MOM 2012-2014: development of a protocol for the restoration of plant biodiversity on degraded sites

MOM 2012-2014: development of a protocol for the restoration of plant biodiversity on degraded sites

Project carried by Solicaz

Partners: PTMG Guyana, SMSE and Ecuador Mining Operators.

The gold richness of the subsoil in the Guyana region coupled with an extremely rapid population growth generates an increase in deforestation which causes a loss of heritage of the only primary forest that Europe possesses each year. The increase in the current value of gold may accelerate this deforestation. Gold panning affects more than 20,000 hectares of forests, including official concessions and more and more illegal farms.

In the context of protecting the exceptional forest heritage of this French department, it is therefore important to support the development of this sector through research on sustainable management, reconciliatory production and environmental services.

In an environment as disturbed as that of a mine after exploitation, the soil has lost all its fertility potential both in terms of nutrients (organic matter) and in terms of its capacity to produce it (i.e. it has lost the microorganisms capable of transforming this organic matter). Under these conditions, it seems difficult to revegetate a site without large supply of inputs and without major implementation work.

The broad aim of this project is to restore plant biodiversity as well as soil fertility (soil quality) via potential nitrogen-fixing species. The project is broken down into several operational objectives seen below:

• Encourage the establishment of efficient symbioses between the microorganisms and the associated host plant;
• Perform a pre-test of revegetation on a mining site at the end of operation to test the recolonization capacity of the different species;
• Make an initial statement of the “quality” of the soils before revegetation via the use of a bio-indicator to test their biological functioning (Schimann et al., 2012).

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ministere outre mer gptm

MOM 2012-2014: development of a protocol for the restoration of plant biodiversity on degraded sites

MOM 2013-2015: sustainable management of soil fertility of prairies for forrage production in Guyana

The population growth in French Guiana (anticipated to double in less than 20 years) raises the question of the sustainable development of local agricultural products. For example, for beef, local needs are only 20% satisfied by local production, and the only local sources for animal feed are grassland; most of the imports (meat and raw materials for compound feed) come from metropolitan France, with well-known difficulties in the movement of goods and a significant increase in costs. Imports from neighbouring countries (Brazil and Suriname) are now limited, but could become more important in the future. In this context, the development of local production with quality is an option selected by professional managers and local politicians.

Livestock production in French Guiana has been developed over the last twenty years, particularly in the framework of the Green Plan (Vivier et al., 1995). Since 2010, the IKARE association, which groups together the livestock sector, has been carrying out applied research activities in breeding aimed at improving the technical-economic performance of livestock farmers, transferring and popularizing the research results and innovative practices with breeders.

The main challenge of this project is therefore to aid in the provision of effective methods for French Guianese farmers to optimize soil management. This involves the development of innovative technical itineraries for soil management methods that make it possible to maintain or improve the fertility of cultivated soils, while remaining economically and socially attractive for agriculture. This optimization of soil management also reconciles production with the preservation of the quality of water and soil resources.

ministere outre mer ikare