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'Team points' are awarded according to the adequacy of the solution with the type of innovations sought by Team for the Planet. They correspond to the analysis of several factors :

  • impact potential: impact average score > 4 => 0,5 point / if > 4,15 => 1 point.
  • global consistency: all average score of the 6 selection criteria > 2,5 => 1 point.
  • the favourite: % of assessments judge the innovation as a top one to act on a global scale against greenhouse gases > 20% => 1 point
  • the targeting: validation of Team for the Planet scope of action higher than 90% => 0,5 point + innovation level of maturity is enough => 0,5 point
  • social acceptability: semantic analysis score of comments > 0 => 0,5 point/ if > 3500 => 1 point
79 assessments

Submitted to the Sci. Committee : After the evaluations made by our volunteer assessors, innovations with the strongest impact potential are submitted to the Scientific Committee. The managing directors are responsible for the choice.

Solution for the (re)valorization of arid areas through the use of new technologies and agroforestry techniques, with the objective of reducing the pressure on primary forests by capturing carbon while involving local populations in the production of food, forestry, and biofuel. // PITCH DECK:

Lever of action
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Submission date March 07, 2021 Founders Benjamin Rombaut Development location Morocco

Detailed project

NB: this form is filled entirely by the ones submitting the innovation.

What is the issue addressed?

PITCH DECK: // At present, citizens and companies alike are gradually being encouraged to offset their carbon emissions, thanks to growing collective awareness and increasingly strict regulations (Kyoto Treaty, COP etc.). In spite of these efforts, a clear loss of the world's forest cover is observed every year, resulting in a rapid and worrying decrease in the number of trees on our planet. Faced with this situation, we must respond to two urgent needs: 1) First, secure the existing carbon sinks. Agriculture is the main cause of the degradation of our global forests. Moreover, the world population is expected to continue to grow to reach 9.5 billion people by 2050 and almost 11 billion by 2100. Assuming that we consume more and more calories at the individual level (+20% in the last 40 years), our food production will have to increase by 70% by 2050 to feed the entire world population. Tim Searchinger of the World Resources Institute confirms these alarmist predictions: "If we tried to produce all the food we need in 2050 using current production systems, the world would have to convert most of its remaining forests, and agriculture alone would produce almost twice the allowable emissions of all human activities. 2) Second, develop new natural carbon sinks. Today, the reduction of our carbon emissions is insufficient and too slow to have a real impact. The answer is to remove as much carbon as possible from the atmosphere, and trees are the most efficient and cost-effective way to store and remove CO2. This is why From Sand to Green proposes an innovative model which increases not only woody biomass and carbon stocks in the soil, reducing pressure on primary forests without affecting biodiversity, but also produces consumable goods useful to humans (wood, food, biofuel).

How is the problem solved?

Our model, which is based on numerous research works, is based on technologies such as desalination and hydro-retention which allow to maximize the use of water, as well as on a deep understanding of the biosphere (endemic tree species resistant to drought, evapotranspiration, albedo effect etc.). Indeed, the objective of From Sand to Green is to (re)valorize arid lands, in an environmental and social approach, involving local populations through the creation of an agricultural cooperative. This innovation is possible thanks to the existence of important brackish water resources (non drinkable) present in the subsoil. It consists firstly of planting trees using water retention devices, which retain water permanently at the root level. In a second step, perennial plants called "panicum virgatum" will be sown and then harvested to produce biofuel. At the same time, the desalination technique will accompany the growth of the trees during their first 5 years of life, by providing them with the water resources they need. Finally, when the trees will be able to draw water independently thanks to their root system, it will be time to harvest their fruits, but also the raw material used to produce biofuel.

What is the customer target?

Our solution is primarily aimed at large players in the food industry who wish to source from eco-responsible suppliers who advocate healthy food with low greenhouse gas emissions. In this sense, our potential customers are, for example, wholesalers who buy fruits and vegetables abroad and then resell them on local markets.

How is this solution different?

From Sand to Green's solution is innovative in several ways. First, it proposes to regenerate agricultural land rather than destroy more hectares of forest. Second, it uses the technique of desalination of brackish and non-potable water, which is much less expensive and controversial than desalination of sea water. It also uses innovations that optimize the use of water (polyter, drip, growthbox). By choosing the Western Morocco region for our POC, we can benefit from specific financial aid and foreign investments, as well as exemptions from certain taxes related to agriculture. This area also assures us an absence of diseases and pests for the trees and avoids the use of petrochemistry. In a second step, to value the new carbon sinks generated by our innovation, we will use the carbon credit system. Finally, in addition to producing food and biofuel, tree planting has the capacity to naturally increase local rainfall through the process of evapotranspiration, commonly known as the Albedo effect (see the scientific study "Deliberate enhancement of rainfall using desert plantations" by Oliver Branch and Volker Wulfmeyer, 2019). In conclusion, our easily replicable solution could not only limit deforestation but also propose a new cultivation model that does not affect biodiversity and generates new carbon sinks while actively involving local populations.