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Putting local communities at the heart of Madagascar’s forest conservation

Given the role that Madagascar’s forests play in biodiversity and in mitigating climate change, they are critical environments to conserve. Yet local people’s voices are not reflected in discussions on how to protect these forests and tackle climate change.

The Forest4Climate&People project, supported by a partnership between the U.K. and the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), has put local people at the centre of decisions on forest conservation and restoration. The project’s aim is to ensure the effectiveness of forest carbon programs, while ensuring these programs do not negatively impact the poorest and most vulnerable people.

The project team developed a video highlighting the experiences of forest-edge communities that has been widely used to support discussions and engage policy-makers. It brought local voices to the UN’s COP26 Framework Convention on Climate Change and reached international audiences on BBC Radio 4. More recently, ongoing engagements between the research team and the government prompted Madagascar’s Minister of Environment and Sustainable Development to invite the research team to help review and update key conservation policies related to engagement with forest-edge communities.

Government officials and local community members participating in a tree-planting activity as part of a discussion on the challenges of forest conservation.
Credits: © Forest4Climate&People, Madagascar
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