Social Media

The Baobab Forests of Western Madagascar

The baobab forests of western Madagascar are among the most biologically unique places on Earth. They are also among the most threatened. Due to low funding, lack of global recognition, and increasing pressure from local and migrant communities, the Baobab forest landscape is being deforested at an alarming rate. There is a very real risk of mass extinctions of many species.

  • Where
    Morondava, Madagascar
  • Focus area
  • Duration
    2023 - 2027
  • Economy
    DKK 15 million
Prime partner: Madagascar Protected Areas and Biodiversity Trust Fund (FAPBM)


The proposed landscape is part of the Western Madagascar ecoregion whose dominant ecosystem is dry forest, with some important lake ecosystems. This area is considered one of the most important ecological regions in the world. The landscape has very high endemicity: mammals 91%, birds 70%, reptiles and amphibians 100%, and contains great floristic richness with a 70% plant endemicity.

Madagascar is one of 24 regions in the world recently identified as "deforestation fronts" (WWF, 2021). Like all protected areas and landscapes in Madagascar, despite their biological importance, the Baobab Forests are also subject to many anthropogenic pressures. It is currently threatened by illegal logging for timber, charcoal production, and slash-and-burn agriculture. The non-application of laws and low numbers of forest rangers and patrol groups pose a major threat to the landscape because they do not deter illegal activities.

Additionally, Madagascar is one of the most vulnerable countries to extreme weather events, ranking 8th in the Global Climate Risk Index and 4th amongst African countries (CPGU & BNCCC, 2011). The forests in the landscape strengthen the adaptive capacity of the populations of the area. If forest conservation is not strengthened, it will lead to severe impacts for local communities.

The project

There is a sense of urgency to protect the area, and a coming together of partners around a shared vision for protection, restoration and community engagement, which provides an opportunity to protect and restore these forests.

A partnership of local, national and international NGOs have recently created a new consortium that aims to address the main drivers of deforestation and to create mechanisms for sustainable financing of this landscape. Activities range from improved legal status for the forests, to improved law enforcement, to the provision of new equipment to support protected area management, to community livelihoods and alternative sources of land for agriculture and fuelwood. The vision is strong and the stakeholders are aligned around the set of priority activities that are urgently needed to protect this landscape.

When this work has been completed, there will be a coordinated network of partners and protected areas in the landscape, shared expertise and improved capacity to implement the project activities, reduced forest loss and increased forest cover through restoration, and global recognition of the importance of the site that will lead to increased funding and long-term financing for conservation of the landscape.


  1. The conservation areas of the landscape are secured through the reinforcement of management capacities and operational procedures.
  2. Coherent landscape co-management systems are developed and implemented.
  3. A regional and national multi-stakeholder forum with regional partners that are proactively promoting and supporting the landscape.
  4. Identified climate resilient and forest friendly livelihoods and value chains are scaled-up across the landscape by the project partners.
  5. Sustainable landscape funding mechanisms are identified and promoted.