Slash and burn agriculture
The current deforestation and degradation of forests in the project area is mainly caused by local slash and burn agriculture.
Furthermore, the purpose of the project is to preserve the exceptional biodiversity of Malagasy forests and to improve the living conditions of local communities.
More than 500,000 hectares of forests
The project boundary covers an area of more than 500,000 ha of high conservation value forests (380,000 hectares of moist forest and 125,000 hectares of dry, spiny forest).
This holistic conservation programme is implemented on the field by WWF Madagascar. It is fully financed by the French Foundation GoodPlanet, which is also developing the carbon assessment methodologies.
Link with climate change
The participating countries sent a strong message by adopting an action plan that aims at promoting and fully including a REDD mechanism in a post Kyoto regime, which still needs to be defined.
By promoting activities against deforestation and degradation (i.e. the reduction in forest biomass from non-sustainable harvest), the project’s main objective is to maintain the carbon stock in standing forests.
According to estimations made by IPCC's LULUCF (Land Use, Land-Use Change and Forestry) guide and different studies published in Madagascar, the carbon sequestration potential of the forests affected by the perimeter of the project seems to be between 61 to 68 millions tons of carbon.
Clear scientific data
In order to measure with more accuracy the reduction of CO2 emissions generated by the project, the specific carbon assessment methodology will be based on clear scientific data and is hoped to help improve knowledge and expertise for other REDD projects.
WWF and GoodPlanet
GoodPlanet was created in 2005 by the photographer Yann Arthus-Bertrand. It aims to raise public awareness on the world’s current environmental issues and provide concrete solutions to promote sustainable development and a more environment-friendly lifestyle.
Action Carbone, one of GoodPlanet’s programmes, offers companies, institutions and individuals the possibility to reduce their impact on the climate by acting directly on their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and by taking part in the voluntary offsetting.
But Action Carbone is also financing innovative projects benefiting the climate outside the strict carbon offsetting framework : these are called Alternative Carbone projects and the Holistic conservation programme for forests in Madagascar is one of them.
GoodPlanet has chosen WWF to implement this programme because of its strong expertise in forest conservation and large network in the field. WWF has the capacity and capability to implement large scale projects like this one.
WWF and GoodPlanet are joining efforts and expertise to acquire as much knowledge as possible on verifiable ways to measure how much the emission of carbon can potentially be reduced by reducing the rate of deforestation and degradation, and how much carbon can be effectively and permanently sequestered by complementary forest restoration activities.