The Makira Forest Protected Area Project in Madagascar

Project Type: 

Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD)

Area: 

372,470 hectares

Location(s): 

Antongil Bay landscape of Northeastern Madagascar

Rainforest Alliance Evaluation: 

Validated conformance with the Climate Community and Biodiversity Standards (Second Edition – 2008): September 3, 2013 (RA-VAL-CCB-015749).

Validated conformance with the Verified Carbon Standard Version 3: September 28, 2012 (RA-VAL-VCS- 01575).

Verified conformance with the Verified Carbon Standard Version 3: September 28, 2012 (RA-VER-VCS-015751).

The Makira forest lies within the Antongil Bay landscape of northeastern Madagascar and represents one of the largest expanses of humid forest left in the country’s biologically rich Eastern Rainforest Biome. In collaboration with the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), Madagascar’s Ministry of Water and Forests (MEF) created the 372,470-hectare Makira Forest Protected Area in 2001 and launched a program to finance it through carbon markets. This REDD project seeks revenues from carbon sales—generated through avoided deforestation of the Makira forests—to finance long-term conservation, improve community land stewardship and governance and support practices that improve household welfare. In order to achieve its climate change mitigation goals, the Makira Forest Project aims to reduce deforestation rates in the new protected area to below 247 acres (100 hectares) per year and create the incentives necessary to maintain those low rates into the future.

The project was designed not only to include adjacent communities but also to empower them to manage their resources sustainably and participate in the co-management of the protected area. As part of the zoning process, WCS worked to organize communities into community-based forest-management sites, where—through a contract between the ministry of forests and elected communal forest authorities—management responsibility has been officially devolved to those communities located along the perimeter of the forest. In addition to this devolution of resource rights, a co-management structure for the protected area allows communities to participate in the decision-making process.