In 2021, Equestrio Foundation decided to support the association Plantons Utile for its comprehensive program aimed at strengthening biodiversity in Senegal. A project combining ecological and social impact that won us over with its effectiveness and for which we decided to renew our support for another year in 2022. Let’s head to Casamance to catch up on what’s been happening there.
From a dream…to a project…to results
Once upon a time (in 2017, to be precise), 2 young social entrepreneurs (Clément Sambou and Quentin Lemetais, to continue being precise!) had a dream: to create a unique place in Casamance aimed at exploring a renewed approach to rurality that would combine economic efficiency with sustainable development. A place for everyone, where the men and women of the local villages could come together to learn how to produce differently – efficiently and ecologically – in order to change the odds for a region on the decline.
Six years later, this dream has come true: a 50-hectare agroecological farm divided into mixed farming and agroforestry areas, a botanical garden, areas for entrepreneurs, an eco-village, as well as eco-buildings for agroecological training. A veritable ecosystem placed under the sign of autonomy and food self-sufficiency thanks to the income generated by these various activities. Just what we love to see!
Equestrio Foundation’s support
Won over by this multi-dimensional project bringing Human beings and their environment closer together, Equestrio Foundation supported Plantons Utile in 2021 with financial support structured around the association’s 3 main areas of action: environmental preservation, training, and awareness raising.
We hence financed the planting of 30,000 mangrove trees to reforest the mangrove swamp, the organization of training sessions in market gardening and crop processing, and the setting up of awareness-raising operations with village committees, village chiefs and schools.
Going the extra mile
Encouraged by the success of their various initiatives, Plantons Utile is standing by its objective: more planting, more training, more awareness, for more long-term results.
Our second year of support is therefore a natural continuation of our first year of collaboration with a CHF10,600 funding in 2022 aimed at the following:
Planting of 40,000 trees
The protection and regeneration of forests, guardians of our biodiversity, is at the heart of Plantons Utile‘s action. In 2022, we contributed to the planting of 40,000 new mangrove trees, bringing to 70,000 the number of trees planted thanks to our support. Planting operations require considerable logistics: creation of seedlings in nurseries, distributing them to local communities, training in gardening, and regular monitoring to ensure the sustainability of these reforestation actions.
Enhancing farm infrastructure
Equestrio Foundation has also financed the planting of 1,600 metres of “green firebreaks” to protect against bushfires that can be accidentally triggered by bush cultivation. These protections are made of cashew, a plant whose fatty leaves have the advantage of limiting the spread of fires but also of producing fruit that is highly appreciated by humans and animals.
Our donations have also contributed to the purchase and installation of an apiary, the silting of the pump irrigating the crops, the expansion of the banana plantation, and to the floral inventory of the farm.
Awareness-raising and training activities
Finally, our funding has enabled us to carry out various educational operations with local communities, in particular concerning market gardening techniques, in order to reinforce their autonomy and set the ground for lasting impact.
All these actions are interwoven and form a coherent, productive and sustainable whole. In collaboration with Plantons Utile, local people learn and experiment other ways of living with and from their environment, while at the same time protecting it. We are proud to have supported this meaningful project for another year. We are looking forward to seeing this virtuous circle continue and watching these transformations take root as deeply as those of our mangrove swamps!