit clean and green.
1.7. Knowledge Management
With the forestry division, tourism, agriculture, ministry of environmental along with the various youth organizations and local authorities, involved in each phase of the project, the management aspect of the project will ensure that public knowledge of its various stages and milestones are publicised and documented.
A monthly radio programme will be instrumental in keeping the general public updated on the achievements of the project. A full documentation of the project will be recorded for posterity. A project magazine will also be published at the end of the project to include photos and articles highlighting every phase of the project. This will be distributed among all relevant stakeholders.
A complete report on the management and implementation of the project will also be developed at the end of the project steaming form a project log which will be kept throughout the life of the project.
1.8. Gender Mainstreaming
During the implementation process, there will be many volunteers that will give of their time and resources to ensure that the target is met. Both genders will participate in the project. Incentives will be offered to encourage both genders to participate in the project and the most committed male and female participants in various communities will be adequately recognized and rewarded.
1.9. Communication of Results and Replication
The production and publication of two work books targeting primary school students will serve as tangible tools for replication of the project. The colouring book as well as the work book will target different age groups but will contain illustrations featuring different phases of the project. The publication will be geared towards promoting environmental preservation and an appreciation for the natural environment among students.
The development of a two hour television documentary developed for footage obtained throughout the life of the project will also serve as a tangible tool which will aid in replication. The documentary will be used to inspire secondary and tertiary students as well as community based organizations and even the General Public towards volunteerism, community service as well as environmental preservation.
Finally it is anticipated that the project would foster the development of an annual community beatification programme under the guidance and leadership of the Ministry of environment. The programme could take the form of a tidy community competition where various communities would be compete at various levels. This would ensure some level of sustainability for the continuation of certain aspects of the project long after its lifespan.
SECTION B: PROJECT RISKS, MONITORING & EVALUATION
2.1. Risks to Successful Implementation
The major risk factor which could inhabit the implementation of this project would be natural disasters as well as pest and disease. Floods and landslides could affect nurseries as well as establishments. In an effort to mitigate against these circumstances, every effort will be made to establish planting material nurseries in sheltered areas where the impact of natural disasters will be minimal.
Secondly the establishment of green spaces and other planting activities will be undertaken outside of the hurricane season in an effort to allow the propagated plants to properly establish themselves before being affected by hash climate conditions.
Lack of community participation is another area which could potentially impact negatively on the success of the project. GO has begun to sensitize its partner youth organisations as well as local authorities around the island to ensure sustained participation throughout the life of the project and beyond.
The village beautification competition is also expectation to be used as a motivational mechanism for ensuring participation at the community level.
GO will also collaborate with the local media to undertake an extensive sensitization and promotions campaign about the project.
2.2. Monitoring, Evaluation Plan and Indicators
The project will be managed by a mixed management committee which will comprise of the director of GO as the project coordinator, two forestry officers, one tourism officer, two youth representatives and two local authority representatives.
The management committee is expected to meet monthly to take decisions about the implementation of the project. The day and day operations of the project will be the responsibility of the coordinator who will be based at a small secretariat manned by herself and a secretary, two field officers will also be attached to the project to assist with Implementation Island wide.
The data referring to the investment of volunteering man hours will be collected during the project and calculated on a quarterly basis to ensure that one million hours had been undertaken within the life of the project. This will be a major form of evaluation for the project, the outlook of various established green spaces and community beautification projects will also determine the success or failure of the project.
The general public will also be given the opportunity to evaluate the program using various talk shows and written articles in the local media. Community consultations in some of the larger villages and around the island will also be employed as a mechanism of evaluation.
All materials and media coverage done for the project will bear the logo and name and logo of GEF as well as other significant partners who will collaborate with GO in the execution of the project.
2.3 Communication and Visibility Plan
A regular live radio programme will be used to highlight the achievements of the project as well as to allow for the general public to provide an ongoing evaluation of the project.
Billboards displaying the name of various communities as well as the GEF and GO logos will be erected at the entrance of each community participating in the project.
T-Shirts displaying the logos of GEF and GO and the Million hour Palm Project will be provided to volunteers to wear during the undertaking of the project. Articles relating the progress of the project will be developed for publication in local and regional news papers.
A website will be developed to feature the progress on the project as well as to invite comments and suggestions from the general public locally and further afield.
Small tokens such as pens and pencils will be printed with the Million hour Palm logo as well as GEF and GO logos and distributed island wide.
Updates will be given to the local media during press conferences called to highlight various milestones arrived at on the project.
2.4. Sustainability of Results Achieved
At the end of the project life the established nurseries will remain under the control of the trained propagators from the project who will collaborate with the Division of Forestry and the environment to continue the production of planting material.
It is anticipated that the planting materials produced will be sold to the public as an income generator to help sustain the concepts introduced by the project around the country. Individual and groups of youths will be encouraged to go into small businesses to support this type of activities and support will be sought for those interested.
|Mr System Administrator|