Reforestation to secure energy supplies has proven to be an alternative to charcoal production from natural forests, which goes at the expense of the natural resource base. The "green charcoal" ("Charbon vert") is successfully marketed.


German-Malagasy Environmental Programme (PGM-E) – Component: Decentral management of natural resources

In Madagascar, each year large parts of the forest cover are exploited for charcoal production. The charcoal is transported to the urban centres to be used for cooking in private households. To reduce deforestation and secure tomorrow's energy supply for large agglomerations the project supported community reforestation, helped introduce more efficient charchoal production methods and economizing stoves, and encouraged villagers in decentralized sustainable forest management approaches, based on land use titles.

To consolidate the results and upscale best practices the programme cooperated with partners from the public, non-governmental and  private sectors who share German bilateral cooperation's interest in curbing deforestation, on the one hand, and promoting a resource-economic, sensible way of self-sustaining, independent energy supplies. Local resources management (forest, energy, soil) was supported under enhanced participation of private and village stakeholders.

Sharing out technical expertise and in-country experience in the sector since 2004 (with advise to programme partners at the respective levels in programme planning, organisation and implementation of the programme in predecessor projects such as "Conservation and sustainable management of natural resources/ Renewable Energy Component") ECO Consult further assisted in disseminating best practices and facilitating the transition towards sustainable biomass energy provision.

Through various phases ECO's contributions included the following activities:

1. Involvement in the advancement of community/ private forest management models in natural forests and afforestations, including the use, transformation and marketing of wood products.

2. Advancement of economic models for forestry production, including anti-poverty effectiveness of forest management and use. Those models account for potential conflicts of forestry with agricultural land use forms and economic consequences of biodiversity conservation.

3. Representation of the energy sector, in particular renewable energies, in the national discussion, particularly in the context of the environmental action plan.

4. Cooperation (networking) with other technical cooperation projects acting in the field of household fuel supply. In particular, cooperation with the sector project “basic energy supply”, which promotes knowledge management and concept development for this issue.

5. Cooperation with international and national forestry and energy relevant projects with national decision makers and other donors.

Impacts and accounts from the context of the programme were compiled by GIZ in the booklet: "Entre fourneaux et esprits de la forêt – La protection de la nature entre efficience énergétique et vieilles traditions: Des idées venues de Madagascar" (part of the series "La durabilité et ses différents visages"). Ready to be downloaded here (French PDF, 4.9 MB/ German PDF, 4.9 MB)

Time span
2007 – 2016   

Commissioning body           
Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH

Issue papers on RVI

ECO's new series of issue papers highlights aspects of the successful community reforestation approach in Madagascar, in the frame of the PGM-E/GIZ and now PAGE/GIZ (see main article, left). The first issue treats some standard prerequisites and principles that must be respected to avoid adverse effects. (1,6 MB)

RVI: Insights into a groundbreaking approach

Afforestation measures have been tested for decades, in Madagascar. But it was only through a novel approach of community reforestation ("Reboisement villageois individuel, RVI") that huge parts of devastated land could finally be saved from erosion and made accessible for economic activities. The approach is introduced and lessons summarized in: "Le Reboisement villageois individuel: Leçons apprises du projet GREEN-Mad, Madagascar" 
(4.62 MB)

Imprint | Disclaimer | Data security