Please zoom in or out and select the base layer according to your preference to make the map ready for printing, then press the Print button above.

Holistic Forest Conservation Program by Air France and WWF, Madagascar


In 2008, in cooperation with WWF and the GoodPlanet foundation, the French company AIR FRANCE launched a program to fight deforestation in Madagascar and invested 5 million euros in protecting more than 500,000 ha of forest. The so-called Holistic Conservation Program for Forest (HCPF) has multiple objectives: protecting endangered forests, replanting and restoring, creating new protected areas, and training local communities in the principles of sustainable management of their living heritage.

The HCPF activities are carried out on 5 WWF sites in moist forest (379,974 ha) and dry forest (126,798 ha). According to the company, this large-scale area represents close to 32 million tonnes of stored carbon that can be preserved by lowering the present rate of deforestation. This should support the AIR FRANCE "Climate Plan" strategy, especially in reducing its C02 emissions.

But the AIR FRANCE Program has been criticized since scientists and some NGOs have revealed latent and visible conflicts in the sites covered by the project.

Slash-and-burn agriculture is forbidden in the HCPF areas. And yet, most of forest people in Madagascar currently depend on clearing forest to establish new agricultural land. Also, they depend on forest products for cooking fuel and construction materials. People living closest to the forest also depend, to varying degrees, on forest products for food, medicine, livestock fodder and pasture.

In Ifotaka, WWF has developed ground patrols and an aerial surveillance. Peasants who practice slash-and-burn are fined: they have to pay 30$ and give a zebu (which costs 150$). This is absolutely ridiculous in a country where average income is around 40$/month. And if they cannot pay, they risk criminal sanction (6 months to 1 year imprisonment). This situation has increased social conflicts in Ifotaka, and according to local communities, there is an atmosphere of denunciations in this area. Some peasants had to stop traditional agriculture and became workers in the Program “Food for Work” supported by World Food Program.

International EJOs like Friends of the Earth and investigative journalists from BASTA! consider it as a human rights issue. They are concerned about the future of forest people in this region. Some local civil society organisations thought the AIR FRANCE carbon offset would benefit local communities. This is a problem of unequal distribution of costs and benefits of conservation. The high costs of verification of carbon storage are also an issue, these are "transaction costs" that benefit expert companies but detract from revenue that could go to local people.

Those opposing the project in Amis de la Terre, France, state: "The development of the HCPF takes away entire forest areas from local populations, displaced and that see their means of subsistence reduced. So that a small minority can continue to pollute the planet, we require the world's poorest people to change their way of life: forests and land are no longer natural areas but have become stocks of carbon that must be protected. Worse, to keep an eye on fraudsters, a forest police has been set up: its mission is to track down villagers who clear patches of forest to grow food to feed themselves. Anybody caught in the act risks a heavy fine. If the individual is unable to pay, they are sent to prison.

And as if patrols on the ground were not enough, aeroplanes fly above the villages to keep a better eye on them!"

Basic Data

Name of conflict:Holistic Forest Conservation Program by Air France and WWF, Madagascar
State or province:Toliara
Location of conflict:Fort-Dauphin, Andapa-Bealanana, Fandriana-Marolambo, Ivohibe-Vondrozo
Accuracy of locationMEDIUM (Regional level)

Source of Conflict

Type of conflict. 1st level:Biodiversity conservation conflicts
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Deforestation
Logging and non timber extraction
Specific commodities:Carbon offsets
Ecosystem Services

Project Details and Actors

Project details

AIR FRANCE invested 5 milion euros (6,400,000 US$) in the project in Madagascar

More than 500,000 ha of forest to save which represents 32 million of tonnes of stored carbon that can be preserved

The sites covered by the project:

Andapa-Bealanana site 194,976 ha

Fandriana Marolambo site 24,406 ha

Ivohibe and Vondroso site 109,238 ha

Fort-Dauphin (moist forest) site 51,354 ha

Fort-Dauphin (dry forest) site 126,798 ha

29 contracts for the transfer of natural resource management (TNRM) officialized

Creation of new protected area covering 350,000 ha

Alternative techniques to slash-and-burn tested and adopted by 5,000 households giving an adoption rate of over 17%

Project area:515,000
Level of Investment:6,400,000
Type of populationRural
Start of the conflict:2008
Company names or state enterprises:AIR FRANCE from France
Relevant government actors:Ministry for Environment and Forests, and its regional agencies, Decentralized Territorial Collectivities (CTD), Decentralized Technical Services (STD)
International and Finance InstitutionsWWF from Mexico
Fonds Français pour l'environnement mondial (FFEM) from France
Etc Terra from France
Agence Francaise de Developpement (AFD) from France
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:GoodPlanet Foundation

Conflict & Mobilization

IntensityLATENT (no visible organising at the moment)
Reaction stageLATENT (no visible resistance)
Groups mobilizing:Indigenous groups or traditional communities
International ejos
Local scientists/professionals
International scientists working on Environmental Justice, Human rights and Governance
Friends of the Earth
Forms of mobilization:Creation of alternative reports/knowledge
Development of a network/collective action
Public campaigns


Environmental ImpactsPotential: Food insecurity (crop damage)
Health ImpactsVisible: Malnutrition
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Loss of livelihood, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures
Potential: Violations of human rights
Other socio-economic impactsIncrease of ground patrols and aerial surveillance
Atmosphere of denunciation


Project StatusIn operation
Conflict outcome / response:Compensation
Development of alternatives:Local communities have asked for fair compensation and pointed out the need for alternative techniques to slash-and-burn agriculture. Local EJOS and International scientists call for the immediate cessation of the WWF's repressive method on the ground. The Malagasy private sector suggests that International NGOs give priority to local enterprises in carbon offsetting operations. AIR FRANCE promised to help local communities to sustainably manage 140,000 hectares of forest by increasing awareness of and educate farmers living close to the forests identified for potential Transfer of Natural Resources Management (TNRM) on the social, environmental and economic importance of these transfers ; developing management plans for the forests where TNRM needs to happen ; starting all the proceedings needed to delimit TNRM and officially announce the new TNRM ; assisting local communities while they are implementing the management plan (technical, organizational and legal issues support)
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:No
Briefly explain:The repressive method is still continuing on the ground. Only a few households have been compensated by WWF - GOODPLANET. A lot of the incoming money( which is not much) is spent on verification of carbon storage, little is left for local people. The Malagasy private sector is totally excluded. Most of the local communities do not even know what is a carbon offset and who will benefit from it.

Sources & Materials

References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

REDD+ in Madagascar: Carbon that hides the Forest (Authors: FRIENDS OF THE EARTH and BASTA)

Description of project

Air France : reducing carbon emissions from rich can seriously affect the health of the poor

Greenwashing : AIR FRANCE got nominated to the PINOCCHIO PRICE for its Carbon Project in Madagascar

Air France and the french agency AFD renew the program PHCF in Madagascar

Related media links to videos, campaigns, social network

Madagascar: Carbon Laboratory for the French company AIR FRANCE

Meta information

Last update18/08/2019



Food vs Work


Air France WWF GoodPlanete Program