Partner Focus: Venezuelan community works together to install plant nurseries
Provita explains how the local community of El Horcón will restore the Macanao Peninsula’s forests by growing native tree species
Throughout February and March 2011 World Land Trust (WLT) partner Provita and the community of El Horcón worked hand in hand to install three plant nurseries to grow native tree species that will be planted in the threatened dry forests of Macanao Peninsula, Margarita Island. Organic vegetables will also be grown at the nurseries to be sold at community markets and it is hoped this will provide sustainable income for the local people. The nurseries were designed and developed with support from Dr Alexis Bermudez, who received the United Nations Equator Prize for his work on conservation and community development through the creation of plant nurseries. The plant nurseries were designed to suit the community’s needs, as well as the rough local terrain and the limited availability of resources. To overcome the dry climate and rough ground an irrigation system was installed in each nursery to use water more efficiently.
Restoring Venezuela’s Dry forests
Dry forests are considered a Critically Endangered (CR) ecosystem and also the most threatened habitat in Venezuela, according to the Red Book of Terrestrial Ecosystems of Venezuela. In Macanao Peninsula, dry forests are severely threatened by sand mining, an exploitation activity that removes the vegetation cover and also the soil, making it harder for the ecosystem to recover. Dry forest degradation is a very important factor affecting the conservation status of several species, like the Margarita Deer and the Yellow Shouldered Parrot. Provita believes that the creation of these plant nurseries and the production of native species for restoration are crucial to conserving Macanao’s biodiversity.