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Makira REDD+, Madagascar

Conserving important biodiversity by empowering 50,000 community members to build sustainable livelihoods

Project Type: Natural climate solutions, Forest conservation (REDD+)

Standards: CCB, VCS

Julie Larsen Maher WCS
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  • Makira Madagascar Rainforest Conservation Aerial view Copyright Julie Larsen Maher
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Madagascar is considered to be one of the top five biodiversity hotspots in the world – more than 80% of its animal and plant species are not found anywhere else on earth. The Makira project plays an essential role in biodiversity protection by limiting deforestation in the Makira Natural Park – a protected area of 372,000 hectares – and works with communities around the forest in a ‘protection zone’ of 350,000 hectares to develop sustainable livelihoods. Project activities focus on five main areas: community stewardship of natural resources, community economic development, health and education, ecosystem conservation and research, and carbon accounting and monitoring.

Carbon revenues are used to support the project's park conservation work and community based activities.

Sustainable Development Goals

In addition to delivering approximately 1,200,000 tonnes of emission reductions each year, the project delivers a number of other sustainable development benefits. These include:

  • No Poverty: The project provides training for communities on additional activities which help to generate alternative household revenues, with a focus on eco-tourism and production of sustainable and equitable cash crops, including vanilla, cloves, raffia and cacao.
  • Zero Hunger: The project is helping households to adopt alternative rice cultivation techniques that replace destructive and unsustainable methods, and increase yields. Households are also being supported to develop fish farming activities, as an alternative source of protein to hunting bushmeat.
  • Good Health and Well-being: 137 agents from 16 rural communities have been trained to advise households on general health and first treatment of common illnesses such as diarrhoea and malaria. Additionally, in 2014, more than 6,000 people visited mobile health clinics that travelled along rivers in the project area, offering free medical advice and access to family planning services.

Read More information to find out how the project delivers other sustainable development benefits.

  • Quality Education: By facilitating training on sustainable agricultural activities, the project helps provide knowledge sharing platforms around alternative income generating activities and land use best practice techniques. The project has also established 22 environmental youth clubs to raise awareness on the importance of conservation. As of 2013, more than 900 activities, campaigns and events have been implemented by the Makira project. They include multimedia communication campaigns to promote awareness for conservation and sustainable resource use, a weekly radio programme, production and distribution of a news bulletin, as well as town-hall-style discussions about environmental issues, film screenings, and environmental education with school children and youth. In addition, campaigns to prevent certain diseases and promote family planning were conducted.
  • Decent Work and Economic Growth: The revenue from carbon reductions is used to finance community land stewardship and governance, and support sustainable livelihood practices leading to improved household welfare. Micro-finance institutions have been set up and improved where they were already existing. As of December 2013, 1,475 organisations and individuals requested membership to microfinance institutions, of which 93 were community associations closely related to the project.
  • Life on Land: The protected area protects one of the largest remaining contiguous tracts of low- and mid-altitude rainforest in eastern Madagascar, which is ecologically and biologically important because of the high biodiversity value and large number of plants and animals that are not found anywhere else in the world.
  • Clean Water and Sanitation: The conservation of forest cover protects watersheds in the area.
  • Gender Equality: Women participate in the decision making processes of the community groups.

Through the project's successful implementation it has helped save around 44,000 hectares of forest and the deforestation rate has halved.

Beliazava’s Story

I am the president of the Makira Community Association Federation in Makira Natural Park. I took the lead of the Federation because I like the approach of the Makira project in giving local communities the opportunity and the right to manage natural resources. Some members of the local community consider it as a lot of responsibility, but for me it is rewarding. Rights and responsibilities go together, and for me the Makira project demonstrates this: The less the community clears the forest, the more carbon credits there are to sell, and so the chance to address problems in their villages, like the lack of roads and infrastructure. I am a farmer and I grow rice and cloves. The training I received from the Makira project on intensive rice cultivation techniques means that I can now ensure there is enough rice for my family all year round.

50% of carbon revenues are given to the community to invest in development projects.

To ensure the park is conserved for the long-term, great emphasis is placed on engaging youths within the project. Following a recent project visit, this video explores some of the youth activities that have been implemented.

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