Moving on at a fast pace
• Almost all of the New Protected Areas (NPAs) to be created through the HCPF have been integrated in the Protected Area System of Madagascar (SPM) by the government, with a status of temporary protection (until the full procedure is completed – then their protection status will become permanent);
• 26 contracts to transfer natural resources management from the State to the local communities have been signed at an official and ritual ceremony;
• Reforestation objectives have been already achieved in Andapa and Ivohibe, and nearly achieved in Vondrozo;
• More and more farmers are trying and/or switching to alternative, sustainable, agricultural practices;
• Campaigns to raise awareness on climate change impacts are extremely successful with massively increasing attendance in the villages, and higher involvement and commitment of local authorities;
• A new forest carbon methodology has been adopted. It is more effective and easier to implement and replicate in Madagascar.
A few problemsHowever, the HCPF is still facing a few, recurrent, difficulties which sometimes can hamper its fast paced progress. They includes illiteracy rates in some remote areas, lack of human resources to help farmers needing specific technical support on alternative agricultural practices, power struggles within some local authorities and a few land tenure conflicts between local communities. Solutions to these problems are usually time – and energy – consuming.
Carbon knowledge and assessment
• Mapping of land use based on SPOT images and field missions
• Assessment, followed by a detailed mapping, of the carbon stocks of the soil and the above-ground biomass in Andapa and Fort Dauphin
• Accurate analysis of the deforestation history in but also around each site of the HCPF to develop reference scenarios (evolution of carbon stocks with and without the project)
• Preliminary results of the analysis of the deforestation drivers, which will also help develop the reference scenarios
• The whole technical staff of the HCPF has received some training on the carbon knowledge and assessment component of the project. Local students from IOGA and ESSA have participated in some of its main activities
• The HCPF is well integrated within the REDD technical committee, a national platform which supports the Malagasy government to develop its REDD+ strategy.
Alternative agricultural practices
• 9,400 households have been sensitized and 900 trained to use these methods
• 250 households have already switched to at least one of these four alternatives practices
• A community in Fandriana-Marolombo is using the system of rice intensification in two thirds of its rice fields
• The Fandriana-Marolambo dam will irrigate 150 hectares of land suitable for agriculture and over 200 households will directly benefit from it.