17 Apr 2024

Odity is reinforcing its mangrove reforestation initiative, thanks to Bôndy.

Mangroves, with their tangled roots and evergreen leaves, form a frontier between the terrestrial and the marine world, protecting our coasts from violent storms and devastating tides. Mangroves sequester 5 to 10 times more carbon than a normal tree.

Madagascar’s mangroves: a natural treasure in danger

Madagascar is home to 2% of the world’s mangroves, an invaluable resource for the planet. They extend over more than 4,000 km² along the country’s coastline and are home to a rich and varied flora and fauna, with more than 1,000 species of plants and animals, many of which are endemic to the island.

Madagascar’s mangroves are threatened by numerous factors, including

  • Deforestation: The conversion of mangroves into farmland, aquaculture ponds and urban areas is a major threat.
  • Illegal logging: Mangrove wood is used for construction, fuel and charcoal production.
  • Pollution: Mangroves are exposed to marine and land-based pollution from rivers, industries and agricultural activities.
  • Climate change: Rising sea levels and more frequent extreme weather events threaten the survival of mangroves.

The destruction of mangroves is devastating for a number of reasons: it leads to coastal erosion, loss of biodiversity and therefore a reduction in fish stocks and, for local populations, salinisation of farmland.

Bôndy: a key player in reforestation in Madagascar

Founded in 2019, Bôndy is a social enterprise helping businesses create a positive environmental & societal impact for Madagascar. Their mission is straightforward: transform the red island into a green island. It means regreening Madagascar through community-based reforestation projects. All their reforestation projects are driven by a strong commitment to community involvement and positive community benefits.

Bôndy creates a significant impact with tailor-made projects for its partners, such as Odity, in line with their CSR strategies and Sustainable Development Goals. Since its creation, Bôndy has planted more than 3 million trees.

The company currently has 150 employees, 1,200 partner producers and 1,500 seasonal employees. It is a major player in environmental protection, offering nature-based solutions such as agroforestry with partner farmers and mangrove restoration to help mitigate climate change and sequester carbon.

The quality and reliability of Bôndy’s reforestation work is guaranteed: a tree planted is a tree that grows. As it is impossible to have a 100% success rate, Bôndy takes responsibility for replanting the trees. Planting a seed represents 1% of the work. Bôndy undertakes to monitor all its projects for 5 years.

To ensure transparency, Bôndy has set up a blockchain application that geolocates and identifies the trees planted: it’s a tree tracking system. This guarantees excellent monitoring and permanent visibility of the mangroves.

Transforming the red island into a green island

Madagascar was once a green island. An island covered in forests… a biodiversity jewel. Due to heavy deforestation, Madagascar is now nicknamed the “red island” because it has lost its forest cover. At present, Bôndy has 7 reforestation projects all over Madagascar, ranging from cocoa plantations to educational nurseries for schoolchildren.

Restoring the mangrove

Bôndy has been committed since 2021 to restoring the mangroves in the north-west of the island, close to the Betsiboka river. This initiative has 3 components:

  1. Planting mangroves in a sustainable manner.
  2. Involving local communities in the process: Local people need to be offered alternatives to mangrove exploitation in order to guarantee them an income and a decent standard of living. Villagers are trained in mangrove planting and maintenance techniques, and are paid for their participation.
  3. Creating local cooperatives to ensure the sustainability of the project.

In 2022, Bôndy restored 352 hectares of degraded mangroves, the equivalent of 484 football fields, in the three regions where it operates in Madagascar:

  • Region of Melaky: 849,603 seeds planted over 120 hectares.
  • Region of Sofia: 587,985 seeds planted over 92 hectares.
  • Region of Diana: 981,000 seeds planted over 140 hectares.

Bôndy has been replanting and scientifically monitoring the development of mangrove plots for the past 3 years. The first plants are now over 1.60 metres tall.

Odity’s commitment

Since 2023, Odity has been committed to working with Bôndy to reforest mangroves in the Bôeny region of Madagascar.

Since the beginning of our collaboration, more than 1,000 propagules have been planted.

This concrete initiative to restore and protect marine biodiversity is being closely monitored by our teams and those of Bôndy. Here are some key figures:

  • Job creation: 17 sustainable jobs have been created for local people, including 10 day jobs and 7 permanent jobs.
  • Combating climate change: Sequestration of 6.73 tonnes of CO2 over the next 5 years.
  • Positive impact on communities: 10 families will be directly affected by the project, and a further 50 indirectly.
  • Preservation of the environment: The project will help to improve biodiversity and coastal resilience.

We are proud of this concrete and beneficial action for the planet, but also for local Malagasy populations.

Stay tuned to find out more!