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August 2010

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Winrock International’s American Carbon Registry (ACR) posted for public comment the ACR Methodology for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD) – Avoiding Planned Deforestation. Deforestation is responsible for an estimated 20 percent of global emissions, and currently no high-quality universal methodology exists for calculating carbon emissions reductions for registration as offsets. Winrock has been a recognized leader in forest carbon science for more than a decade.

Primary school girls in USAID’s Ambassadors Girls Scholarship Program (AGSP) managed by Winrock recently enjoyed diplomatic dining in South Africa. Alberta Mayberry, the U.S. Consul General in Cape Town, invited vulnerable girls from a nearby township to share lunch with her. Mayberry has taken a keen interest in these girls and she continues to serve as an important role model for them. AGSP has awarded $21,567,915 in funds to 35 local NGOs in the region to provide scholarships and mentoring. Also, 120,088 scholarships have been awarded to girls and 19,343 scholarships to boys in the first six years of the program.

Winrock International’s Carol Michaels O’Laughlin was featured in the August issue of Monday Developments magazine, published by InterAction. In the article, O’Laughlin detailed Winrock’s scholarship program work in Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire as part of the ECHOES Alliance (Empowering Cocoa Households with Opportunities and Education Solutions) with the World Cocoa Foundation.

The Western Shasta Resource Conservation District and Winrock International convened a “Terrestrial Carbon Sequestration and Carbon Market Workshop,” recently in Anderson, Calif., to highlight opportunities for northern California forest landowners to participate in carbon markets, enhance incomes and improve land management. The workshop builds on several years of work under the U.S. Department of Energy and California Energy Commission’s West Coast Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnership (WESTCARB) exploring terrestrial carbon sequestration opportunities.

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Winrock Program is Making a Difference in the Livelihoods of Women in Kenya
The Partnership for Safe Poultry in Kenya is helping improve the livelihoods of many women in the poultry sector.Selesia Abolo, of the Star Ladies Women Poultry Group, claims the livelihoods of many women have been greatly enhanced – including her own – by the Partnership for Safe Poultry in Kenya (PSPK). “My earning an income from chicken has reduced tensions that were there in the family because of lack of enough money,” she said. “Now we are able to manage through tough times.”

Throughout Africa, the poultry sector is significant to the economic activities of farmers – many of whom, in Kenya, are women. While the potential for growth is great, the sector is susceptible to constraints such as a weak feed industry, lack of market access and a high prevalence of avian diseases.

Winrock, through the USAID-funded PSPK, is helping improve the livelihoods of those in the poultry sector through activities that include improving poultry feed, identifying and strengthening poultry farmer groups and facilitating access to markets and financing. In the first year, PSPK helped improve feed quality by assisting the Association of Kenya Feed Manufacturers in developing a certification program for the feed industry. Additionally, more than 1,500 poultry farmers were trained on biosecurity practices and 11 biosecurity demonstration farms are now practicing the measures.

PSPK’s approach is to link poultry sector stakeholders with experienced experts from the U.S. and East Africa. These experts donate their time as Farmer-to-Farmer volunteers and provide direct technical assistance to address constraints and opportunities for poultry sector development. Winrock’s PSPK and other Farmer-to-Farmer programs have engaged 2,200 volunteers on 4,600 assignments worldwide since 1991.

Change in Farming Practices Results in Certification, Increased Production for Lemongrass Oil Producers
Lemongrass essential oil producers are recognized for their positive impacts on biodiversity conservation.In July, lemongrass producers in the Da Teh District of Lam Dong Province in Vietnam and fragrance company Saroma were recognized for their steps to comply with best practices to protect the environment, animal health and worker safety. Their pilot project was recognized by Lam Dong provincial authorities after achieving GLOBALG.A.P. certification. With technical assistance from Winrock International through the USAID-funded Asia Regional Biodiversity Conservation Program (ARBCP), Saroma and six farmers piloted 10 hectares of lemongrass strictly following the GLOBALG.A.P guidelines.

As a private organization that sets voluntary standards for agricultural product certification, GLOBALG.A.P.’s goal is to assure consumers that agricultural goods were produced in a manner that decreases the detrimental environmental impacts of farming, reduces the use of chemical fertilizers and ensures a responsible approach to worker health and safety, and animal welfare.

“This effort not only improves our competitiveness in the global market, but also brings economic and health benefits to our farming partners, while being better for the environment and local communities,” said Lam Thi My Dung, director of Saroma.

Nguyen Phuc Duan, chairman of Tien Dong Essential Oils Cooperative said, “while it was very difficult in the beginning to change our farming practices to meet the GLOBALG.A.P requirements, after the first harvest the product quality was greatly improved and oil content has almost tripled.”

The loss of biodiversity in Vietnam is occurring at alarming rates — putting at risk the livelihoods of many, especially women. Winrock is helping to improve the lives of the rural poor by generating income-earning opportunities, which minimize forest clearing, through the ARBCP. Maintaining existing forest cover provides valuable environmental services such as biodiversity conservation, water regulation, soil conservation, carbon offset and tourism values. In Da Teh, ARBCP assists with the production of lemongrass essential oils in order to enhance livelihoods through improved processing capacity, while also empowering small households to engage the market and positively impact biodiversity conservation.

Symposium in Ethiopia Features Winrock’s SAFE Program and Tribute from Former US President
Winrock's SAFE program was highlighted at a symposium in Ethiopia, attended by President Jimmy Carter.Last month, Winrock International’s Sasakawa Africa Fund for Extension Education (SAFE) program was highlighted at the 2010 Borlaug Symposium in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The program featured a personal tribute from former U.S. President Jimmy Carter. The symposium was intended to share lessons learned and to carry forward the vision of Dr. Norman Borlaug, Nobel Prize winner and former Winrock Board Member. President Carter gave his tribute to Dr. Borlaug during the opening session and later greeted Winrock SAFE staff members, Dr. Mercy Akeredolu and Dr. Assa Kante.

Working with 13 universities in nine African countries, SAFE has provided mid-career training and diploma programs to more than 2,800 agriculture extension agents. Active since 1993, the program introduces demand-driven curricula with the emphasis on experiential and life-long learning modules. Students participate in classroom training and complete hands-on Supervised Extension Projects (SEPs) in the field, to bring new technologies and ideas to communities where they live and work.

SAFE students have made a visible impact on the lives of smallholder farmers, particularly women. In Ethiopia, SEPs have included introducing labor-saving technologies for food crop processing and fuel-wood saving stoves, and introducing alternative methods for food processing, preservation and preparation, thereby minimizing food losses. SAFE students have achieved similar results in other countries across Africa.


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