By Kame Westerman, Project Coordinator. From Friday to Sunday a group of fishers from Diego (in northern Madagascar) visited to learn about Velondriake’s creation, evolution, and activities. The group of 13 visited sea cucumber and algae farmers , a permanent reserve and a temporary reserve, in addition to lots of training and knowledge sharing at the new Velondriake information center. The trip, sponsored by Conservation International, was intended to show the fishers how a community managed area works so that the model can be replicated in their community.
The Andavadoaka women’s association generally cooks lunch for Blue Ventures once per expedition. This last weekend, however, lunch was special: the association, in cooperation with an NGO based in Morombe, used the sun to cook our food. Using two parabolic dishes, which direct the sun’s heat into the center, the women cooked beans and beef. Meanwhile, rice was cooked on a ‘conservation stove’, which is designed to reduce fuel consumption by about 90%.
In Velondriake, most families cook three meals a day on an open fire, requiring a great deal of firewood. Pressure on the nearby forests is high, and affects this important habitat. Promoting improved methods of cooking food helps to relieve pressure on the forests and provides an alternative when fuelwood is scarce.
This lunch also provided the women a venue to showcase their new (and much improved) embroidery and tailoring.