Professional and responsible community charcoal production

Posted on 02 October 2020

Charcoal is a basic necessity for Malagasy people. For the last 30 years, it has been the most accessible form of cooking and heating energy for families' purses.
Assessments have shown that the Malagasy demand for fuelwood will increase in the coming years with a consumption of 90 kg up to 270 kg per inhabitant per year for charcoal. Continuing to meet this demand, on which a majority of the population depends, opens up several challenges that the country faces.

Among the challenges set out in the National Fuelwood Strategy adopted in 2018, it was recommended to integrate all the actors of the fuelwood sector legally. But among them, only less than 1% have complied with the legal system for fuelwood against 21% for charcoal.  

The regulation of this sector is critical if charcoal production is to be sustainable. These regulations go hand in hand with the licensing of charcoal producers in potential production areas. To be truly sustainable, the fuelwood sector must professionalize charcoal producers and make them legal : 
  • The forestry administration regulates the sector by granting permits, monitoring and controlling charcoal burners, transporters, dealers, etc. 
  • Communities demarcate areas for the planting of wood for charcoal in order to preserve natural forests;
  • The necessary technical support is given to communities or individuals to follow environmental standards;
  • A tax system is applied to make those involved in the sector responsible and to ensure that the sector can generate sustainable financial resources.  
In the Atsimo Andrefana Region, southwestern Madagascar, WWF supported the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development for the operationalization of a regional decree regulating the sector and for the implementation of the national fuelwood strategy.

As for the Regional Deparment of Environment and Sustainable Development, they have already launched their restoration strategy for the 2020 - 2021 campaign, including reforestation for fuelwood in order to contribute to the State's initiative to regreenerate Madagascar.