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Safeguarding Madagascar’s Largest and Most Intact Evergreen Forest

The project will reduce deforestation in Madagascar’s Makira-Masoala forest, the country’s largest and most intact block of primary rainforest, covering 602,470 hectares.

  • Where
    Makira Natural Park, Anjiahely, Madagascar
  • Focus area
  • Duration
    2023 - 2027
  • Economy
    DKK 11,4 million
Prime partner: WCS - Wildlife Conservation Society


Located in northeast Madagascar, the Makira-Masoala ecosystem contains the highest diversity of flora and fauna (including the highest diversity of lemurs) anywhere in Madagascar, and is recognized as a globally important biodiversity hotspot. Protected by Makira Natural Park and Masoala National Park, the ecosystem extends from the coastline of Antongil Bay to ridges at 1,500m elevation. These two contiguous protected areas contain more than 500,000ha of forest.

This forest provides material and ecosystem services for more than 230,000 people, most of whom live in villages located adjacent to Makira Natural Park and Masoala National Park. Many of these communities rely on natural resources from inside these protected areas, but extreme poverty, reliance on agricultural land, and a high frequency of natural disasters means communities are often in a cycle of short-term decision-making that leads to loss of forest for expansion of small-scale slash-and-burn agriculture. While the deforestation rate in the landscape is currently relatively low compared to some other areas in the country, it is significantly higher in the surrounding community forests.


The project

To reduce deforestation rates in Makira, there is a narrow window of time to establish and strengthen science-based actions to slow, stabilise, and eventually reduce deforestation rates in the surrounding community forests. This project will achieve this through a suite of activities that operate under short, medium, and long-term timelines. The program consists of highly coordinated, cross-sectoral activities that combine protected area management, community-led governance of community forests, and conservation friendly and climate-smart agriculture, which taken together will reduce forest loss.

Our funding specifically addresses a distinct sub-sector of the wider project implemented by WCS, by focusing on improving governance and empowering community forest committees with the technical and financial means to design, implement, monitor, and evaluate locally led activities that aim to positively influence the decisions that community members make about deforestation.


  1. Empower community forest committees to reduce risk of deforestation through a small grants program and expansion of conservation enterprises
  2. Improve management of Makira and other protected areas in Madagascar by systematically gathering and using data on the landscape to improve management, and supporting the institutional strengthening of Madagascar National Parks
  3. Pursue a multi-pronged strategy for sustainable financing of Makira by taking advantage of a potential opportunity to re-start the sale of Makira carbon credits, promote Makira as a model for conservation in Madagascar, and communicate the critical need for continued investment