The Franco-Ivorian association Life on Land , supported by the Iris Foundation, carried out its first project, Koonan in Transition from the beginning of 2020.
Le village de Koonan se situe au centre-ouest de la Côte d’Ivoire, dans la région du Bafing, proche de la frontière de la Guinée-Conakry. Koonan est un village de 935 habitants, chef-lieu d’une commune de 6553 habitants répartis dans 14 villages environnants. On y trouve une école et un collège ouvert en 2018.
The objective of this project is to participate in reducing the rural exodus which affects the municipality of Koonan, located in the center-west of Côte d'Ivoire, on the Guinean border by working on two axes:
agroecology: after an initial diagnosis in the field, the objective is to set up training in agroecological market gardening (in the off-season) for groups of women and young people in the village and to develop small livestock farming. The strategy is to train endogenous facilitators so that they themselves can disseminate agroecological practices to their peers.
culture and the safeguarding of traditional knowledge: in cooperation with the town hall of Koonan, a former youth center has been renovated in order to set up a cultural center, as a place for the transfer of traditional knowledge, training and openness on the world. This center is equipped with a library, a game library and a computer space, as well as rooms for group activities. Youth activities, tutoring and literacy courses are also set up there.
At the same time, the Life on Land association is developing in France and wishes to set up awareness-raising activities on agroecology and the theme of migration, coffee shops or even street libraries.
Living with the land
The IRIS foundation supported this commitment:
How to feed the humanity of tomorrow? It seems obvious that our current agricultural model, dependent on fossil fuels, destroyer of land and biodiversity, emitter of greenhouse gases, will not be able to perform this task.
The Ferme du Bec Hellouin in Normandy, initiated by Perrine and Charles Hervé-Gruyer, is experimenting with a new form of agriculture, in profound rupture with current models: eco-culture, which is based on the imitation of natural ecosystems.
Permacultural organic market gardening
Since 2011, the "Institut Sylva" association has conducted a research project on permacultural organic market gardening in conjunction with the SAD-APT and the Ferme biologique du Bec Hellouin. This study, completed in March 2015, has opened an innovative route by demonstrating the economic sustainability of permacultural micro-agriculture.
Fondation Iris considers that this type of environmentally respectful and innovative agriculture is a potential solution to various environmental problems which have been caused by industrial agriculture. Today, the negative aspects and limits have been clearly identified. This type of agriculture notably has the potential to restore degraded soils, watercourses, landscapes and biodiversity.
Fondation Iris supports a second research phase as well as seeding projects which promote the permaculture practices initiated by the Institut Sylva.
Advocacy for innovative agriculture
with positive impacts
The Association " Farms of the Future aims to:
support for the creation of agro-ecological farms and micro-farms,
the creation of reference documents and educational resources, for the installation of vegetable gardens, farms and micro-farms practicing agro-ecology, permaculture and agroforestry,
setting up pilot projects and experiments with innovative farming practices in organic farming.
This association carried out an advocacy whose first objective is to establish a quantitative and qualitative assessment of the benefits of vegetable farms, applying agro-ecological practices and drawing inspiration from permaculture. The association has proposed means to decision-makers and elected officials to remove the obstacles to the implementation of new projects.
The Iris Foundation financially supported the creation of this advocacy.
An agroecological center on the estate
of the Abbey of Saint-Gildas-des-Bois
In partnership with associations Access-React and
Pen An Hoat Oasis , Earth & Humanism participates in the creation of an agro-ecological center in Saint-Gildas-des-Bois (Loire-Atlantique). This will aim, at the scale of the Great West, to promote and disseminate the agroecological approach (findings, objectives, technical knowledge, know-how, interpersonal skills, practices, scientific approach).
The support of the Fondation Iris has supported particularly the following actions:
the essential function of coordination and programming.
2nd European seminar on pollard trees
Pollard trees can provide wood for energy, lumber, bedding or fodder according to the needs. They act as a sort of local renewable production plant.
The tadpole tree contributes to enriching its environment by providing leaves and fine roots that decompose annually, therefore restoring precious mineral elements to the soil. The trunks of pollard trees form numerous cavities and cracks that provide an attractive living space where diverse wildlife find refuge and food. Trees are an efficient and sustainable way to store carbon dioxide, responsible for global warming, and transforming it into fertile material, useful for agriculture. They improve water infiltration into the soil, thereby preventing the risk of soil erosion, and pump out excess nitrates and pollutants from the water. Finally, their windbreak effect reduces hydric stress on associated crops.
The development of agro forestry has reinforced the interest and visibility of tadpole trees in rural landscape. This 2nd European seminar organized by the Association Française d’Agroforesterie on March 1st, 2nd and 3rd, 2018 at Sare in the Pays Basque, France, has for ambition to provide the technical tools and means necessary to restore the territorial production of tadpole trees.
The Fondation Iris proudly supports this event.