JustDiggit is a Dutch NGO that works on large scale ecosystem restoration in Africa. Together with local partners, they apply simple, proven techniques to facilitate rainwater harvesting and improve soil quality. This leads to increased vegetation growth fostering a cooler environment and more precipitation. In addition, large quantities of CO2 are stored as a result of their projects. This will benefit biodiversity as well as local communities. Nature^Squared has been a dedicated partner of JustDiggit for years on the subject of ecology and economy. We provide support on projects of JustDiggit in the following areas:
- Forecasting and calculating the ecological and socio-economic impact of their projects. As we are closely involved with the projects already from the design phase, the linkage between ecology and economy with regards to ecosystem restoration has been taken into account from the start.
- Developing Sustainable Land Management (SLM) practices. To ensure that the interventions of JustDiggit will last, we analyze economic ‘drivers’ that induce degradation. Subsequently, we develop and implement strategies that trigger landscape users to use their land in a sustainable manner.
- Assisting JustDiggit with generating additional financing for their projects where we specifically work on adding ‘bankable’ business cases to their projects.
Sustainable Development Goals
On behalf of JustDiggit, Nature^Squared has mapped the advantages of landscape restoration and has linked these to the Sustainable Development Goals. Not only did we investigate the direct advantages for the landscape, but we went one step further: we looked at how landscape restoration could benefit the local communities in both the short and long term. The summary of the economic and ecological advantages of landscape restoration has been compiled in a report. This all has been done through an extensive literature review.
The results of the quick scan pointed out that landscape restoration in the manner of JustDiggit contributes to no less than 16 out 17 Sustainable Development Goals (see report). Concurrently, landscape restoration for dry areas in Africa seems to provide benefits in terms of climate, agriculture, economy, water, and biodiversity. Comprehensive numbers can be found in the report.
Business case for Grass Seed Banks
One of the businesses cases that we develop is the scalability of “Grass Seed Banks”. The first results with Grass Seed Banks are very positive. They are maintained by groups of Maasai-women and provide them with additional income, as well as fodder for their animals. In addition, the project leads to regreening of the landscape. The question that is now being researched is to what scale this can be developed.