Makira REDD+ Project

Makira Photo
Preserving tropical forests like Makira not only helps protect the diverse species that live within them, but also provides a key tool for slowing the growth of greenhouse gas emissions that drive climate change.
Julie Larsen Maher ©WCS

In 2001, the Government of Madagascar, in collaboration with WCS, created the 1,438-square-mile Makira Forest Protected Area. Through carbon credit sales from avoided deforestation, the Makira REDD+ Project will finance the long-term conservation of one of Madagascar’s most pristine remaining rainforest systems, home to rare and threatened biodiversity. In addition, it will improve community land stewardship and governance and support sustainable livelihood practices for local people.


Climate change is widely recognized as the greatest threat to biological diversity and human life on Earth. Up to 20 percent of the carbon emissions fueling climate change—an amount greater than the world’s annual transportation emissions—are caused by deforestation and forest degradation. In Madagascar, burning for agricultural land is leading to 100,000 hectares (386 square miles) of forest being lost each year. Such loss poses a particularly grave risk in the Makira landscape, which supports about half of Madagascar's unique biodiversity and one percent of the world’s biodiversity.


  • Reduce deforestation to ensure a reduction in critical habitat loss, habitat degradation, and fragmentation in Madagascar. 
  • Empower the 50,000 people living around the Makira Forest Protected Area by allocating half of net carbon revenues to support improvements in infrastructure, education and health services, training and technical assistance for sustainable agriculture, and alternative livelihoods. 
  • Prevent more than 33 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions over the course of 30 years.
  • Ensure the provision of clean water to the more than 250,000 people who live in the greater landscape, supporting the agriculture-based economy of local people living in and outside of the park.

What WCS is Doing

Working with WCS, the government of Madagascar will sell more than 33 million tons of carbon offsets to a global market. Sales will target buyers who wish to purchase high-quality emissions reductions that can deliver multiple benefits to the environment and economy. Through a benefit-sharing agreement, local communities will receive half of the net proceeds to support community natural resource management, the government of Madagascar will receive 20 percent to support the national REDD process, and WCS, as the Protected Area manager, will receive 20 percent. The remainder is allocated to a foundation to distribute funds to local communities, verification fees, and sales and marketing. Proceeds from sales of Makira carbon will enhance the economic wellbeing of the people living in and around the forest and provide the long-term financing needed to ensure the management of its pristine forests and unique species.

From the Newsroom

Carbon Credits on Sale in Madagascar to Preserve EcosystemSeptember 17, 2013

WCS is proud to partner with the government of Madagascar on an innovative project to help preserve Makira Natural Park.

On Sale in Madagascar: CarbonJune 4, 2008

To save Madagascar’s pristine forests and combat climate change, WCS and the government of Madagascar agree to launch a massive carbon sale, totaling more than nine million tons.

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