AGROFORESTRY TO FIGHT AGAINST DEFORESTATION
Over the past 60 years, Madagascar has lost nearly 44% of its forest cover. Deforestation is speeding up rapidly and the country ranks 4th in terms of deforestation with 510,000 hectares destroyed in one year (or 6.5 times the surface area of New York City) according to Global Forest Watch. Deforestation of the country is partly explained by the need for arable land for farmers who practice slash-and-burn agriculture, in particular for the cultivation of rice, the staple diet in Madagascar (soil fertilization from the ashes). To avoid this process, harmful for both the soil and the climate, Authentic Products has developed an agroforestry program. It consisted in setting up 8 nurseries to produce fuelwood, construction timber and cash crop seedlings through the Savanille project (3 nurseries) and Authentic Vanille project (5 nurseries).
INITIATING A CARBON OFFSETTING PROGRAM FOR VANILLA
Reducing climate impact can be achieved through development of agroforestry as seen above, but also by restoring forest cover in Madagascar. In 2020, 5 hectares were planted as part of the Authentic Vanille project. The goal is to plant 10 hectares in 2021 plus an additional 3 hectares in the three areas covered by the Savanille project. Authentic Products thus intends to put a real reforestation campaign in place, in collaboration with partner nursery Forest Madagascar. Our partner supplies the seedlings and offers around fifty varieties of forest seedlings for reforestation of the SAVA region. To ensure the success of the reforestation campaign, a stock of 100,000 seedlings has been built up while awaiting planting.
CONSERVATION OF MADAGASCAR’S NATURAL FAUNA AND FLORA HABITATS
Madagascar has an incomparable wealth of flora and fauna and constitutes a true sanctuary for the island’s endemic species. Some species are unique in the world, with 7 varieties of baobab, 19,000 plant species and more than 100,000 species of fauna. In the hope of restoring natural animal and plant habitats, reforestation is one of the solutions. In the short term, it provides a means of restoring these ecosystems and in the long term their more successful regeneration without human intervention.