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Map of Madagascar. Madagascar is the fourth largest island in the world. It lies off the southeastern coast of continental Africa in the Indian Ocean.



Madagascar is an island nation in the Indian Ocean that lies across the Mozambique Chanel from continental Africa. The population of Madagascar is 20,653,556 (July 2009 estimate)[2] and the island's GDP (purchasing power parity) is $20.76 billion (2008 estimate). [3] Roughly 70% of Madagascar's population practices subsistence agriculture and it is estimated that over 90% of the island's original forest cover has been deforested or degraded, largely for slash-and-burn rice farming. [4]

Madagascar is considered a global biodiversity hotspot of critical conservation importance, as the majority of plant and animal species remaining on the island can be found nowhere else in the world. Conservation International has deemed Madagascar "a living example of species evolution in isolation". [5]


A village women's cooperative farms rice using the System of Rice Intensification to increase crop yields in Madagascar.


  • GEM Biofuels commences crude jatropha oil shipment to Australia, East (sic) Germany, 11 January 2010 by BiofuelsDigest: "In Madagascar, GEM Biofuels will commence commercial production and shipment of crude jatropha oil later this month with 60 tons of oil shipping to Australia and East (sic) Germany."
    • "GEM has secured 50 year agreements giving exclusive rights over 452,500 hectares (in excess of 1 million acres) to establish plantations, ranging in size from 6,000 – 125,000 acres with a further 100,000 acres of natural forest containing substantial numbers of mature Jatropha trees." [6]
  • World Bank, European governments finance illegal timber exports from Madagascar, 11 January 2010 by "...France, Holland, Morocco, and the World Bank have all been implicated in financing illegal logging operations in Madagascar's national parks over the past year. Even as foreign governments condemned the surge in illegal logging last year, many--either directly or through institutions they support--are shareholders in the very banks that have financed the export of illegal lumber".
    • "With so much capital tied up in existing stock, timber traders have come to rely on banks to finance their exports and their ongoing logging operations." [7]
  • Madagascar’s Political Chaos Threatens Conservation Gains, 4 January 2010 by Yale Environment 360: "Since the government's collapse after a coup last March, Madagascar's rainforests have been plundered for their precious wood and unique wildlife. But now there are a few encouraging signs, as officials promise a crackdown on illegal logging and ecotourists begin to return to the island."
    • "Madagascar will need more than admonishments from rich countries and stricter enforcement of trade regulations to restore its once-admired protected areas management system. It needs international support and domestic political will to ensure a future for ecotourism and its spectacular wildlife." [8]


  • Major international banks, shipping companies, and consumers play key role in Madagascar's logging crisis, 16 December 2009 by "Loggers in Madagascar are daily plundering up to $460,000 of precious woods from national parks in the country's northeast....some 620 containers of rosewood with a total value of over $130 million have left Madagascar this year."
    • "Though Malagasy law clearly prohibits the extraction of precious woods from protected areas, a web of contradictory 'ministerial orders' woven over the past decade has obscured the issue."
    • "'some of the world's unique forests, and the communities that rely on them, are being degraded beyond repair to feed our demand for luxury goods.'" [9]
  • REDD in Madagascar, 8 December 2009 by "Barry Ferguson of the University of East Anglia reviews Madagascar's five current REDD Pilot Projects".
    • "Ferguson...notes some of the pitfalls of REDD, including questions of land use rights, meeting the needs of local forest users, and fair distribution of REDD money. Two main suggestions emerge from his review:
      • Community Forest Management will be the Basic Building Block for REDD in Madagascar – but it needs a lot more support to make it work
      • Many Malagasy could be considered as 'Indigenous Peoples' and 'Forest Dwellers' and as such they should have legal rights over their lands including forests" [10]


  • Daewoo Logistics Biofuel Project for Madagascar, 20 November 2008 by TheBioenergySite: South Korean company Daewoo is to take a 99 year lease on approximately one-half of Madagascar's arable land for the production of 5 million tons of corn and 500,000 tons of palm oil for food and for biofuels.
    • "The Telegraph says that Daewoo Logistics may not have to pay anything for the land as the regional governments in Madagascar have negotiated a deal to provide jobs, roads and infrastructure in the region." [13]



Silky sifaka lemurs (Propithecus candidus) live in the northeastern rainforest fragments of Madagascar and are one of the world's top 25 most endangered primates [1]. This rare lemur's rainforest habitat is shrinking each year due to illegal logging and agricultural pressures. REDD might propose economic incentives for avoiding deforestation and degradation of tropical forests in developing countries like Madagascar.

International organizations

Governmental organizations

Nongovernmental organizations

  • The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) is involved in multiple biodiversity conservation projects in Madagascar. In 2008 WCS officially established the Makira Carbon Company to aid Madagascar's government in marketing and selling carbon offsets from the nation's largest remaining contiguous block of tropical rainforest, to private investors to "safeguard this African nation’s wildlife-rich Makira Forest,...contribute to the economic wellbeing of people living around Makira, and help fight global climate change." [16]

Academic organizations



Lemur Conservation in Marojejy National Park. Video by Sharon Pieczenik.


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