The Makira Forest Protected Area Project in Madagascar
Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD)
Antongil Bay landscape of Northeastern Madagascar
The Makira forest lies within the Antongil Bay landscape of north-eastern Madagascar and represents one of the largest expanses of humid forest left in the biologically rich Eastern Rainforest Biome of Madagascar. In 2001, the Madagascar Ministry of Water and Forests (MEF), in collaboration with the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), launched a program to create the 372,470 ha Makira Forest Protected Area and to finance it through carbon markets. In order to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD) in an efficient and sustainable manner, the project has adopted a multifaceted and multidisciplinary approach to address the very real human threats acting upon the region‘s forests, while at the same time considering the development needs of local populations and integrating them into the management of the protected area.
The project seeks revenues from carbon sales, generated through avoided deforestation of the Makira forests, to finance its long-term conservation, improve community land stewardship and governance and support sustainable livelihood practices leading to improved household welfare. In order to achieve its climate change mitigation goals, the Makira Forest Project aims to reduce deforestation rates in the new protected area to below 100 ha per year and to create the incentives necessary to maintain those low rates in the future. The Makira Protected Area Project is designed to not only include adjacent communities but to empower them to manage their resources sustainably and participate in the co-management of the protected area. As part of the zoning process, WCS worked to organize communities into community-based forest management sites, where management responsibility has been officially devolved to communities living along the perimeter of the forest through a contract between the ministry of forests and elected communal forest authorities. In addition to this devolution of resource rights, a co-management structure for the protected area was developed based on consultations so that communities can participate in the decision making process.