Here’s a look at our Madagascar Biodigesters project.
Madagascar is an incredibly complex country, steeped in beautiful landscapes, endemic species, and vibrant cultures yet also host to high deforestation rates and biodiversity loss, political instability and abject poverty. With one of the highest population growth rates in the world at 3% annually, and a per capita Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of less than $US2 per day (per World Bank), environmental degradation caused by human settlements continues to grow at alarming rates. While environmental issues occur worldwide, the impacts in Madagascar are exponentially worse for biodiversity because 70% of the species found there are found nowhere else in the world. Madagascar is in critical need of conservation programs that do not negatively impact the economic and social livelihoods of the Malagasy people.
One of the most significant threats to biodiversity is deforestation and land use change. According the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) there are 472 endangered or critically endangered species on the island. The three primary causes of deforestation in Madagascar are all related to human activity: slash and burn agriculture; logging for timber; and logging for fuel wood and charcoal production.
There are significant challenges to curbing deforestation rates in a country where more than 70% of the population lives in rural areas and survives on less than $US2 per day. With livelihoods dependent on agriculture and wood the only cheap and accessible fuel source, Malagasy people have few alternatives to continued deforestation.
As a localized challenge with the global ramifications of biodiversity loss and increased greenhouse gas emissions, creative solutions are needed to reduce deforestation rates while providing communities with effective and affordable alternatives to land use and energy production.
Vort Port International has identified the opportunity to bridge the energy divide through the implementation of biodigester technology. Providing a mechanism to create a renewable and sustainable fuel source from waste products will reduce demand for wood charcoal and therefore lead to decreased deforestation.
Through the establishment of a successful biodigester enterprise, committed to community development and education, VPI will create a replicable model of a cohesive environmental conservation, social entrepreneurship, economic development, and educational program.
Madagascar Biodigester Process