Holistic Forest Conservation Program - PHCF Phase I

  • At the local level, the island of Madagascar is recognized throughout the planet for presenting a unique and diversified biodiversity. This natural capital is nevertheless threatened by deforestation of the order of 0.53% per year between 2000 and 2005, ie a net loss of approximately 50,000 hectares of natural forest each year. Preserving these forests can, however, contribute to poverty reduction, socio-economic development and the protection of this national and global natural heritage. However, demographic pressure (more than 3%/year), particularly in rural areas, increases the pressure on the forests, as the local population has to meet its needs for wood and fertile soil in order to subsist. In addition, the potential risks of droughts and floods due to climate change should lead to increased risks of fire, diseases and pests, as well as a disruption of the dynamics of the evolution of natural habitats and the 'Soil erosion.

    It was in this context that Yann Arthus-Bertrand, president of the GoodPlanet Foundation, and Jean-Cyril Spinetta, then president of Air France-KLM, laid the foundations for the project in 2006. The WWF was then associated as operator of field and it is Madagascar which is finally chosen as the location for the implementation of the project. The official launch took place in Antananarivo in September 2008 with the objective of fighting against deforestation through support to local communities for the transfer of management of natural resources and through the promotion of sustainable alternative practices in the face of traditional activities which are strongly greenhouse gas emitters and unsustainable.

  • The ambition of the Program is to reduce deforestation and forest degradation, to participate in the development of local communities while protecting Madagascar's unique biodiversity. It also aims to advance scientific knowledge on forest carbon.

    The PHCF Phase I was implemented on a total area of more than 500,000 hectares in both humid forest and spiny forest. On 5 separate sites, 60 people (full-time equivalent) were mobilized to achieve the following objectives:

    • Raising public awareness on the effects of climate change
    • Promotion of alternatives to slash-and-burn agriculture
    • 350,000 ha of creation of protected areas
    • 205,000 ha transfer of natural resource management
    • 30,000 ha of restoration of fragmented forests
    • 3,000 ha of reforestation for firewood and construction

  • Environmental impacts

    • A potential reduction in emissions of 35 million tonnes of CO 2 by 2030 ;
    • Protection of biodiversity by reducing the rate of deforestation/forest degradation;
    • Preservation and restoration of ecological services provided by forest ecosystems;
    • Raising public awareness of the challenges of climate change and sustainable forest management.

    Socio-economic impacts

    • Improvement of the quality of life of local communities, thanks to the diversification of agricultural production and the improvement of their yields;
    • Job creation: use of multiple specialized subcontractors;
    • Local capacity building at institutional and university levels.

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