World Bank Funding Forest Conservation
Madagascar is one of the most biodiverse places on earth. Unfortunately, deforestation threatens these unique ecosystems, while contributing to greenhouse gas emissions, global warming and climate change.
This unique island nation has lost more than 94 percent of its forests. Most of the deforestation has taken place in the last 50 years. Breaking that destructive momentum is vital to the nation and the world.
The Makira Forest is one of the largest remaining tropical rainforest areas in Madagascar. It is a tremendously valuable site for biodiversity conservation, carbon storage, and other critical ecosystem services. Conservation International, Madagascar government, and the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) are working together to save this critical forest. The alliance intends to reduce deforestation across Makira’s 350,000 hectares. In addition, the group is working to save what’s left of the Mantadia Corridor, to the south of Makira.
The $50 million agreement will help alleviate poverty among forest-dependent communities, while reducing carbon emissions from deforestation and forest degradation.
Madagascar’s Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Environment, Ecology and Forests signed a landmark agreement today with the World Bank’s Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF), unlocking up to $50 million for efforts to reduce carbon emissions from deforestation and forest degradation between 2020 and 2024. With this Emission Reductions Payment Agreement (ERPA) in place, Madagascar will be paid to avoid deforestation and reduce 10 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions from the country’s rainforest-rich eastern coast.
“Reducing emissions related to deforestation and forest degradation is a crucial part of Madagascar’s effort to fight climate change,” said Marie-Chantal Uwanyiligira, World Bank Country Manager for Madagascar. “The agreement signed today puts the country on track to achieve its ambitious climate targets while improving rural livelihoods. Madagascar is doing its part in the global fight against climate change, as we are in this together.”
“The Madagascar government is delighted this agreement has been signed. It will allow Madagascar to sustainably finance its current policy of restoring the island and the restoration of forest landscapes, while rewarding local actors and the territories that contribute to restoration efforts. The Ministry will ensure fairness in the redistribution of revenues and make it a tool in the fight against precariousness while reducing pressure on the island’s unique biodiversity,” said Baomiavotse Vahinala Raharinirina, Minister of Environment and Sustainable Development.
Madagascar’s Emission Reductions Program is designed to increase agricultural productivity and reduce rural poverty while improving soil quality, conserving water resources, and protecting vital forests and biodiversity. The program area covers 10 percent of the country, stretching across almost 7 million hectares along the country’s eastern humid forest ecosystem. This region is home to more than half of Madagascar’s biodiversity-rich rainforests, which are threatened by agricultural expansion.
The program builds on the country’s integrated agriculture landscape approach that aims to address the direct and indirect causes of deforestation and degradation and protect important watersheds. The program reinforces conservation and community forest management and builds on forest-friendly agroforestry value chains, such as vanilla.
Madagascar is the fifth country in Africa and the eleventh globally to reach such a milestone agreement with the FCPF. The total contract value of the 11 FCPF ERPAs is now in excess of $550 million. ERPAs are innovative instruments that incentivize sustainable land management at scale and help to connect countries with other sources of climate financing. The resources from the FCPF provide new opportunities to conserve and regenerate forest landscapes and biodiversity while simultaneously supporting sustainable economic growth, which is critical for Madagascar’s development going forward.
Madagascar is home to almost 28 million people. If the local ecosystems collapse, many people will be forced to migrate to mainland Africa, an area already bursting under the pressures of land degradation, climate change and population growth. Failure is not an option.
The Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF) is a global partnership of governments, businesses, civil society, and Indigenous Peoples’ organizations focused on reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, forest carbon stock conservation, the sustainable management of forests, and the enhancement of forest carbon stocks in developing countries, activities commonly referred to as REDD+. Launched in 2008, the FCPF has worked with 47 developing countries across Africa, Asia, and Latin America and the Caribbean, along with 17 donors that have made contributions and commitments totaling US$1.3 billion.