In 2003, Madagascar’s previous president set the objective of increasing the size of the country’s protected areas from 1.7 to 6 million hectares. Ten years after this announcement, the UN programme REDD+ has become an essential part of national conservation strategies. The country has launched four REDD+ pilot projects, each led by large conservation NGOs. For these NGOs, carbon finance now seems the most promising option for the sustainable management of protected areas. Some of the NGOs have already started selling carbon credits from protected areas on the voluntary carbon markets. Others intend to follow suit, such as the French foundation GoodPlanet/Etc Terra and WWF Madagascar, who have been in charge of the Holistic Conservation Programme for Forests (HCPF) in Madagascar since 2008, with the financial support of Air France.
This pilot project has invested a large sum of its funds into means of measuring carbon and monitoring the forests. The logic of which is lost on the local communities who are nonetheless the ones who suffer the consequences including the restriction of available land for agriculture and collecting wood. What began as a project intended to benefit local communities by fighting against deforestation has become a project essentially focused on measuring the consequences of deforestation, and which contributes to food insecurity.
This video is the result of a field mission organised in May 2013 in a new protected area of Madagascar’s spiny forest. / Source: Bastamag