Unesco Green Citizens

Amelëm: Tree Nursery

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Project begin: 14/02/2021

Determined to restore the forests of New Caledonia, Dr Christine Poellabauer is working with local researchers to set up a vast tree nursery. The aim? Grow indigenous trees and share knowledge with the local community.

Leading organisation: Association Mocamana, l'Esprit Nature
The country where the team is based: France
Theme: Biodiversity, Education for Sustainable Development
Sub-themes: Cities, Climate change, Environment, Forests and desertification, Knowledge sharing, Participatory/citizen science
Tag: #Women #Youth
Selection: 2021
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With a PhD in zoology and biochemistry, Dr Christine Poellabauer knows just how important it is to manage natural resources. In 2005, she founded Mocamana, L’Esprit Nature and launched a carbon offset programme collecting funds to restore the forests of New Caledonia.

For 15 years, with support from volunteers, this local non-profit organisation has been shaping local nature conservation efforts. Christine fiercely defends the precious forest ecosystem threatened by drought, which has already lost 99% of its surface area. Mocamana trains and employs disadvantaged populations – such as homeless people and young school leavers – to help restore the forest and get rid of invasive plants.

Planting to revive the forest

In January 2021, Mocamana launched a tree nursery project entitled “Amelëm” (meaning “revival” or “bringing back to life” in one of the indigenous languages). This tree nursery will grow 30,000 trees a year. The organization is working with local scientists to share technical know-how, as well as showing local communities how to collect native seeds, make the soil more fertile and grow their own plants. The nursery will only grow indigenous or endemic trees, some of which are endangered and appear on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List. The aim? Ensure the nursery flourishes over time and create two full-time jobs.

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