06 05 08 Implementation with comments

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Implementation of the working programme on grazing in Socotra: 

Implementation of the working programme on grazing in Socotra Summary of activities April, 2008


Background IUCN nomination vs. goat “problem” Position paper: review of the long-term impact of goats on the island and their crucial importance for the pastoralist population Previous experiences: grazing and livestock management, mitigation measures (nurseries)


Action - Research 1. Protection by excluding livestock: Action – Research Difficult management of exclosures (>100 m²) Experimentation with small exclosures (<1 m²) around individual tree seedlings already present


Action - Research 2. Planting and protection of existing endemic trees - shrubs on the edges of home gardens (ongoing, will be further taken up in collaboration with Triangle and Czech Brno University team)


Action - Research 3. In collaboration with honey project (late 2008 onwards) develop so-called ‘bee-gardens’ (areas surrounding bee hives protecting them from intruders, including goats). Action - Research

Today’s meeting: 

Today’s meeting Purpose: To inform about the advances in the implementation of the programme during the month of April, 2008 To exchange impressions, suggestions and knowledge To use feedback as a base for the implementation of the coming weeks’ activities

Schedule of activities: 

Schedule of activities


Skand Purpose of visit: home gardens Remarks: A 1-year-old dracaena transplanted to garden from the wild. A clear awareness for the protection of young trees from grazing cattle People reported not knowing what to do with some of the horticultural produce (cabbage), thus feeding it to goats


Diksam Purpose of visit: Home gardens, nursery and exclosures Exclosure: Seems to work fine, though signs of goats entering and nibbing on some dracaenas Remarks: Diksam shows the highest diversity of naturally occurring endemic plant species in home gardens (very few specimens have been planted)


Fermihin Purpose of visit: exclosure Remarks: The exclosure shows signs of failure as a monitoring site reflected by the state of abandonment of the research equipment and fence Effective protection of individual trees doubtful due to the remoteness of the area People feed blossoms of Dracaenas to goats!!!


Qa’ara Purpose of visit: home gardens, nursery and exclosures Exclosures: 56 exclosures with 8-month-old commiphoras. Remarks: “Goats are not much of a problem as water is. This is especially true for cuttings which we try to make grow at our nursery. They need a lot of water, and we don’t have enough. Goats don’t eat thick trees (like cuttings), therefore, they have a potential advantage over seedlings, but are at great disadvantage when it comes to surviving with little water”.


Homhil Purpose of visit: home gardens, nursery and exclosures Exclosures: Don’t seem very successful, goats still enter to graze. Two reasons: deficient fences, lack of support by inhabitants Remarks: Some cuttings of Boswelia (elongata?) planted in a garden, all from the same tree. Consider the limited potential of re-growing them in same area for genetic variation. Striking shift from human-consumption oriented home gardening to livestock-oriented crop production


Hadibu Purpose of visit: home gardens and nursery Remarks: A very strict awareness-raising campaign over the importance/use of endemic trees in home gardens by Triangle proves successful at the protection of original vegetation cover A notorious waste of horticultural produce. Some reasons: lack of marketing strategies/motivation and too much produce for direct/immediate consumption. The need for exploring food processing and food preservation techniques (drying, conserves, etc)


Mummi Purpose of visit: honey bee gardens Remarks: Some areas of Mummi (where water is more easily available) show great potential as centers of protection of trees (as reflected by the initiative of a nursery) Very clear awareness of the services of trees for honey production as reflected by the very detailed information of variations in honey quality and taste with respect to specific trees’ flowers (e.g. adenium produces bitter honey)

Summary of potentials: 

Summary of potentials Home gardens clearly reflect a big potential for in-situ conservation of (naturally occurring and planted) trees People report being aware of many of the benefits from the direct and indirect services of trees/shrubs The practice of this form of protection seems to be spreading rapidly amongst people

Frequent tree species found in gardens: 

Frequent tree species found in gardens

Summary of constrains: 

Summary of constrains Questionable rationality (and potential for success) of nursing/planting tree species in an alien habitat The potential threat to plant species diversity and water resources caused by the shifting from home gardening to fodder cropping Some areas will need more frequent monitoring (e.g. more frequent maintenance of fences, land ownership disputes, etc)


Discussion How to use the clear appreciation by inhabitants of the services of trees and shrubs in favor of the programme’s aims? Water, a significant issue in the protection of seedlings/cuttings Success of the programme implementation highly dependent on regional climatic conditions (re. fences, survival potential of young trees/shrubs)


Discussion The importance of awareness-rising in issues other than the protection of trees (see home gardening and the deficiencies of the current production systems) Logistical aspects of implementation for the coming weeks

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