Moving on at a fast pace

Small irrigation dam construction in Fandriana, Madagascar.
As it enters into its last stage, the Holistic Conservation Programme for Forests (HCPF) is moving on at the fastest pace ever with very successful, and sometimes spectacular, results – both quantitatively and qualitatively.
The most significant of them are as follows:

•    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 problems

However, 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

•    Satellite images of the project sites provided by SPOT
•    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.
	© WWF-MWIOPO/M. Lippuner
Tropical forest, Vondrozo, Madagascar.
© WWF-MWIOPO/M. Lippuner
Transfer of natural resources management from the State to the local community. Official signing ceremony in Fandriana, Madagascar
Improved rice cultivation. Ivohibe, Madagascar.
© WWF-MWIOPO/M. Lippuner

Alternative agricultural practices

•    Promotion of four main alternative practices: diversity of farming (more small-scale farming, fruit farming, etc.); intensive agriculture (system of rice intensification, fish farming, small-scale breeding); activities generating revenues (bee keeping, fish ponds); and practices to minimize energy consumption (use of improved ovens). Small-scale agricultural infrastructure (dams and irrigation schemes) will also help farmers increase arable land
•    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.

	© WWF-MWIOPO/M.Lippuner
Replanting trees. Vondrozo, Madagascar
© WWF-MWIOPO/M.Lippuner

VIDEO CLIP: Irrigation scheme

Construction fo a small dam in Fandriana. Over 200 households will directly benefit from it.

Awareness raising on climate change

  • •    Over 10,000 households (about 5 to 6 people per household) have been sensitized
    •    Schools help deliver the messages more effectively
    •    Some local and regional officials have committed to fight climate change.

New protected areas

  • •    Almost all of the New Protected Areas (NPAs) to be created through the HCPF(350,000 hectares) have been secured by the Malagasy authorities
    •    Some 6,000 households have been sensitized to the importance of NPAs
    •    Deforestation has decreased significantly in and around the NPAs to be created.

Transfers of natural resources management (TNRM)

  • •    91 TNRM sites have been identified and delimitation and inventories completed; zoning is finished in 51 TNRM sites
    •    Simplified Management Plans have been completed in 56 TNRM sites
    •    26 TNRM contracts have been signed during official and ritual ceremonies in Fandriana-Marolambo, Vondrozo et Andapa/Bealanana, covering an area of about 205'000 hectares in total
    •    Deforestation has hugely decreased in areas now managed by grassroots communities.


  • •    300 sensitization workshops have been organized
    •    500 gardeners have been trained and 48 nurseries established
    •    1,382 hectares have been reforested.

Restoration of degraded forest landscapes

  • •     500 farmers have been trained on forest restoration techniques.
    •    Forest landscape restoration activities have already been carried out on 9,300 ha, in all sites
    •    10 forest landscape restoration plans have been completed.
	© WWF-MWIOPO/M. Lippuner

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