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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:
- 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
- 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.
In April 2018, the first technical report, “Land Degradation Baseline,” was delivered and highlights the progress with the development of a land degradation baseline, which consists of an assessment of different aspects of land degradation at a national level, using a combination of remote sensing techniques, and expert opinion.
The PADAP team will use the regional model (LANDSIM-R) 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: The tool will serve in decision making in the preparation of landscape management plans that could constitute the future of land use planning in Madagascar.
The second technical report, “LAUREL – Land Use Simulation Platform,” was issued in November 2018. It describes the technical approach to take in the development of the LANDSIM platform and presents a further definition of the modeling approach at the conceptual level as well as first simulation results, focusing on reference scenarios (i.e., no policy interventions).
The LANDSIM-P, the land use land cover map, and the land degradation products have been used to assess the impacts of Cyclone Idai and these data sets were used to feed into the PDNA (Post-Disaster Needs Assessment) led by the World Bank on the environment side. The three products have shown that they have potential in a scenario of scarcity of spatial information in the country.
This activity is on-going. Results will be reported as the implementation of this project progresses over time.
Last Updated : 06-07-2019
Madagascar Needs Assessment of Scientific and Technical Capacity Related to Management and Conservation of Precious Woods
Madagascar faces severe challenges from the illegal logging and exportation of precious woods like rosewood (Dalbergia spp) and ebony (Diospyros spp), damaging pristine ecosystems and depriving the state of the revenue that could support a sustainable forest management system. Although the 16th Conference of the Parties of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) agreed on an action plan in 2013 to protect precious hardwoods, little has been done to improve the capacity needed to implement this plan.
This report aims to inform the implementation of the scientific work envisaged under the CITES Action Plan, along with priority activities identified by the Government of Madagascar. In the short-term, scientific and technical tools can provide a credible basis for enforcing the Malagasy and international laws that govern trade in precious hardwoods. In the medium and long-term, these tools can help to reliably identify precious woods, and thus support enforcement agents in sustainably managing forests.
This report focuses on: (1) geographic range and population status of precious timber species of Dalbergia and Diospyros species; (2) species identification technologies; (3) silvicultural potential for regeneration of these species; and (4) private sector potential for developing a value chain for the sustainable exploitation of precious timbers.
This report reveals significant gaps in the knowledge and available tools needed to implement the CITES Action Plan, but also finds that a solid foundation exists for overcoming each of these gaps – if donor and technical partners step up to work with relevant institutions and authorities in Madagascar. Malagasy and international experts in each of the key areas (taxonomy, field collection and identification, development and management of a reference collection and a database, wood anatomy, DNA barcoding, and mass spectrometry) have conducted promising pilot initiatives and are working in close collaboration with a shared vision of how to address the most pressing issues and to develop the needed knowledge and tools. Now is the time to scale these efforts up.
The report is available in English and French.
Last Updated : 06-25-2018