A biodiversity hotspot, Madagascar is the 4th largest island in the world and home to 5% of its plant and animal species, of which 80% are endemic. Although rich in natural assets, 77% of Malagasy households live in poverty.
Biodiversity hotspots are areas that are directly threatened by an expanding human population. Madagascar has already lost 80% of its natural areas, and continues to lose around 200,000 acres per year due to deforestation. The island is in dire need of landscape restoration in which the Malagasy farmer is the key driver.
Grounded has made a firm commitment to value Madagascar’s unique biodiversity and is looking at ecological and socio-economic potential with local farmers. We have currently started the identification of opportunities for landscape-wide business cases and are conducting a feasibility study to define the potential for a Grounded landscape business case. We recently signed an MoU with HERi Madagascar, a company that builds and supports solar businesses. The farmers living and working on the land around the HERi communities are central to our approach.
Together with a group of farmers we are selecting crops that can be cultivated locally, that have a positive effect on the local ecosystem, and which can be processed locally to increase added value in the market.