Forests and Livelihoods

Madagascar’s forests are home to thousands of plants and animals found nowhere else on earth yet extreme poverty is threatening their future survival. Population pressure combined with climate change is trapping Malagasy people into a negative spiral of hunger and environmental degradation. MfM has long recognised the interdependence of people and their environment. Through education, training and practical support, we enable farmers and forest dwellers to provide for their families, whilst protecting and restoring their fragile environment.  Urgent attention is now focussed on reforestation, sustainable food security and resilience to climate change.

Money for Madagascar’s Forests and livelihoods programme stretches across 4 regions of Madagascar, from the dry West of Madagascar to the highly endangered rainforests in the East.  MfM’s Malagasy-Led Forest and Livelihoods Programme includes more than 10 partners including: Malagasy NGOs and Community Based Organisations, Social Entreprises, Government Agencies, International NGOs/Agencies and Research Institutions both in Madagascar and in Europe.

In 2022, thanks to a research and development grant from the Waterloo Foundation, Money for Madagascar launched a new Forest and Livelihoods Programme, fit to face Madagascar’s urgent challenges of climate and biodiversity emergencies. The new programme combines 3 decades of MfM’s local experience with latest research and new partnerships, in order to protect and restore biodiversity, whilst combatting poverty and building resilient forest communities. Below are some example of current MfM Forest Projects.

YOUTH FOR LEMURS PROJECT- Funded by DEFRA’s DARWIN Initiative 2022-2025

Enabling youths to lead lemur conservation in eastern Madagascar.

This project tackles a key driver of Madagascar’s accelerated biodiversity loss: the growing population’s need to clear forests for agriculture. Around three Reserves in eastern Madagascar, we will equip 200 youths with the knowledge, skills, and experience needed to increase yields through sustainable farming, adopt aromatic and medicinal plants in their farming systems and market their products with ethical enterprises. Youths will share their knowledge, skills, and experience in their communities and will engage all members in lemur conservation stewardship.

Partners Include: Madagasikara Voakajy, Association Mitsinjo , Label CBD Consulting,  Delegation de la Jeunesse Moramanga , Circonscription de l’Agriculture, de l’Elevage et de la Peche , Circonscription de l’Environnement et du Developpement Durable 


This project aims to strengthen the capacities of local communities and civil society at regional and local levels to improve adaptive capacity and reduce exposure to climate change risks. Supporting forestry activities, such as the promotion of agroforestry, restoration of degraded habitats, and training of young leaders to deliver support services related to forestry. This capacity building and training project is an example of MfM’s strategic commitment to investing in Malagasy-led conservation and development.

DYNAMIC AGRO-FORESTRY PROJECT (DAF) – with Sadabe in the Tsinjoarivo Rainforest – 2022 onwards

This new DAF programme is at the heart of MfM’s new Forests and Livelihoods Programme. Building on the DAF model successfully demonstrated by Nature Fund, MfM’s new DAF programme is testing how DAF may be used in Madagascar to combat hunger and food insecurity whilst restoring land and protecting forests. The Tsinjoarivo forest has been identified (by the Rainforest Trust) as a priority conservation site, where unique flora and fauna are under pressure of extinction from vulnerable farming communities who rely on the forest for their livelihoods. Highly inaccessible, the Tsinjoarivo forest has been largely overlooked by major conservation NGOs, whilst local community groups have struggled to take on the huge conservation challenge, with little help. In 2021 MfM formed a new partnership with a long established NGO, Sadabe who have built strong relationships with the farming communities around the Tsinjoarivo forest. Together we have launched a DAF pilot programme in Tsinjoarivo, thanks to seed funding from committed individuals and Trusts and Foundations. MfM has now formed a partnership with the University of the West of England to support Sadabe to develop a robust conservation plan. New plans will combine practical field work led by Sadabe alongside research led by the University of Antananarivo with support from UWE and MfM. The wider objectives are to develop a robust and effective model that combines conservation with food security, with a view to benefiting farming communities in environmental hotspots across Madagascar. Funding is currently sought to deliver this ambitious project.

PROJET ‘FIERES’ – Women’s conservation for resilience in Melaky Region – funded by the Ambassade de France’s PISCAA fund – 2023-2024.

In Maintirano and the Melaky region, we are working with our partners SAF Melaky and FIVEMI to empower women to sustainably support their families and restore their degraded landscape. Working through a network of cooperatives, women and girls on Madagascar’s isolated west coast, empower each other to build more climate resilient lives through practical workshops, training and community savings schemes. Women inspire and train other women. Leading by example they build sustainable income generating activities, undertake reforestation, master adapted food growing techniques and deliver conservation education to schools and community groups. The Melaky region is cut off from the rest of the Island by an impassible road for many months of the year. This inaccessible region suffers from chronic under-funding and lack of support from conservation and development agencies. For over a decade MfM has supported inspiration women from Melaky to lead their own development and conservation. MfM is delighted to secure new funding to expand this work in 2023.

Find out more about MfM’s work in Melaky…


In Andasibe –Mantadia we are supporting the local community to restore the decimated forest that used to surround the famous Andasibe National Park and the Torotorofotsy protected wetland. Planting wildlife corridors of indigenous tree species provides local employment and helps preserve biodiversity, enabling endangered wildlife like the Indri lemur to reach fresh pockets of forest to find new breeding partners. Sustainable livelihood development activities provide families with alternatives to destructive slash and burn agriculture.                                                                                                                                                                                                                  
Find out more…


In Analamanga, we are working with our Malagasy NGO partner Working Together for the Development of Madagascar ‘WtDM’ to tackle extreme poverty and build resilience in in villages that face food insecurity, as their crops are ruined by extreme weather and natural disasters resulting from climate change. We work with families, living below the poverty line, to identify and address underlying causes of food insecurity and climate vulnerability, through agro-forestry, climate smart farming, income diversification and community savings schemes.

Find out more…


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