Perspectives & planning for fuelwood plantations: social and site analysis for REDD+ leakage prevention of mangrove ecosystems in northwest Madagascar
As the majority of Madagascar’s population continues to rely on wood and charcoal for cooking fuel, today, and as the production of charcoal to meet urban demand is linked to deforestation, plantation projects may offer an option to replace extraction from natural forests. This project aimed to gain insight into the status of plantation projects, in Madagascar, particularly in relation to fuelwood production. I conducted semi-structured interviews with representatives from four organizations that run active plantation projects in Madagascar, regarding project background, decision-making processes, management practices, sites, species, markets, and general thoughts about the role of plantations for fuelwood. Of these projects, two specialized in charcoal production specifically, although all of the organizations had implemented some type of intervention to improve fuelwood or supply chain efficiency. It seems that organizations may benefit from knowledge sharing regarding both approach to plantation as well as regarding technology such as improved-efficiency charcoal kilns. These projects still face numerous challenges as well, due to limitations from funding sources, lack of governmental support, and land tenure access. As most of these projects were recently launched, their impact and durability remain to be seen.