Restoration of Madagascar’s Degraded Forest Corridors

To help restore degraded parts of the globally-important forest corridors of Ankeniheny-Zahamena (CAZ) and Ambositra Vondrozo (COFAV), Conservation International- Madagascar has planted an initial 50,048 trees, with plans to plant a million others across 4,000 hectares by the end of 2021.

So far, 24 native tree nurseries are already operational within CAZ and COFAV while 53 others are planned to help ramp up production of more native seedlings for planting. The capacity of current nurseries for seedling output will also be increased.

Previously, CI Madagascar had planted over 12,000 trees in COFAV; it also donated nearly 111,000 shade-grown coffee, clove and orange trees to farmers in the area to support livelihoods.

“We hope to not only restore the health of the forests and the benefits they provide to people, but also improve livelihoods and climate resilience of local communities,” said Zo Lalaina Rakotobe, Chief of Party (COP) of ‘the Sustainable Landscape in the Eastern Madagascar’ Project implemented by CI Madagascar and the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development (MEDD) and supported by the Green Climate Fund (GCF).

She added: “However, the restoration activities have been affected by the COVID-19 lockdowns, but we hope to restart the work soon when government safety regulations allow it.”

Parts of the 683,808 hectare- forest corridors have been degraded by slash and burn farming (tavy), illegal mining and logging, threatening the invaluable socioeconomic, ecological and cultural benefits the forests are providing to the Malagasy people including fresh water, hydroelectricity, erosion control, climate regulation and preservation of unique biodiversity. CAZ and COFAV are among CI’s priority tropical forests in Africa that the non-profit is working to protect.