Fighting Poverty and Deforestation through Butterfly Farming
What is the Amani Butterfly Project?
The butterfly farmers are represented in the project by an elected board of 12 volunteer butterfly farmers who set the project's prices, policies and control of the dispersal of the project's village development fund (10% of butterfly farmer earnings). The fund is used for projects that benefit the whole community like building schools.
Another Example- THE KIPEPEO PROJECT, ARABUKO-SOKOKE FOREST, KENYA
Arabuko-Sokoke Forest, covering an area of 42 000 ha on Kenya's north coast, is internationally recognized as a biologically important area providing essential habitat for numerous endemic, endangered and threatened animal and plant species. This forest is the last remaining section of coastal forest that once extended from southern Somalia to northern Mozambique. Approximately 110 000 people live in the forest. Rapid population growth has placed considerable pressure on the forest for provision of wood for fuel and construction, as well as meat and agricultural land. The long-term future of the forest depends on the support of the local people, their leaders and politicians for its conservation.
The Kipepeo Project, administrated by the East African Natural History Society in partnership with the National Museums of Kenya, was set up in 1993. The objectives of the project are to:
- link conservation and development through sustainable utilization of butterfly biodiversity in the forest for the benefit of surrounding rural communities;
- win support for forest conservation by enabling local people to benefit from the forest's biodiversity;
- help demonstrate that the forest can provide new and unexpected income sources and that it can have greater value as intact wildland than as land cleared for agriculture;
- help diversify coastal tourism by establishing a novel ecotourism attraction through the development of an exhibit of live butterflies and other invertebrates;
- support conservation education activities relating to the Arabuko-Sokoke Forest;
- provide employment and earn export revenues for Kenya.
The project initially involved 152 households in four communities on the eastern margin of the forest. By early 2001 there were 546 farmers involved in the project, representing 15 of the 18 communities in and around the forest, and plans had begun to involve the remaining three communities.
To determine the effect of capture on butterfly species abundance and diversity, wild butterfly populations in Arabuko-Sokoke Forest were monitored before the start of the project and after four years of collection. The results revealed no significant change in abundance of either collected or uncollected species, suggesting that butterfly capture was having no profound impact on wild populations.
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Butterflies can be farmed worldwide, wherever they are native to.
For more information on how butterflies grow check out this video!
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