Up and down we go, between trees and bushes and through dense vegetation. In some places, our guides have to use sharp machetes to open the way. We are walking in Mitsinjo Park, but this is not an ordinary tourist hike. A group of project coordinators and Mitsinjo’s forest experts is mapping out sites that were restored during the Manondroala project in 2012-2017. We are looking for areas for a new trail.
Molucca bramble (Rubus moluccanus) is an invasive species. It grows quickly creating large thickets, if not cleared away. Few native tree species manage to push through to reach the light.
Association Mitsinjo and its long-time partner FANC are now launching a new four-year project – Manondroala 2 – and the new trail will be a part of it. This trail is planned for experts of restoration and reforestation. There will be examples of different stages of succession as well as of techniques we have used to restore the forest. We will also show how methods affect the results. Posters presenting the plan of the trail will be placed in the tree nursery in Farahevitra and next to Mitsinjo’s office in Ankahizinina. Later, an exhibition for researchers will be opened in Farahevitra with information on the restoration done by Mitsinjo. Together, the exhibition and the trail will form a reforestation training centre, where Mitsinjo will give trainings in forest restoration.
Our walk in Mitsinjo Park was fruitful. We found interesting places that can be included in the trail. Its creation will begin during the next months. Stay tuned for updates!
Photos: Laura Blomberg, Ulla Aitakangas