Moving forward despite instability and insecurity

Since October 2009, the Holistic Conservation Programme for Forests has made overall good progress, despite continued political instability, increasing insecurity and cyclones which have impacted some of the programme’s activities.
Progress is most tangible in activities linked to transfers of natural resources management, promotion of alternative agricultural practices, and capacity building of local communities.


Not all objectives met

Forest restoration and reforestation are also moving forwards, although not all the objectives have been met. Regarding protected areas, progress of the activities concerns mainly Fort Dauphin. Delays in the protected areas process are mainly due to the lack of engagement of some local authorities amidst political instability.

Insecurity in certain regions (Ivohibe, Fort Dauphin) and poor weather conditions have obliged the HCPF team to postpone some activities (production of samplings and reforestation plans, for example).


Carbon work on track

On the other hand, the LiDAR mission – one of the cornerstones of HCPF’s carbon-related component – occurred in end of March and was a major success. Work related to carbon stock assessment is advancing at very good pace as well.

 / ©: Maminiaina Rasamoelina
Farmers being trained on System of Rice Intensification (SRI)
© Maminiaina Rasamoelina
 / ©: Maminiaina Rasamoelina
Creation of a tree nursery
© Maminiaina Rasamoelina

Main activities site by site

A summary of what happened over the past six months in all sites (below) and the highlights for each site (boxes on the left and right).
So far, some 37 local associations – or 2,150 households (five to six people living in the same habitation) – in the programme’s five sites have participated in sensitizations about climate change. The final objective is to reach 4,613 households at the end of March 2012 when the HCPF is supposed to close.

In addition, over the past six months 1,750 households have been sensitized to sustainable use of natural resources and inventories and zoning carried out for 44 forests where transfers of natural resources management to local communities will take place.

Crucial irrigation schemes

Feasibility studies for the building of agricultural infrastructure have been launched in all sites except in Fandriana. Such infrastructure, which consists mainly of irrigation schemes, is crucial for local communities as it is expected to help them achieve better yields.

Since the start of the HCPF, 49 reforestation sites have been identified and 86 hectares have already been reforested – for the past semester, these figures are 29 sites and 60 hectares respectively. Only in Doany (on the Andapa site) 40 hectares have been replanted as planned, which compensates for the failure in the neighboring site of Bealanana, where only four hectares have been reforested – instead of 36 as planned – after tree nursery gardeners failed to produce enough samplings. 

Furthermore, 35 sites totaling 16,500 hectares have been identified – together with the local communities – for forest landscape restoration. Since the launch of the HCPF, 94 sites totaling 17,410 hectares have been identified (with a final goal of 20,110 ha). In all sites, local communities have also been sensitized to the importance of forest landscape restoration.

Andapa

Promotion of alternative, sustainable and income-generating agricultural practices: The team has been trained to implement these alternative practices.

New protected areas: Two sites (Betaolana et Tsarantanana) have been identified and documents necessary for the creation of the Betaolana NPA are being finalized. Socio-economic studies are being conducted in four commons of the Bealanana area.

Transfers of natural resources management:
The state of the forests where these transfers will take place as well as the management skills of the grassroots communities (COBAs) are being assessed. This is a mandatory step in the process. Dinas (social rules within grassroots communities) are being developed in four COBAs of Bealanana and five COBAs already officially structured will receive training on various issues – including management, functioning of an association and climate change knowledge.

Forest landscape restoration:
The team gained expertise during a visit to Fandriana, where the local team has a lot of experience in forest landscape restoration.

Vondrozo

Promotion of alternative, sustainable and income-generating agricultural practices: small scale farming, System of Rice Intensification (SRI) and small scale breeding.

New protected areas:
Sensitizations during village meetings.

Transfers of natural resources management: sensitizations, inventories and zoning.

Forest landscape restoration: Training of Andapa and Fort-Dauphin teams.

Fandriana

  • Promotion of alternative, sustainable and income-generating agricultural practices: small scale farming, System of Rice Intensification (SRI) and small scale breeding.

    Transfers of natural resources management: Assessment of the state of forests and COBAs’ management skills (same as in Andapa, see box on the right).

    Forest landscape restoration: delimitation of zones suitable for active and passive restoration and production of 150,000 samplings of indigenous tree species.
  •  / ©: Maminiaina Rasamoelina

Ivohibe

  • Promotion of alternative, sustainable and income-generating agricultural practices: small scale farming.

    New protected areas: identification of appropriate locations for signposting in the Ivohibe-Vondrozo forest corridor.

    Transfers of natural resources management: Two new grassroots communities (COBAs) have been created.

Fort-Dauphin

  • Promotion of alternative, sustainable and income-generating agricultural practices: small scale breeding.

    New protected areas:
    one site was identified, sensitizations were conducted, documents necessary for the creation of the six NAPs produced and capacity building for the COBAs carried out.

    Transfers of natural resources management: 34 new COBAs have been created and 47 COBAs have been trained on the same issues as in Andapa (see above). In addition, four of the forests where transfers of natural resources management will take place have already developed their simplified management plan.

    Forest landscape restoration:
    Together with their colleagues from Andapa, the Fort-Dauphin staff visited Fandriana’s team, who has the most forest landscape restoration expertise.

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