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EditPhoto Title:Decreasing Deforestation and Improving Livelihoods in Madagascar
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EditImage Description:Mother with child in Andasibe, Madagascar. © Cristina Mittermeier
EditPhoto Credit:© Cristina Mittermeier
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More than 90% of Madagascar’s forests have been razed — providing economic alternatives to deforestation is key to conserving the country’s unique habitats and protecting livelihoods.

Established in 2010, GIE Sahanala is a Fair Trade and organic exporter of vanilla and cashew nuts that employs 1,200 people, most of whom are women supporting households in rural areas of Madagascar. The company promotes farming of its agricultural products as an alternative income opportunity to deforestation, empowering local communities to care for their natural habitat while improving their livelihoods. These options also help discourage communities from clearing new land for hillside rice production.


Our role

Verde Ventures is an investment fund managed by Conservation International to provide support for businesses that deliver environmental, socioeconomic and financial benefits. Our business partners support human well-being by protecting the important services — like fresh water, food, energy and more — that communities receive from healthy ecosystems, including the species and processes that make up those ecosystems.

In 2012, Verde Ventures invested US$ 100,000 in GIE Sahanala to increase its processing and storage capacity, increase the volumes of cashews and vanilla products it is able to purchase and establish its own brand under the “Wild Lemur” name. This loan will also help the company diversify its operations by expanding into essential oils, peppers, cloves, cinnamon and wild rice.


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EditImage Alt Text:A stream runs through the forest in Mantadia National Park, Zahamena-Mantadia Corridor, Madagascar, hotspot.
EditTitle:By the numbers
EditSubtitle:1,200 employees
EditText:GIE Sahanala has helped improve the livelihoods of 1,200 employees, most of whom are women supporting households in rural areas of Madagascar.
EditPhoto Credit:© Conservation International/photo by Sterling Zumbrunn
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    EditTitle:Livelihoods
    EditImage:/SiteCollectionImages/ci_35597459.jpg
    EditLink:/what/pages/livelihoods.aspx
    EditImage Alt Text:Fisherman cast a net to catch fish. © Keith A. Ellenbogen

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    EditTitle:Sub-Saharan Africa
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    EditImage Alt Text:Woman carrying baby, Togo. © Art Wolfe/ www.artwolfe.com

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    EditTitle:Forests
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    EditLink:/what/pages/forests.aspx
    EditImage Alt Text:Clouds rise through Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, home to the endangered mountain gorilla. © Benjamin Drummond