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Fuelwood plantations to safeguard the natural forests of Amoron'i Onilahy

The dependence of local communities on natural forest resources is one of the main causes of accelerated forest degradation.

Exploited for energy, charcoal, agricultural crops or construction, natural forests are gradually losing their capacity to provide vital ecological services for nature and people. In the Atsimo Andrefana region, satellite analyses in 2023 revealed 110 hectares of forest loss around the Amoron'i Onilahy protected area.
Whether in rural or urban areas, household needs for cooking are driving the destruction of natural forests. Indeed, in Toliara alone, to maintain a sustainable supply of fuelwood, up to 30,000 hectares of fast-growing wood would have to be cultivated.
The Atsimo Andrefana Region continues to promote reforestation for wood energy with its various partners, including WWF. This also includes the popularization of the use of improved stoves, but above all the support of local communities in alternative activities. Once aware of the importance of reforestation for wood energy, reforestation associations and charcoal makers join forces to multiply planting efforts and reduce the exploitation of natural forests.
Over the past three years, local communities have planted up to 348 hectares of fuelwood areas and helped restore 140 hectares of dry and spiny forests. The planting areas are located in the communes of Andranovory and Andranihinaly, in the Tuléar II district, and in the communes of Behataka and Ambatry Mitsinjo, in the Betioky district. The seedlings planted come from seven wood energy nurseries in the Tuléar II district, communes of Ambohimahavelona (Ambiky) and Andranovory (Vineta); and the Betioky district, communes of Tongobory (Tameantsoa), Behataka (Anjabalo, Ampasindava), and Ambatry (Andabolava). These nurseries produce over 90,000 seedlings a year, and are run by 22 male and female nurserygrowers.
Supporting local communities in the development of sustainable alternatives such as fuelwood is essential to maintain the health of the forests, provide a sustainable livelihood for these communities, and sustainably supply large cities with cooking fuel. This initiative will help to regenerate dry forests, which are difficult to restore, preserve biodiversity and reduce the impact of climate change.
In memory of our dear colleague Jean Louis Haja Ramiandravola
Fuelwood Technical Assistant
Mahafaly landscape team


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