Madagascar
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The Blue Ventures project aims to establish a sustainable, long-term mangrove payment for ecosystem services (PES) scheme to reduce deforestation and degradation and restore mangroves in two locations through the sale of Plan Vivo certificates and Verra carbon credits. Carbon credits generated by conserving and restoring mangrove ecosystems make an important contribution to poverty alleviation and biodiversity conservation in the area. 

All resources and guidance documents from Madagascar can be found on the resources page.

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The project closed critical data gaps in mapping and assessing the dynamics of the mangroves in both location Assessment of the value of mangrove ecosystem services at the Ambanja-Ambaro Bays project site in NW Madagascar explores both market and non-market values. 

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By protecting forests within the bay from deforestation and restoring areas of degraded mangroves, local communities are able to safeguard the vast amount of carbon stored in the mangrove vegetation and sediments – so called ‘blue carbon’ – that is released as CO2 when mangrove forests are destroyed.

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The research quantified the exact nature and dynamics of carbon sequestration and fluxes in Madagascar’s mangroves in order to ensure the proper valuation of blue carbon credits.

Blue Forests Ecosystems

Blue Forests Economy

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Although protecting and restoring mangroves should revitalise fish stocks, beyond deforestation, mangrove fisheries face additional threats from overexploitation. Effective fisheries management is integrated into community mangrove conservation strategies.

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Blue Ventures is contributing to the science required to make community-led, rights-based blue carbon projects a reality, and building the capacity of local management associations to protect their mangroves.

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The high humidity and flowering mangroves of Tsimipaika Bay promote beekeeping and honey production, a non-consumptive ecosystem service of mangroves that can provide sustainable livelihoods.

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In Madagascar the mangroves provide timber for building materials, firewood for charcoal, fisheries for both food security and livelihoods.

 

Blue Forests Policy

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Since 2013, Blue Ventures has been supporting communities in Tsimipaika Bay to find ways to manage their local fisheries. To ensure all communities have a say in the decision-making process, we have been working alongside representatives from all 36 villages in the area to produce a Fisheries Management Plan (FMP).

The aim of this FMP is to increase fisheries resources in the bay, using community-led management measures such as temporary fishery closures, permanent no-take reserves, reducing unsustainable fishing methods and restoring damaged ecosystems. 

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A REDD+ national strategy is currently under development by the Technical REDD Committee and the Ministry of Agriculture, while two existing REDD+ projects, FORECA (2007-2011) and PHCF (2008-) are working with local communities to conserve forest resources through local management transfer in order to study carbon stocks. The ‘Mangrove REDD+ Mapping and Change Analysis’ activity, the intervention will identify mangrove areas that are of priority for REDD+ projects in Madagascar.

 

Blue Forests Communities

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The partner villages decided that funds should go to the villages within the mangroves, and they have come up with a list of priority social investment projects that will improve their well-being – infrastructure like solar panels, safe drinking water projects, improved buildings for schools.

 
Successes
  • Critical data gaps were closed and baselines established which will improve future projects and can help facilitate conversations about protection of these ecosystems at the national level
     

  • Listening: Listening to surveys to understand what life is like for community members, what is easy, what is the social context, and what kind of support do community members need. By prioritizing listening and knowledge sharing, Blue Ventures was able to get community buy in and participation in management and planning of project goals.
     

  • Pro bono support from academics and international community helped support development of local expertise which will improve capacity for replication and scaling up regionally.
     

  • Clear and simple data-sharing methods have been developed to the project managers (the community association) can share the results with illiterate project participants.
     

  • Meeting in person with national government representatives was critical to increasing understanding, this was facilitated by external energy around protecting these ecosystems.

Challenges
  • Benefit sharing community projects take a long time to develop. To maintain interest shorter term milestone benefits would need to be developed concurrently. 
     

  • Mangroves are both terrestrial and marine, which can create a conflicting policy landscape. To overcome this it is necessary for project developers to work closely with the relevant authorities (forestry and fisheries). 
     

  • Improving institutional capacity and enforcement: It is essential to have efficient enforcement bodies, in order to ensure that environmental regulations are followed. 
     

  • Overlapping jurisdictions and governance. As of now, the management of mangroves fall under the responsibility and codes of both the Ministry of Environment, Ecology, and Forests (MEEF) and the Ministry of Marine Resources and Fisheries Madagascar (MRHP). This overlap creates confusion and can hamper effective action. The turn to more horizontal governance focusing on the self-management role of local communities is widely seen as progress, but implementation is lagging behind, and the value of the sustainable management contracts concluded has been put in question.
     

  • Clarifying land tenure and ownership: The lack of clarity regarding land (and therefore carbon) ownership creates difficulties in securing communities’ management rights or benefits of ecosystem services from blue carbon ecosystems. The current national land tenure reform programme (Programme Nationale Foncière – PNF) generally looks at simplifying the land tenure registration process, but does not necessarily bring a solution to the contested claims to customary tenure holdings.

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Sustainable Development Goals Met: 

The UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) recognize that current models for economic growth are insufficient to provide for all people given resource and climate limitations. The SDGs, agreed by all parties of the UN General Assembly, are an international commitment to improve the outcomes of economic development for people and the planet. SDGs are focused on a variety of topics from poverty, hunger and well-being, to climate change, inclusivity, and infrastructure.

 

Harnessing the value of blue forests is an opportunity for coastal and island nations to achieve 15 of the 17 SDGs, fulfill national social, economic and environmental policies; and meet various international commitments, including on climate change and biodiversity conservation.

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Madagascar Blue Forests Project:

Diving deeper into project pathways

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Lessons Learned

Project successes and challenges in Ecuador
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  • 1.5 Money to communities

  • 2.3, 2.4 Improving Fisheries

  • 3.D Providing hospital equipment 

  • 5.5 Representation in community groups

  • 8.4, 8.9 Employment Opportunities, Sustainable economics 

  • 10.B Benefit Sharing, Economic flow to developing countries 

  • 11.4 Protecting Natural Heritage 

  • 12.2, 12.8, 12.A Increased Information in harmony with nature 

  • 13.1, Addressing climate mitigation 

  • 14.2, 14.7, 14.A Protecting coastal ecosystems, strengthening resilience, protecting of mangroves, conserving marine area, increasing sustainable use, increasing scientific knowledge 

  • 15.2, 15.5, 15.9, 15.A, 15.B Sustainable Management of Forests, Restoration, local planning, mobilizing resources, conservation finance 

  • 16.7 Participatory decision making 

  • 17.3, 17.6, 17.9, 17.16 Mobilizing financial resources for developing countries, North/South exchange