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International Palm Society – funding proposal for Tahina spectabilis, a most remarkable palm from Madagascar

Donation "packages" you may be interested in are available HERE

Kew Madagascar Conservation Centre, Ivandry, Antananarivo, Madagascar

Tahina spectabilis is a colossal, jaw-dropping, mind-boggling palm. It is also a magnificent ornamental that is proving easy to cultivate in many collections around the world.

Tahina has the reproductive strategy of an annual weed, yet it is a tree the size of a house that waits decades, or more, and then gambles all of its energy into producing one massive inflorescence and thousands of seeds, and then it dies. It is perhaps a ghost of evolution, that somehow persisted over millennia on a remote peninsula in NW Madagascar until its discovery in 2006. Whatever fluke of history led to its improbable survival, the species is now on the edge of extinction with less than 30 adults left in the wild.

The story of Tahina’s original discovery on the Anjajavy Peninsula and of a second population 80 kms away at Amparihibe, with a couple of adult trees, is detailed in Palms 52(1) and Palms 61(2). However, we will soon add a postscript, because Théophile Rajaonilaza, who discovered the second population at Amparihibe, has found several more sites with seedlings within a 50 km radius. Théophile is from the region and now works for the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew team in Madagascar looking after these sites. The original and main population on the Anjajavy Peninsula is secure and well looked after by the local community with the support of a local cashew plantation. However, there is no funding to secure the Amparihibe and satellite sites, none of which lie within protected areas.

We seek support from the International Palm Society to work with nine local communities on a programme of conservation and rural development that will make them the guardians of the species and bring tangible benefits in return. Madagascar is the poorest country in the World not in armed conflict and even small amounts of money can make significant improvements to peoples’ lives. We have done some work in Amparihibe, including digging a well and introducing cultivation of yams to improve diets and food security. The villagers are keen to work with us and conserve Tahina, as it occurs in a 6 ha fragment of forest which they consider to be sacred. We seek funding that will enable us to work with the second village at Amparihibe and implement agroforestry and forest restoration, buffering the site and linking it to other forest fragments.

Amparihibe and satellite sites are too small to consider for protected area status. Conservation will be through contracts and forest management plans with community management associations, which is standard practice in Madagascar for state-owned forests. We will help the communities to establish their associations and provide forest management training.

Your support could fund:

$75 Equipping a community with at least one solar panel, battery pack, light and mobile phone

$500 Digging one well

$500 Starting yam cultivation with 50 families (equivalent to one village)

$500 Buying fruit trees and fertilizer for 50 families to improve food security

$500 Building a tree nursery and training village technicians

$300 100 person days gathering seeds or planting trees (vital income in a subsistence economy)

$1000 Distributing 200 seedlings (from a previous fruiting) to various protected sites in the region

$1000 Yearly running costs for Théophile to coordinate management with the communities (e.g. mobile phone and internet costs, motorbike fuel, subsistence etc.)

100% of donations received will be spent on the conservation of Tahina.

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Remnants of vegetation and soils exposed to erosion after slash-and-burn activity near Amparahibe, Madagascar (Photo by David Rabehevitra, KMCC).

 

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Local villagers at the new Tahina site, near Amparahibe, Madagascar (Photo by David Rabehevitra, KMCC).

 

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Rokiman Letsara with juvenile plants of Tahina spectabilis, near Amparahibe, Madagascar (Photo by David Rabehevitra, KMCC).

 

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Fences built by local people to keep grazing zebu out of the tsingy, to stop them trampling Tahina seedlings at Antsingilava, Madagascar (Photo by Lauren Gardiner, RBG Kew).

 

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Young woman from the local village, Antanamarina, maintaining part of the firebreak around Antsingilava, Madagascar (Photo by Lauren Gardiner, RBG Kew)

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Guest Robert Blenker

Fantastic work!  This is exciting and checks all of the boxes for sustainable conservation.  Count on my support!

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Cindy Adair

Many thanks to all involved in this project so far, but especially to Dean Ouer, our PalmTalk moderator, John Dransfield for coordinating with Kew Madagascar and all those who have already donated money and many hours of time.
 

And to the residents of Madagascar who appreciate and protect these rare trees.

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Kim

It is very exciting to see the IPS directly support conservation and urban development in the villages around the Tahina populations.  I am ecstatic! 

Many thanks and congratulations to the International Palm Society Board of Directors, in particular John Dransfield, Cindy Adair,  and PalmTalk moderator Dean Ouer for creating this opportunity to reach out a helping hand to one of the poorest nations on the planet where these small villages work to protect a very special palm.

I purchased a "Gold package" and will wear my t-shirt with pride.

I hope you will join me in support of this effort, at any level you can.

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JasonD

I'm very excited to help support the community around Antsingilava and the habitat of Tahina spectabilis.

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PALM MOD
1 hour ago, JasonD said:

I'm very excited to help support the community around Antsingilava and the habitat of Tahina spectabilis.

Thanks a million for the Trophy Package Purchase. With your help, we are having a decent roll out for the Project. Hope you are doing well.

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PALM MOD
2 hours ago, Kim said:

It is very exciting to see the IPS directly support conservation and urban development in the villages around the Tahina populations.  I am ecstatic! 

Many thanks and congratulations to the International Palm Society Board of Directors, in particular John Dransfield, Cindy Adair,  and PalmTalk moderator Dean Ouer for creating this opportunity to reach out a helping hand to one of the poorest nations on the planet where these small villages work to protect a very special palm.

I purchased a "Gold package" and will wear my t-shirt with pride.

I hope you will join me in support of this effort, at any level you can.

Kim - Mahalo for your Package Purchase and also for your help behind the scenes helping to get this Project off the ground. 

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PALM MOD
7 hours ago, Cindy Adair said:

Many thanks to all involved in this project so far, but especially to Dean Ouer, our PalmTalk moderator, John Dransfield for coordinating with Kew Madagascar and all those who have already donated money and many hours of time.
 

And to the residents of Madagascar who appreciate and protect these rare trees.

Just so everyone knows - this Project would not have happened if not for Cindy. 

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PALM MOD
8 hours ago, Guest Robert Blenker said:

Fantastic work!  This is exciting and checks all of the boxes for sustainable conservation.  Count on my support!

Robert - what a surprise and how nice to see you here. Don't be a stranger - please.

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Elvis Cruz

Thanks and congratulations to all who worked on launching this effort.

I have been to Madagascar, where I saw the natives cutting down rainforest trees for firewood.  It made me realize an important detail that those of us living in economically advantaged countries may not understand:

Environmentalism is a luxury.

It's easy for us to bemoan the slash and burn practices in places like Madagascar, but those people are doing it to survive.   

This Tahina conservation effort is a good start in the right direction.   

It was my honor to make a donation.

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PALM MOD
10 minutes ago, Elvis Cruz said:

Thanks and congratulations to all who worked on launching this effort.

I have been to Madagascar, where I saw the natives cutting down rainforest trees for firewood.  It made me realize an important detail that those of us living in economically advantaged countries may not understand:

Environmentalism is a luxury.

It's easy for us to bemoan the slash and burn practices in places like Madagascar, but those people are doing it to survive.   

This Tahina conservation effort is a good start in the right direction.   

It was my honor to make a donation.

Well said Elvis and your donation is truly appreciated.

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knell

thank you for this effort, happy to help preserve a legendary palm and support all those involved

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bgl

Dean (and Cindy),

Thanks a lot for all your efforts to get this going. Wonderful and very exciting news! :) I just purchased the Tahina Supporter package (and Dean, I also just sent you a PM).

Aloha from a dedicated Tahina grower!:greenthumb:

Bo-Göran

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waykoolplantz
4 hours ago, Elvis Cruz said:

I have been to Madagascar, where I saw the natives cutting down rainforest trees for firewood.  It made me realize an important detail that those of us living in economically advantaged countries may not understand:

Environmentalism is a luxury.

It's easy for us to bemoan the slash and burn practices in places like Madagascar, but those people are doing it to survive.   

We have been building schools in Madagascar for 20 years and teaching conservation not easy as survival main priority.

Attendance doubled when we fed the kids through a lunch program. 

Big thanks to IPS Director Jill Menzel..a long time supporter....and am thankful the IPS has given us a way to express both our passion and compassion with this project

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PALM MOD
28 minutes ago, waykoolplantz said:

We have been building schools in Madagascar for 20 years and teaching conservation not easy as survival main priority.

Attendance doubled when we fed the kids through a lunch program. 

Big thanks to IPS Director Jill Menzel..a long time supporter....and am thankful the IPS has given us a way to express both our passion and compassion with this project

Yes Mike - I have always been of the belief that the best, and only way really, to save these remote environments is to make the natural condition of the land worth more to the locals and governments than any alternative. If they can receive a better "income" by keeping things as they are - then the decision is easy.

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waykoolplantz

With the Tahina Project i hope the impact is deep on many levels. 

Showing the world and people of Mad they need to value their natural resources ...and our concern for their well being is intertwined with their environmental actions.

 

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Julie

Great conservation effort! Congratulations to John, Cindy and Dean! 

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LJG

Such an awesome project! Congrats to all involved in making this happen. 

Fun Fact: If you purchase a Gold or Trophy package, if you choose to not use the coupons for the shirt or membership (because you are already an IPS member), your entire donation goes to Madagascar!

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Cindy Adair

Thanks Len.

You can also press the ubiquitous red Tahina donation button and pay any amount of your choosing at any time, if you don't want a T shirt or mug or to create or add to your membership.

I am keeping totals once a day and any combination of dollars spent (whether for purchasing packages or matching or direct dollars) all through the fundraiser counts towards the banner and trophy levels.

Even additional a la carte Tahina purchases for gifts or for yourself such as collectable mugs (I have two) or T shirts (I have a tank and a regular women's style) will count for trophy/banners. Note that shipping may be less if all products are ordered at the same time.

Confusing to have so many choices, yes, but going for flexibility for this learning experience.

 

 

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BS Man about Palms

If not already added, I'd like to add the banner, can put my membership towards the cause, but will order a shirt. :D Is the accounting difficult?

(I have not seen the total number raise on the thermometer..)

Thanks Cindy!

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Cindy Adair

No worries Bill.

We can do whatever you like.
 

Dean handles sending out the coupons so probably best for you to connect with him directly.


I see your donation amounts (Thank you!), but Dean has not had time yet today to adjust the thermometer to reflect them.

 

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PALM MOD
3 hours ago, BS Man about Palms said:

If not already added, I'd like to add the banner, can put my membership towards the cause, but will order a shirt. :D Is the accounting difficult?

(I have not seen the total number raise on the thermometer..)

Thanks Cindy!

Whatever you wish. The amount of any coupon not redeemed will flow through to the Project. And for anyone reading this - the Red Donate button can be used for a "pure" cash donation.

The thermometer is manually adjusted once or twice a day only.

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Elvis Cruz
On 7/7/2020 at 12:59 AM, waykoolplantz said:

We have been building schools in Madagascar for 20 years and teaching conservation not easy as survival main priority.

Attendance doubled when we fed the kids through a lunch program. 

Big thanks to IPS Director Jill Menzel..a long time supporter....and am thankful the IPS has given us a way to express both our passion and compassion with this project

Mike, that is great to know!  Congratulations on that wonderful program!

Regarding the cutting of Madagascar's rainforest hardwood trees for firewood, I also saw that the natives' cooking fires are indoors, inside their thatched huts.  They cook indoors because it often rains outside – that's why it's a called a rainforest.  As a result, many of them suffer respiratory problems from the smoke.

Here's a link to an article about the problem.

At the time I thought a great rainforest-saving initiative would be to supply the natives with small propane stoves and propane fuel.  It would save both the forest and their respiratory health.

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waykoolplantz

propane often unaffordable & inaccessable in the villages where we build schools. 

Dr Balasky told me the only reason they hadnt burned the Baobobs was they are too wet to burn.

my biggest.  A Digitata

 

426EFBD4-9104-42A5-8716-49008932D1A7.jpeg

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Dypsisdean
4 hours ago, waykoolplantz said:

propane often unaffordable & inaccessable in the villages where we build schools. 

Dr Balasky told me the only reason they hadnt burned the Baobobs was they are too wet to burn.

my biggest.  A Digitata

 

426EFBD4-9104-42A5-8716-49008932D1A7.jpeg

Mike - off topic - but too impressive to mind. :)

Is that the biggest in the U.S.A. ?

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waykoolplantz

I know of a few bobs much older & bigger...both at Fairchild...and the circle on Hollywood Bl/US1 has some very large onres

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Guest Sri Lankan Floridian
On 7/9/2020 at 2:55 PM, Dypsisdean said:

Mike - off topic - but too impressive to mind. :)

Is that the biggest in the U.S.A. ?

I know in South Florida there is another big baobab on flamingo in Davie, lol off topic tho

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