Madagascar is considered to be one of the top five biodiversity hotspots in the world due to more than 75% of all animal and plant species being endemic while less than 10% of its primary vegetation is remaining. The Makira REDD+ project plays an essential role in biodiversity protection by limiting deforestation in 360,000 hectares (more than twice the size of Greater London) of the Makira forest and working with communities around the forest in a ‘protection zone’ of 320,000 hectares.
The project is validated to the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) and has also achieved Gold Level of the Climate, Community and Biodiversity (CCB) standard, due to its huge biodiversity benefits and its extensive work with communities to assist in adapting to the impacts of climate change.
The Makira forests provide one of the country’s last great wilderness areas, representing one of the largest expanses of humid forest left. It is estimated that more than half of the country’s floral biodiversity can be found in the Greater Makira/Masoala/Antongil Bay landscape, making it the richest region in terms of biodiversity.
Of any country in Africa, Madagascar contains the greatest number of total animal species classified as critically endangered, endangered, or vulnerable, under the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the third largest number of plant species under the same IUCN classifications.
Julie Larsen Maher © WCS