Comoros islands: Natural ylang ylang resources preservation

Preserving natural resources through efficient ylang ylang distillation.


Ylang ylang is one of the most coveted flowers in perfumery and represents a significant source of revenue for Comoros islands. On Mohéli, wood is a main energy source for local communities and is used for ylang ylang distillation. Overuse of firewood represents a threat to biodiversity.

Comoros islands: Natural resources and ylang ylang

Comoros islands: Natural resources and ylang ylang

In order to reduce the impact of ylang ylang distillation on the local ecosystem, we fund a project to help local smallholder distillers with the installation of energy efficient distillation stills and train them in good distillation practices. The new installations help saving up to 50% of wood.

In addition they contribute to ease the work conditions with less frequent reloading of the still with firewood and reduced exposure to high temperatures for the operators. 

Producers are trained in best practices throughout the distillation stages to achieve good quality oil and improve production yields. 

    They also benefit from regular follow-up visits and counselling to ensure the improvements can be sustained.

    The project also involves training in entrepreneurial management, financial literacy and other skills in order to help producers with their day-to-day management of resources as well as decisions about credits and investments.

    As a complementary approach, a plantation project for fast-growing firewood trees is conducted, with the set-up of tree nurseries and distribution of seedlings.

    The project is carried out jointly with the NGO Initiative Développement and the distillers.  
    > Read more about Initiative Développement

    “The energy-efficient distillation units generate savings as the wood consumption is reduced and the yield and quality of the oil are higher, which all means better income. In addition, through the project I have access to several types of very useful training.”

    Mohamed, distiller


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