Reforestation for Community Development

Ambalavao, Madagascar

The well-known biodiversity of Madagascar is increasingly threatened by deforestation. Forest burning causes progressive and irreversible damage to the country's unique ecosystem, and is rapidly leading to soil degradation and desertification.

The problem cannot be addressed without a comprehensive strategy that involves local people in reforestation activities and trains them to benefit from the produce generated by the forest.

Our bottom-up approach relies on the involvement of a local NGO called Alamanga. The organization was created by the young Malagasy Marie Allimant, who decided to come back to Madagascar after her studies in France to pursue her dream: contribute to the environmental restoration of one of the country's most deforested areas and make lemurs come back to their original habitat.

Our planting activities are designed to tackle deforestation and its main causes:

  • Financial benefits are transferred to the local community: villagers in Ambalavao are paid for planting trees and taking care of the local ecosystem so that they do not need to cut down the forest and exploit the soil with other production.
  • Villagers are educated on the main virtues coming from the preservation of the environment. They are also trained on sustainable management techniques easily replicable by the population and teach those to children from an early age.
  • The project aims at supporting micro-entrepreneurship initiatives related to trees planting such as honey and silkworm production.

We plan to replicate the project in other parts of the island to show that ecology and development can grow side by side. We want to help the creation of micro businesses connected to the use of forest products; we believe sustainable businesses should gradually replace other existing structures dependending on external donor funds.

Location: Madagascar

The project is situated near the town of Ambalavao, which lies south-west of the country’s capital Antananarivo.

Trees planted : 5.000
Total capacity : 80.000

Project Objectives

  • Help restore biodiversity in one of the country’s most deforested areas.
  • Build local skills around sustainable reforestation techniques easily replicable by anyone.
  • Create economic benefits for local people by giving them free access to the use of products from the newly grown forest (starting with honey and silkworm).
  • Boost the creation of local social-environmental companies to progressively substitute the existing structures which rely on donor funds.

Planting progress

Species Planted in Ambalavao


CO2 offset capacity 100kg (why)

Social Value:

Moringa Oleifera is highly prized for its impressive nutritional value. Leaves are rich in minerals, vitamins and proteins.

In various part of the world leaves have been long used as herbal medicine against many diseases. Seeds are used to produce oil and purify water.

Height: average 10 meters


CO2 offset capacity 700kg (why)

Social Value:

Jacaranda Mimosifolia is widely cultivated throughout the tropical and subtropical regions of the world, ranging from 500m to 2800m of elevation. They are used as urban trees for their beautiful purplish blue flowers.

Local farmers plant Jacaranda on the perimeter of the field to provide wind protection and shade.

Height: average 10 up to 15 meters


CO2 offset capacity 800kg (why)

Social Value:

Acacia Mangium is a fast growing tree and is becoming more and more used in agroforestry for its nitrogen fixation and soil regeneration properties.

Nowadays it is valued for its role in silkworm and honey production.

Height: average 20 up to 30 meters