Progressing at full steam

At the end of its second year of implementation, the Holistic Conservation Programme for Forests in Madagascar is progressing at full steam, with big leaps forward in almost all the activities.
While the first year of the programme consisted mainly to raise awareness, establish key contacts and partnerships, build forest carbon expertise and technologies, buy equipment, organize the activities and eventually launch the first operations, the second year was about progressively raising the number, size and scope of operations and activities.

Objectives will be met

At that stage, the HCPF is well equipped to meet most of its objectives in the next 18 months.

These objectives are ambitious but the train is now moving fast forward. Adaptive management has been undertaken, in particular recruitments of key new, permanent staff, as well as consultants for specific missions. This should help the programme to absorb the increasing volume of its upcoming activities.
 
The most outstanding results achieved (see boxes) at the end of the second year are as follows:

•    Alternative agricultural techniques to slash and burn have been widely adopted by farmers, sometimes far beyond expectations;
•    Transfers of natural resource management are the fastest progressing area of work;
•    Forest landscape restoration activities have used some fifty different indigenous species of trees, something which would have been unrealistic a few years ago; and
•    The methodology used to assess the forest carbon stock and involving top of the art technology and high level partnerships has become the reference in Madagascar.  

Lasting instability

Lasting political instability remains the main challenge facing the HCPF. This makes all the procedures needing participation of national, regional and even local authorities more complicated and strenuous.      

Awareness raising on climate change

•    Over 2,100 households (about 5 to 6 people per household) have been sensitized
•    Seven documentaries have been produced in local languages
•    Radio programmes and village meetings have been organized
•    Local people start to understand the links between deforestation, climate change and modifications of their daily climate and weather patterns (increase of droughts and floods, changing harvest time).

 / ©: WWF-MWIOPO
System of rice intensification (SRI) in Fandriana
© WWF-MWIOPO

Alternative agricultural practices

•    3,130 households have been sensitized in 94 grassroots communities
•    Socio-economic studies have been conducted in all sites
•    Promotion of four main alternative practices: increased 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 small-scale agricultural infrastructure (dams and irrigation schemes)  
•    Over 300 farmers have already been trained to use these methods
•    Close to half of the trained farmers have already adopted the system of rice intensification
•    Only in Vondrozo, 150 households have already widely adopted small-scale and subsistence farming practices.

Carbon knowledge and assessment

•    Assessment of carbon stored in forests covered by the HCPF when the project was launched is now almost finished
•    Modelling of (the evolution of) these stocks without the project (reference scenario) and with the project (project scenario) has started. This will allow us to assess the expected reduction of greenhouse gases within a 10-year timeframe
•    The LiDAR mission was very successful. This technology is a cornerstone of the HCPF’s carbon knowledge component
•    The development of alometric models adapted to almost all types of forests in Madagascar is a huge step forward
•    The analysis of the carbon stored in the litter and soil is progressing well and shows that carbon stocks in the soil are often larger than those in the above-ground biomass
•    Institutions in charge of the forest carbon policy at the (Madagascar) national level have decided to use the methodology developed by the HCPF. This is a massive reward for the HCPF team and its partners.

New protected areas

•    10 sites for New Protected Areas (NPAs) have already been identified and 15 grassroots communities sensitized to the importance of NPAs
•    548 households have been sensitized to the importance of NPAs
•    NAPs delimitation work is under process
•    Close collaboration with the Ministry of Environment and Forests aims to ensure that the whole process moves forward, especially the environmental and social impact studies and management plans
•    In Beampigaratse (Fort Dauphin site), there was no deforestation at all over the past two years.

 / ©: Carnegie Institute
LiDAR survey of Andapa/Bealanana. In red: zones planned for the survey. In green: zones that have eventually been surveyed.
© Carnegie Institute

Transfers of natural resources management (TNRM)

•    90 TNRM sites have been identified, covering 44 200 hectares and involving 114 grassroots communities
•    Delimitation, inventories and zoning have been completed in 69 TNRM sites
•    Simplified Management Plans have been completed in 50 TNRM sites
•    The first (three) TNRM contracts of the project have been officially announced in Vondrozo
•    Thanks to the implementation of “dina” (social conventions), over 90% of illegal activities could be reported  
•    Grassroots communities are more involved in regulating access to their resources.

 / ©: WWF-MWIOPO
Zone identified for natural forest restoration, Fandriana.
© WWF-MWIOPO

Restoration of degraded forest landscapes

•    Over 17,000 hectares have been identified as suitable for forest landscape restoration activities
•    970 households have been sensitized to the importance of forests landscape restoration
•    Forest landscape restoration techniques have been taught to 545 individuals
•    Forest landscape restoration activities have already been carried out on 3,900 ha, in all sites
•    Over 150,000 seedlings of 50 different indigenous tree species have been produced in Fandriana only
•    One forest landscape restoration plan has been completed; the other ones are still under process.

Reforestation

  •  / ©: WWF-MWIOPO/M.Lippuner
    •    73 grassroots communities (1,200 households) have been sensitized
    •    34 tree nurseries have been created and 101 local gardeners have received training
    •    Reforestation plans have been finalized in all sites except Andapa/Bealanana (still under process)
    •    899 hectares have been reforested
    •    In Invohibe, trained gardeners have created their own nurseries.

  •  / ©: WWF-MWIOPO/M.Lippuner
  •  / ©: WWF-MWIOPO
  •  / ©: WWF-MWIOPO
  •  / ©: WWF-Canon/Olivier van Bogaert
  •  / ©: WWF-MWIOPO
  •  / ©: WWF-MWIOPO
  •  / ©: WWF-MWIOPO

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