Reaching cruise speed
At the same time, equipment and various materials, including a car, motorbikes and bikes, computers, tents, sleeping bags, backpacks and torches were purchased. Moreover, the programme had to be presented to authorities and communities – a prerequisite to a successful implementation.
While the political crisis and waves of violence which have troubled the country since early 2009 remain a concern, the programme has only marginally suffered from the uncertain situation so far. Activities have been reduced and sometimes suspended in February for security reasons, but the teams were most of the time able to cope with the resulting delay.
Conservation activities initiated
Today, the Holistic Programme of Forest Conservation in Madagascar has definitely reached its cruising speed. After receiving a specific, technical, training on the main issues they will face and handle, the teams have started the public consultations and awareness and sensitization campaigns on new protected areas and transfers of natural resources management. Forest restoration and reforestation operations have also started.
The unique, pioneering, character of the HPFC has been widely recognized. Thanks WWF's long and outstanding field experience and expert work with local communities and authorities, the project has also received almost unanimous support.
In terms of carbon knowledge, the expertise and contacts brought by GoodPlanet and WWF's Forest Carbon Initiative resulted in the development of a large network of partnerships and associated technologies which will tremendously help the programme.
High level support
The support and contribution of world famous forest carbon experts such as Dr Greg Asner and Luca Pedroni to the Holistic Programme of Forest Conservation in Madagascar clearly shows that the objectives set by the project are pertinent.