Protecting life on Earth – the environment and natural resources Fostering nature conservation, protecting biodiversity, securing local prosperity

One major focus of Germany's development cooperation with Madagascar is environmental protection. The island is a unique biodiversity hotspot. It is home to many animal and plant species not found anywhere else in the world.

Farmers harvesting rice

Farmers harvesting rice

Farmers harvesting rice

The country's natural resources are under extreme pressure. More and more areas of rainforest are chopped down or cleared by slash and burn to obtain firewood and create new farmland. There are many reasons for this: a lack of alternative sources of energy in rural areas; the deeply ingrained tradition of farming on cleared forest land; and great demand for new farmland due to the fact that the population is growing and existing farmland is increasingly threatened by erosion due to overexploitation. Forests are also being cut down so that precious woods can be exported.

Deforestation is leading to the further deterioration of soil quality and of the hydrological balance, causing agricultural productivity to decline and poverty in rural areas to increase. The impact of climate change is putting additional pressure on the country's delicate ecosystems.

German activities

See also
Rainforest in Brazil

The development cooperation between Germany and Madagascar therefore focuses on combining effective nature conservation with sustainable improvements to people's living conditions.

KfW Development Bank, acting on behalf of the BMZ, is making targeted investments in Madagascar's national parks, simultaneously benefiting local communities in buffer zones. The activities focus on sustainable park management and ecotourism.

Together with the European Union, Germany is also assisting Madagascar in restoring forest areas. In the regions of Boeny and Diana, efforts are under way to develop sustainable alternatives to illegal logging, so as to meet local demand for firewood and construction timber. Training is provided to farmers on how to use natural resources in an environmentally sustainable way and improve farming techniques with a view to increasing their incomes.

In order to put these efforts on a lasting basis, GIZ is engaged in a related project that works closely with the government and administrative bodies. Among other things, the project provides support to specialised government authorities as they advise and assist local user groups with regard to sustainable resource management.