Madagascar : Planète Urgence’s project for the preservation of Tapia forests and support local communities
GROUPE SOS in Madagascar
In January 2023, GROUPE SOS’ international team set off for Madagascar to meet with the teams of Planète Urgence, PPI and Santé Sud. Madagascar is the second country of intervention for GROUPE SOS, with over a hundred colleagues making the world a better place through impact-driven projects. Therefore, the 2023 Staff Day was naturally held in the region, in Antananarivo. On the agenda: collective intelligence workshops, climate collage and an intervention by Vatosoa Rakotondrazafy, advocating for Madagascar’s unique marine and terrestrial biodiversity.
In Antananarivo, our international team also had the privilege to engage in-depths discussions with the EU’s Ambassador Isabelle Delattre Burger, Head of cooperation Arnaud Borchard, and their teams. Jean-Marc Borello, Alexandre Lourié, Anna Lanfranchi and Niry Ramaromandray also discussed about the power of green and social entrepreneurs with the French Ambassador Arnaud Guillois, the Health officer Christophe Vanhecke, Head of cooperation Alexandre Magat, as well as the AFD’s director Yves Guicquéro, along with other leaders.
In Madagascar, we adress environmental challenges
In Madagascar, environmental challenges are already noticeable, as up to 20% of the beaches have been lost as a result of the climate crisis. Besides, local ecosystems are endangered: for instance, endemic species such as the Tapia may cause massive erosion and food insecurity in the future.
The Tapia tree is massively harvested for firewood and charcoal production, which has been the main fuel for households in the capital. On top of this, clearing for food crops along with the progressive removal of Tapia to ease the registering of parcels is still going on.
To adress the issue, Planète Urgence launched the TAPIA project in 2013, which main goal is to restore, protect and reduce sustainably the human pressure on the tapia forest by increasing natural forest cover through reforestation. Another goal of the TAPIA project is to ensure additional incomes for communities through reforestation of wood-energy and honey. The support for income-generating activities through the local and sustainable production and enhancement of non-timber forest products, natural resources from restored and preserved ecosystems. In 2022, Planète Urgence is supported by AFD, which provides them with funding for three years.
Preserve forests through training and support
To achieve this goal, Planète Urgence carries out capacity building actions to make the community-based organizations even more successful and resilient, so they can operate to preserve the tapia forest in several communes of the ITASY region. Thanks to the project, 500 beneficiaries have been supported and trained by Planète Urgence to implement income-generating activities. Trained to restore the forests’ ecosystem, provide education actions to raise ecological awareness of kids, increase their income from silk production and provide alternative wood energy to stop injuring the Tapia trees, that need to be protected (for example with Acacia wood for energy).
Last but not least, the TAPIA project contribute everyday to give pride and self-confidence to communities creating skills and jobs on their territory while preserving their natural heritage.
Social and Solidarity Economy is an excellent catalyzer for sustainable development in Madagascar. With social entrepreneurs, let’s build a fairer and better future through meaningful projects and systemic change!