The International Rescue Committee (IRC) is working with the Circular Bioeconomy Alliance (CBA), an initiative of King Charles III, and luxury fashion company LVMH to address the impact of climate change on the Lake Chad Basin in Central Africa. The partnership aims to support the sustainable cultivation of cotton, which is an important source of income for local communities in Chad, while restoring the biodiversity of the degraded lands around the lake. With approximately four-fifths (80%) of Chad’s population working in agriculture and cotton being an important source of income in the region, a new four-year program aims to support sustainable cotton cultivation in Logone, Western, and Lake. More than half a million native trees will be planted on the 4,800 hectares of land surrounding Lake Chad to regenerate the region’s ecosystem.
The program will also facilitate access to markets and support other agricultural value chains such as timber and fruit production through local farmers’ associations. David Miliband, President and CEO of IRC, said: “IRC is pleased to work with CBA, LVMH, and their partners to restore biodiversity, restore degraded soils, and improve local livelihoods with solutions for sustainable and resilient agriculture in Chad.” Ali Amadou, Deputy Program Director at IRC Chad, also highlighted the potential of sustainable cotton cultivation to mitigate the impact of climate change on land use in the region.
said that by adopting sustainable farming practices in Logone Occidental and Lac provinces, local communities can reduce water use and prevent land degradation while protecting vulnerable ecosystems. Meanwhile, CBA President Marc Palah stated: “The program is special for the Alliance [CBA] because it shows how the need to decarbonize economic sectors such as the fashion industry can act as a catalyst for restoring degraded landscapes.”
Hélène Valade, Director of Environmental Development at LVMH, added: “The group is committed to making protecting biodiversity and fighting climate change a top priority and being a model agent of change, with a focus on the implementation of regenerative agriculture in all of its strategic supply chains.”