Makira Carbon Company
- 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
Makira Forest spans more than 1,500 square miles, making it one of the largest remaining intact blocks of rainforest in Madagascar. It contains 22 species of lemurs, hundreds of bird species, and thousands of plant varieties, many of which are found nowhere else on Earth. It also provides a critical forest “corridor” allowing wildlife to travel between adjoining protected areas and outlying forest blocks. About half of Madagascar’s unique biodiversity—and one percentage of the world’s biodiversity—exist within the greater Makira landscape. The forest also supplies clean water to approximately 300,000 people who live around it.
Poverty, a high population growth rate, and lack of agricultural alternatives have resulted in extensive deforestation in Madagascar. The island loses 386 square miles of its forest each year due to burning for agricultural land. If this trend were to continue, the island’s spectacular natural heritage could disappear in the next century. Illicit logging of precious hardwoods, mining, and the hunting of lemurs, bats, birds, and predators such as the fossa, are serious threats to the integrity of this important landscape.
- Collect data for the design and future management of the new conservation site, including wildlife surveys and socioeconomic research in local communities.
- Contribute to sustainable regional development in the areas surrounding the park; train local community members in ecologically sound agriculture, forest management, and resource conservation techniques.
- Transfer management of the peripheral forests to local communities at several sites in order to reduce deforestation.
- Implement an effective environmental education program.
What WCS is Doing
WCS launched the Makira Carbon Company in collaboration with the government of Madagascar in 2008. The government will sell more than nine million tons of carbon offsets to a global market, with the aid of the Makira Carbon Company established by WCS. Sales will target an array of potential buyers, including principals, brokers, dealers, and other intermediaries in the U.S. and abroad who wish to purchase high-quality emissions reductions delivering multiple benefits to both the environment and economy. Proceeds from sales of Makira carbon will also enhance the economic wellbeing of the people living around the forest.
As a result of these carbon sales, WCS and the Ministry of Environment, Water, Forests and Tourism, in close collaboration with local nonprofit and community organizations, will establish a new Makira Forest protected area. The sale of Makira carbon offsets will provide the long-term financing needed to ensure the management of its pristine forests and unique species.
From the Newsroom
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.