Conservation and sustainable use of natural resources

Programme description

Title: Programme d’Appui à la Gestion de l’Environnement (PAGE)
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Madagascar
Lead executing agency: Ministère de l'Environnement, de l'Ecologie, de la Mer et des Forêts (MEEMF)
Overall term: 2004 to 2016

Madagascar. Baobab for storing water: local strategies for adapting to climate change © GIZ


Most of the population of Madagascar live below the poverty line. Their food and fuelwood needs are leading to progressive deforestation and land degradation and to the loss of biodiversity and key ecosystem services. The institutional framework, instruments and technical capacity for conserving and sustainably using Madagascar’s natural resources are in need of improvement. The new environmental programme (Programme de l’Appui à la Gestion de l’Environnement) has set out to work closely again with the Malagasy ministries after many years of political crisis.


Better conditions are in place to enable various interest groups to conserve and sustainably use Madagascar’s natural resources.

Madagascar. Madagascar’s unique biodiversity © GIZ


The programme is working in three regions (Diana, Boeny and Atsimo-Andrefana) and builds on the experience, networks and strategies of its predecessor, the German-Malagasy Environmental Programme. Activities are being carried out in four areas:

  1. Conservation and sustainable use of natural resources that will boost incomes
    Approaches to sustainable and local governance of resources are being put in place, refined and propagated. Measures to secure and boost incomes for the poor rural population, especially women, will help to firmly establish the relevant approach in the long term. The economic value of protected areas and biodiversity will be increased at all stages of the value chains of activities such as honey production and tourism.

  2. Expansion and professionalisation of the biomass energy value chain
    The programme is supporting all the key actors at regional and local level along the wood energy value chain. These include local user groups working in reforestation zones, charcoal producers and sellers of sustainably produced ‘green’ charcoal. These activities are being implemented by Eco Consulting, a partner that has worked with GIZ in Madagascar in this field for many years.

  3. Strengthening of the political, institutional and legal framework for sustainable use of natural resources
    The programme is strengthening the skills and performance capacity of state actors. As part of this process, policies, strategies and instruments are being updated and devised. Examples include the new forestry policy, environmental legislation, energy policy, regulations on access and benefit sharing (ABS) with regard to genetic resources, and methods and instruments for municipal and regional land use planning. Communication between the various sectors involved is also to be enhanced in order to improve the framework for sustainable governance of resources at national and regional levels.

  4. Integration of environmental and social sustainability aspects into small-scale mining
    Governance of small-scale mining is to be improved. The medium and long-term aim is to counter environmental degradation and the loss of biodiversity caused by mining activities in and around protected areas and to reduce the number of conflicts over resources between local users. On the one hand, the focus is on support for municipalities, which play a key role in the use of small-scale mines. On the other hand, targeted support is also given to strengthen the skills and capabilities of prospectors and intermediaries along the value chain. Particular emphasis is placed on conducting a dialogue with girls and women about their role in the sector. In the Atsimo-Andrefana region, these measures are being cofinanced by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT).


During the political crisis the predecessor programme worked on strengthening civil society through training and consultancy. Civil society organisations are now actively involved in good governance and resource management issues at all levels.

GIZ has been cooperating with charcoal producers since 2006. Following training activities in reforestation, carbonisation and marketing, their incomes have increased by 44 per cent. As part of the ‘green energy’ drive and the professionalisation of the biomass value chain, reafforestation has been carried out on 9,700 hectares of land to which the rural population holds the ownership and usage rights.

Madagascar. Charcoal production © GIZ

As a result of measures taken by the decentralised resource administration and the creation of new protected areas, biodiversity is now protected on 414,140 hectares of land. Administrative and usage rights have been transferred to eight municipalities. By the end of 2013, incomes had risen by over six per cent in the 14,563 rural households that were taking part in the activities supported by GIZ to promote the sustainable use of resources.