Haiti Forest Initiative

Haiti Forest Initiative

August 26, 2014

Supported by Virgin Unite and the Clinton Foundation.

The innovative Haiti Forest initiative is focused on creating a sustainable business ecosystem that gives communities an economic incentive to plant and protect trees, simultaneously addressing the interconnected issues of poverty, food insecurity, energy and deforestation.

The initiative will identify, incubate, finance and provide value- adding services to a set of complementary agroforestry social businesses in a selected site in Haiti. To do this, YSB is seeking a kick-start investment of $4.6 million.

With 70% of the nation relying on the agricultural sector, Haiti has come to witness severe deforestation in recent years, and now has less than 2% tree cover. In order to address this challenge, the Haiti Forest Initiative plans to create and manage an ecosystem of five to eight financially sustainable, complementary agroforestry social businesses in a selected site in Haiti. Once proven, the model will be replicated across different regions of Haiti.

The objectives of the Haiti Forest Initiative are :

  • To increase tree cover and maximise the environmental benefits of trees;
  • To improve livelihoods of smallholder farmers, who are key to breaking the deforestation cycle, thereby igniting a re- forestation dynamic.

A feasibility study for this Initiative was financed by Virgin Unite, which has helped to identify a site, as well as entrepreneurs and markets within the region.

Ultimately, this Initiative aims to create after ten years social and economic impact including, but not limited, to:

  • $4M+ annual revenue for all social businesses in the ecosystem
  • 1M + trees planted annually
  • 1,000 hectares reforested
  • Š4,000+ farmers with increased livelihoods Š
  • 200+ additional (non-farming) jobs created

To achieve this impact, YSB is seeking a kick- start investment of $4.6 million to establish its first ‘pocket’ of social businesses, and to provide incubation services and technical assistance.

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