To ensure the connectivity between forest patches within Makira Natural Park, and between Makira and Masoala National Parks, through the restoration and replanting of native trees. Additionally, we will support the reforestation of community land in the buffer zone with agroforestry species to improve the wellbeing of the local communities.
Makira faces a number of challenges including growing demands for agricultural land for slash-and-burn rice production (tavy), as well as clearing forest for timber and cash crops. Restoration within the park focuses on particular forest ‘corridors’ which are important to allow forest-dependent species such as endangered lemurs, greater freedom to move. WCS has identified 36 native and lemur-friendly tree species for use in ecological restoration. Seeds are collected in the park and gown in community nurseries near restoration sites. Restoration plantings involve members of local communities and WCS staff. Restoration teams continue to maintain newly planted sites for up to 5 years after tree planting, to ensure survival and that restoration objectives are achieved. The team has already restored over 400 hectares, but the challenge is now to increase the scope and scale of this restoration effort.
There are an estimated 1,800 hectares of degraded forest within these corridors that are in urgent need of restoration. In addition, in the community managed lands around the margins of the park, we estimate there are a further 15,000 hectares of degraded forest that can be restored. In 2019, Madagascar’s new government made reforestation a national priority, pledging to reforest 40,000 hectares annually and setting a target for protected area managers to reforest the equivalent of 1% of their surface area each year within the landscape. WCS aims to deliver this target around Makira.