In 2001, the Madagascar Ministry of Environment and Forests, in collaboration with the Wildlife Conservation Society, launched a program to create the 372,470 ha Makira Forest Protected Area. Operating under protected area status since 2005, the Makira Forest Protected Area REDD+ Project (Makira Project) has helped safeguard one of the largest remaining contiguous tracts of low and mid-altitude rainforest in eastern Madagascar. In June 2008, the Government of Madagascar and the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) announced a joint agreement to market over 31 million tons of carbon offsets over the next 30 years to finance the long-term conservation of one of Madagascar’s most pristine remaining rainforest systems, improve community land stewardship and governance, and support sustainable livelihood practices leading to improved household welfare.
The country of Madagascar, through the Ministry of Environment and Forests, is the principal Project authority and holds carbon ownership rights over all emission offsets generated by the Makira Project.
WCS will continue to expand its collaborative community-based ecological monitoring program within community-managed forests bordering the two parks. This participatory monitoring will be an important component of the overall monitoring approach adopted for Makira, as it is within the community-managed zones where the greatest pressure of deforestation exists. Participatory monitoring will directly engage communities in proper forest management, and can identify and reduce anthropogenic threats.
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The Makira forests ring with the distinctive calls of indri (Madagascar’s largest bodied lemur), red-ruffed lemurs, and serpent eagles. Currently 20 lemur species are found at the project site, giving Makira the highest diversity of lemur species among all of Madagascar’s protected areas. This diversity includes the silky sifaka, one of the 25 most threatened primates in the world, as well as critically important populations of Madagascar’s unique cat-like carnivore, the fossa.
The Makira forests lie within the Antongil Bay landscape in North-eastern Madagascar, the country’s last great wilderness that also contains a staggering one percent of all of the Earth’s biodiversity. Antongil Bay encompasses the Makira forests and the nearby Masoala National Park, representing one of the largest expanses of humid forest left in the biologically rich Eastern Rainforest Biome of Madagascar. Makira’s remarkable diversity of intact ecological systems supports habitats teeming with wildlife and provides ecosystem services vital to both human and animal communities.
Through the Makira Project, WCS will indirectly support improved livelihoods of this population, and directly engage 83 communities (encompassing 50,000 people) engaged in forest resource management transfers in the landscape including over 60 farmer associations.
The Makira Project will generate 31 million tonnes of carbon offsets over the next 30 years.
The Makira REDD+ Project has been validated to the Climate, Community, & Biodiversity (CCB) Standards Second, X Edition, achieving Climate Adaptation and Biodiversity Gold Levels. Verification pending from the Climate, Community, & Biodiversity Alliance (CCBA). The CCBA is a partnership of leading NGOs with a mission to stimulate and promote land-based carbon activities that credibly mitigate global climate change, improve the wellbeing and reduce the poverty of local communities, and conserve biodiversity. The CCBA brings together diverse stakeholders through a transparent and inclusive participatory process to develop standards that stimulate, identify and promote high quality multiple-benefit land-based carbon activities.
About the Project Developer
Wildlife Conservation Society
Wildlife Conservation Society saves wildlife and wild places by understanding critical issues, crafting science-based solutions, and taking conservation actions that benefit nature and humanity. Working with communities and governments to develop subnational REDD+ projects in 20 landscapes across 12 countries, WCS has developed a global expertise in REDD+ project development.