Restoration of forest landscape challenges in the eastern part of Madagascar, Source: Forest4Climate&People, October 2020

Revue des textes fonciers et forestiers pour la mise en œuvre de la restauration des paysages forestiers à Madagascar

Herimino Manoa Rajaonarivelo, O. Sarobidy Rakotonarivo, Stefana Raharijaona, Eric Raparison, Mirindra Rakotoarisoa, Neal Hockley

Abstract


La restauration des paysages forestiers (RPF) vise à restaurer la fonctionnalité du paysage au profit des populations locales, du climat et de la biodiversité. Elle requiert une gouvernance foncière efficace. Cette étude analyse les inconsistances et limites des stratégies nationales et textes juridiques par rapport à l’efficacité de la RPF et avance des recommandations politiques. Notre analyse montre que la loi malgache encourage le reboisement sur terre dégradée dont le domaine de l’État qui n’est pas délimité et souffre d'empiétement. Le succès du reboisement implique la délimitation de ces domaines, l’allègement des procédures pour les acquérir par les communautés locales ainsi que l'inclusion de ces dernières. Une révision des zones forestières sous régime forestier de l’État et des Collectivités territoriales décentralisées est aussi requise. Quant aux forêts naturelles, l’incertitude concernant leur statut et les droits des communautés rendent leur restauration très complexe. Nous recommandons que le projet de loi régissant ces terrains à statut spécifique considère plus explicitement la pluralité et la complexité de leur gestion et l’amélioration du droit des communautés locales et du Fokonolona. L’apport de bénéfices concrets aux communautés locales permettrait également de garantir la pérennisation des activités de RPF. Enfin, la restauration effective des zones agroforestières telles que les pâturages est parmi les motifs clés justifient la nécessité de reconnaître légalement et formellement les Fokonolona et les pratiques coutumières. La synergie des cadres juridiques et politiques des différents secteurs est essentielle pour assurer l’efficacité écologique et sociale de la RPF.

 

Abstract

Forest landscape restoration (FLR) aims to restore landscape functionality for the benefit of people, climate and biodiversity. Increasingly, land tenure and rights are being considered as important enabling factors in FLR. This study analyses tenure considerations in Madagascar’s legal texts and FLR policies, outline their inconsistencies and potential limits in achieving FLR aims, and advance policy recommendations. We found that the current legal texts and framework present several inconsistencies that might impede the effectiveness of FLR in delivering positive environmental and social outcomes. Our analyses demonstrate that most of the target areas for reforestation prescribed by national guidelines are not physically demarcated on the ground and are frequently occupied by local people. This implies that reforestation on degraded lands and its upscaling urgently requires the identification and delimitation of these target lands, and greater involvement of local communities. There are incentives for private individuals or groups to plant trees in return for formalizing their land rights on these target areas, but procedures are very complex, and this has delivered little. To increase the positive impacts on local livelihoods and local uptake, we recommend reducing the complexity of devolving ownership rights of these reforested lands to the local community. A review of forest areas legally vested in the forest regime of the state and decentralized local authorities is also required to promote local participation and reduce potential land conflicts. Regarding natural forests, uncertainties around their legal status and the rights of communities make their restoration very complex. We recommend that the law that is currently being drafted to define the tenure status of these lands explicitly takes into account the plurality and complexity of their management and considers the rights of local communities more explicitly to secure their cooperation. In addition, the sustainability of FLR activities in the long term relies on delivering tangible economic benefits to local communities besides access rights, especially where ecological restoration of native species is prioritized. Currently, these benefits are mostly anticipated from payments for ecosystem services schemes which have not so far materialized. The FLR national strategy and draft law concerning the restoration of agroforestry areas such as pastures do not currently make any provision for the recognition of the Fokonolona (the village community) or customary practices. This may seriously undermine local communities’ rights and risk encouraging land grabbing by more powerful entities. Inconsistencies in legal texts can undermine the effectiveness of the forest restoration in terms of hectares restored, it can also result in poor outcomes for local people. Finally, a greater synergy and coherence of public policies and legal texts across the land management, mining, agricultural and environmental sectors is required to increase the effectiveness of FLR in delivering positive social and environmental outcomes.


Keywords


Restauration des paysages forestiers; textes légaux; inconsistance; limite

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Madag. conserv. dev.
ISSN: 1662-2510