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Our oils, fighting against deforestation

We make the choice to respect nature for the future and for our children.
We do not use all of our natural resources and we only take what nature can offer us.

 

♦ The Mango Tree Philosophy: A story of Earth at the end of its rope ♦

In certain areas, the mango tree was one of the last trees, still standing and proud. The men had cut the forest all around it to produce charcoal; to burn it or to make their houses. The people still preserved the mango tree because its mangoes were juicy and tasty while the other trees produced nothing to eat. And then one day a man cut the mango tree, proclaiming that he needed the wood and that there were other things to eat then mangoes. The other poor people followed him reluctantly, the mango trees were cut, and all the trees disappeared. The men had no more money, wood for their homes, and nothing to eat. Their once rich and prosperous land had become uninhabitable and they had to leave in search of less hostile places to live. They live from day to day without thinking of tomorrow...

This Mango Tree Philosophy is regularly observed in Madagascar. Inspired by this, we have developed a sustainable production method.

 

♦ An innovative production mode that protects nature ♦

We harvest our crops in a sustainable manner and help raise awareness of the disaster of deforestation and the destruction of biodiversity within the local community. The more we use the local resources the more we protect it. To understand this, it is better to explain what is happening in Madagascar.

Only 10% of original forests remain. There are various reasons for this: 84% of the Malagasy population do not have access to electricity and therefore cut trees for heat or cooking. The burning of lots of land for plantations and grasslands is also a very widely used technique and most of the time the fire extends into bordering forests and other wild areas causing destruction. Some species of trees, such as ebony and rosewood are protected, but are still illegally cut down for their high-priced wood.

Therefore, we give the plants a real value to the Malagasy people who work with us by explaining our virtuous harvest cycle. Educated about the negative impact of deforestation on their lives, encouraging them to partner with us on our project. Thanks to our oils, we fight against deforestation. By giving a value to the seeds harvested, local people are encouraged to consider forests differently.

There are 2 different types of forest cycles, one that does not undergo human pressure and one that does :

  • The natural cycle of a forest, without human presence: plants disperse their seeds naturally, thanks to animals or the wind, the seed then create a new plant or a new tree. Plants capture moisture, this water evaporates to form clouds and rain to allow natural irrigation and growth of other plants.

     

  • The cycle undergoing human pressure is a disturbed cycle during which the exploitation of the naturals resources causes serious damage: the men cut the trees for agriculture or coal mining, the natural dispersion of seeds decreases and therefore the vegetation and forests slowly start to disappear. In this cycle the people only have a short-term benefit. The disappearance of the forest results in less rainfall and local climate change. On a large scale the more the local climate changes to more the global climate changes.

Our harvesting method, inspired by our Mango Tree Philosophy, is based on a virtuous cycle that meets the needs of the population while preserving the biodiversity. For our oils and nurseries, only ¾ of the seeds are harvested leaving ¼ for natural dispersal (by wind or animals). The benefits are multiple, the farmers get long-term income, rainfall, biodiversity and the forests are preserved, and plant species can continue to multiply.

Our impact goes beyond the local population, it also affects local leaders who establish local decrees to protect nature and condemn those who cut down trees. We have an example of the municipality of Befandrina which has filed a local decree prohibiting the cutting of the Baobab under penalty of having to pay a fine of several zebus. This mode of production thus allows the areas in which we intervene to be protected in many ways and the forests can thus begin to regenerate and prosper again.
 

♦ Restore biodiversity where it has been destroyed ♦

In some areas, we have unfortunately arrived too late, the damage has been done, deforestation has occurred. On these plots of land, we plant castor and moringa oleifera, plants that are not present in the wild but have been introduced for harvesting in the past and that adapt perfectly to the land and climate of Madagascar. 
Ricin has the possibility to grow even on very arid and sandy areas. It has what is called pivot roots, they grow vertically to fetch water and minerals deep in the earth. The leaves of these plants fall and create a carpet with benefits for the plant and other crops. Reinstating trees in deforested areas also contributes to bring the rain back, amongst other things, the evaporation of water present in plants helps biodiversity return. 

We work closely with WWF in “last chance” areas in order to ensure a balance between agricultural production, population and environment.

Purchasing from Comptoir des Huiles is more than buying a tube of cream, it is a citizen act committed to the planet. Becoming a responsible beauty consumer.

 

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