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land use planning

Land Use Planning for Enhanced Resilience of Landscapes in Madagascar and Mozambique


The widespread use of natural resources and exploitation of forests have left vast areas in Mozambique and Madagascar deforested and degraded. Population growth and climate change are aggravating these challenges. For example, in areas where land is increasingly degraded, crop yields are likely to stagnate or even decline, leading to additional pressure to expand agricultural production into marginal areas to accommodate population’s demands for food. Climate change is likely to further compound the challenge of managing landscapes and sustaining their ability to deliver development benefits in both countries.

There is a need to enhance the countries’ ability to quantify the extent of the status and trend of land degradation (including forest loss) and to estimate the future pressures on land and forests. PROFOR’s program will support the development tools to support integrated decision-making for landscape management across various sectors and levels of government. These tools are expected to help the governments of Madagascar and Mozambique identify an effective mix of interventions to achieve objectives regarding food security, landscapes, and forest sustainability in the face of competing development interests.


The activity consists of two components:

  1. Land degradation baseline: Development of a detailed and up-to-date spatial dataset that will allow the estimation of the capacity of land to deliver the services being assessed (food provisioning, carbon storage, and erosion control), and to improve understanding of the present situation and implications of land and forest degradation. The activity will develop suitable metrics for assessing the extent of land degradation due to both the change of land cover and the use of inadequate management practices on agricultural land.
    • The expected outputs are a land degradation baseline (data and maps), and an interactive spatial data visualization tool
  2. Prototype land planning decision support tool: development of a forward-looking, spatial decision-support tool to assess how selected indicators are likely to change over time in response to exogenous drivers, endogenous responses of socio-economic actors, and policy decisions. The tool will consist of a dynamic land use change analysis platform, organized in different modules. It is intended to capture the interaction between demand for land products (including staple crops and other agriculture products, timber for fuelwood, construction and other uses) and the supply of those products, mediated by local and national markets, and connected through road networks.
    • The expected output is a spatial simulation platform. 

A series of training and dissemination activities will be developed to hand over the full set of data sets and tools to relevant government officials and stakeholders in both countries.



The hydrologic modelling tool (LANDSIM-R) will be directly used by the PADAP team to inform the development of its landscape management plans. More specifically, from the hydrological point of view, the tool will help identify the optimal intervention to implement upstream in order to limit negative impacts from erosion for specific locations downstream. This is a very significant achievement as the tool will serve to decision-making in the preparation of landscape management plans which could constitute the future of land use planning in Madagascar. 

The national model (LANDSIM-P) will be used to present a number of scenarios and examples during a public review event with decision-makers during which the team will present results and will use the occasion to discuss about policies and programs that are needed to address the risks identified in the different scenarios.  


The LANDSIM-P, the land use land cover map, and the land degradation products have been used to assess the impacts of the IDAI cyclone and these datasets were used in order to feed into the PDNA (Post-Disaster Needs Assessment) led by the World Bank in the environment side. The three products have shown that they have potential in a scenario of scarcity of spatial information in the country. The Land degradation baseline results will be also used to design the Land Degradation Neutrality in Mozambique. The former minister MITARDE has been now divided into two ministries, MTA – Land and Environment and MADER – Agriculture and Rural Development. The tool now will be used by both ministries to derive results in order to inform National Policies.

The tool as well as the land degradation baseline in Mozambique, were intensively used to assess and model degraded lands and High degradation risk zones and the information fed into the Proposal submitted to the GEF. Because of the existence of such detailed results, Mozambique got an additional funding from the GEF 7 on the amount of 22million. The tool supportted the identification and assessment of the degradation of critical habitats for restoration, with particular attention to critical habitats in this landscape, including mangrove forests. Mozambique has also been commended for having such tools and results in country during the recent GEF meeting held in Rome in February 2020. Under the Sustenta and MozFIP project, results from the first component are also being used to inform areas that need to be restored. The LandSIM platform has also shown to be of great importance to the Emission Reduction Program in Mozambique. The tool is being employed to assess different optimal scenarios to reduce deforestation while improving the livelihood and food security at the local level. 

Biofund, Foundation for the Conservation of Biodiversity is a private financial institution with the aim of financing the conservation of biodiversity in Mozambique also showed interest on using this tool and were actively engaged since the beginning on the design of the tool. Biofund is one of the institution in Mozambique that will largely benefit from the additional funding from the GEF 7. WCS – Wildlife conservation society in close collaboration with Biofund are now also interested on using the tool and have benefited from the in country training delivered in October 2019.  


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Last Updated : 06-08-2020