1 Find funds to realize the first phase
Our first phase needs 76.000 euro to be realized. For this budget land will be bought, a headquarter will be build including the first tree nursery and an education centre.
2 Buy land and build an eco-dome
A headquarter including an office is needed for our team to able to run our project. We have chosen to apply the so called ‘earthbag building’ technique to realize our buildings. This is a cheap and sustainable way to build. We will supply these eco-dome(s) with solar energy. For more information about eco-domes take a look at our other project (which was only in concept).
3 Build seed banks
To store and keep the collected seeds in the best possible quality, eco-domes are the perfect solution. The walls of an eco-dome are around 40 cm thick and provide a very cool and dark space. This is the best condition to keep your seeds stored. Storing seeds this way will make sure most of the seeds will actually germinate when seeded in the pilot area. The technique of earthbag buildings is making it possible to create seed banks in villages further inland where it is really hot. We are able to store large amounts of seeds without cooling them with electricity, a very sustainable solution.
4 Start national campaign to collect seeds
Our seeding operations will be massive, so we need tons of seeds to start our new forests and grasslands. The only way to gather such an incredible amount of seeds, is to work together with all the Gambians. We will build seed banks spread in villages over the country. Local people sell their seeds to our seed banks. In this way we provide jobs in the very poor regions of the Gambia. To create our won transport network between our project areas, the tree farms and the seed banks, we need trucks and 4×4’s. The campaign to gather seeds will take a full year to make sure we have enough seeds in stock, when we start plowing and seeding.
5 Start more tree farms
Together with local people we will buy land to start our mega tree farms. To speed up the proces a bit and make sure the trees are stronger we need to seed and to plant millions of young trees. In our farms we will grow different trees to keep the diversity of plants and trees. The tree farms produce millions of trees every year and provide many jobs for local people, especially women and the poorest people.
6 Find more funds in Europe and USA
As our project grows bigger we have to pay more people. We pay the people who work on our tree farms, in transport and at the seedbanks. But also the thousands of people that will sell us the seeds that we need. Besides these costs we also have to import tractors, 4×4’s and other working materials we need to design our new forests. It is important that we keep looking for funds to expand our work.
7 Make agreement over project area
Together with the government we will decide which areas will be best to start with. Depending of the funds we have and the amounts of seeds we have in stock we can decide what the surface of the project location will be. If we decided where to seed, we will visit the villages and discuss the plans with the Alkalo’s (village elders) and do a presentation about the project. We show them the possibilities and benefits that this project has to offer to their villages. We will need everybody’s full support because these people are also the ones who will have to protect this forest in the future. If they help us building it with passion, they will protect it with passion, is our theory.
8 Import tractors, 4×4’s and other tools
The more tractors we have, the more ditches we can dig and the more seeds we can seed. The more seeds we can seed every year, the more surface of dry regions we can regreen. So it is important that we have enough tractors (to dig the ditches), trucks (to transport seeds) and 4×4’s to carry the team members to our project locations. We need to have 8 tractors and plows so we are able to convert at least 200 hectares per day. We also need a place were we can park our vehicles for maintenance.
9 Plow and seed project area
When we have all the tools and vehicles we need, we can start reforesting. The tractors will make hectares of ditches everyday and the villages will fill up the ditches with cow manure and seeds. After that they will cover it with a layer of soil. Our transporttrucks will bring the seeds from our seedbanks to the locations and the villagers are ready to go seeding. This will be a continue cycle of suply, seed, cover. We will continue seeding every day to cover as much area as possible. We will do this until the raining season and we need to go back to prevent our machines from getting stuck.
10 Start the circle again
Everything depends on incoming funds. If funds would not be a problem, we could expand this project to many other countries and cover millions of hectares in a few years. We need money to pay all the people who are involved. We need to train poor talented people from other countries and provide them the tools to copy this project in their region.