Core to our vision is catalysing innovative and inclusive technologies, approaches, services and social purpose enterprises to improve the health and prosperity of people and the planet. By identifying effective solutions to development challenges, we leverage innovative thinking of engaged local implementing partners to imagine solutions and achieve impact for marginalised communities and their environments.
We select innovative solutions to be piloted primarily through the Palladium Challenge Fund mechanism. Through this process, we strive to include local community voices and choose innovative technologies that are developed and applied with a gender, disability and social inclusion lens. The fund assists partners to pilot new technologies and innovative approaches and de-risks start-up ventures.
In 2021-2022 the Challenge Fund theme was ‘Valuing Nature’, to support nature-based solutions in their pilot phase – asking “how can we ensure that nature-based solutions are benefiting people and the planet?”
Field veterinarian Ana Zandamela delivering 2-month old chickens to the third breeding unit farmer.
Photo credit: Fundação Kyeema
Inclusive business model for livestock value chains
With the support of loyal Kyeema donors, African Regional Director Dr Rosa Costa and the Fundação Kyeema team in Mozambique piloted an innovative business model for the village poultry value chain with women farmers front and centre. Designed to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on vulnerable rural women, the model involves 1) identifying appropriate local chicken breeds suited to semi-intensive poultry-raising; 2) enhancing breeding unit capacity to increase animal production and productivity; and 3) strengthening breeder out-grower clusters as business-oriented entities. This year three women have been supported to establish breeding units with Boschveld hens, and they have provided chicks to 26 out-growers (including 1 male). In this first year, a total profit of approximately USD1,900 has been realised for breeders and out-growers combined; for the breeder farmers this represents about USD300 profit a year, which is a good return considering the median cash income for rural families in Mozambique is about USD100 per year*. Furthermore, women are reporting consuming more chicken products, with a preference for eating eggs.
The Oyster Heaven project focused on developing technology to kick start the regeneration of lost oyster reefs in the North Sea, specifically to develop and test a sustainable and natural protocol to synthetically reproduce the biofilm that the oyster shells produce. Increasing settlement rates and establishing healthy oyster reef populations will provide immense benefits to marine ecosystems due to their ability to sequester (among others) carbon, nitrogen and phosphates from water. Oyster Heaven have completed the lab testing stage and successfully transferred the biofilm from oyster shells to clay substrates while critically maintaining over 80% of the DNA diversity during the transfer and keeping the biofilm profile intact. Having had successful transfer and characterisation of the biofilm in lab-controlled settings, the team have identified a field-testing site in Denmark and will be working with Technical University of Denmark (DTU) Aqua and the Danish Shellfish Center to test the biofilm and artificial reefs in a field setting. If successful, it is hoped this technology can be scaled to regenerate oyster reefs in other high need ecosystems.
Rebalance Earth (RBE) has developed and tested a functional prototype platform as a first step in establishing an ethical ecosystem services credit that provides an opportunity for investors to contribute directly to both the conservation of an important, endangered species and provide livelihood opportunities for local communities where the species live. The platform demonstrates the ability to transfer funds from buyers to local communities and wildlife justice initiatives in a trusted manner and place a high monetary value for living biodiversity that supersedes its value when dead. RBE has focused specifically on the forest elephant, which is a keystone species in Africa, due to the role they play in landscaping their environment for other animals and plants to prosper. This is an exciting first step in a long and important journey. Once the platform has proven its effectiveness, it can be scaled to include expansions of science and valuation methodology to other keystone species in different parts of the world.
Nakau Programme’s Erromango Forest Carbon Project is focused on the designing, testing and strengthening of an innovative and sustainable business model to manage an island-scale forest carbon project. The project has trialled innovative technologies to improve participatory management of natural resources and long-term community governance of the forest carbon benefits to indigenous landholders in communities on Erromango Island in Vanuatu. Nakau’s local partner Live & Learn Vanuatu (LLV) has been developing land use plans with 105 tribal groups to ensure the forest is protected and livelihoods are strengthened through the project. LLV completed land use planning in two of the seven tribal districts on Erromango Island using a participatory Land Use Planning method developed jointly by Nakau and LLV. This process included identification of areas for future protection and development, conservation activities to be undertaken by local indigenous rangers, rules for protecting forest areas and the integration of land use plans with existing customary law and sanctions to ensure ongoing effectiveness of the plans.