Environment synergy


«…Sustainable management of the fuelwood chain for clean, affordable and renewable cooking energy …»

General context


Fuelwood remains the most demanded domestic fuel by Malagasy households. In the study conducted in 2012 within the “Diagnosis of the Energy Sector”, fuelwood represents 92% of the energy supply in Madagascar. Fuelwood, particularly firewood and charcoal has the advantage of being available, easy to store and to use and has a lower price compared to other cooking energy sources such as cooking gas or electricity.


For the particular case of the southwestern region of the Island, where forest formations are vulnerable to any cutting due to the arid climate, charcoal consumption reached 33.300 t or the equivalent of 278 258 tons of dry wood in 2007 (ABETOL[1], 2007). The used wood come from limestone forests and red sand xerophyte thickets, all part of the spiny forest ecoregion, which is known worldwide for its unique biodiversity and its very high level of endemism; these forest ecosystems are part of the priority landscapes of « Manombo-Fiherenana », the « Mahafaly Plateau » and « Amoron’Onilahy ». In all the forests formations of these landscapes, at least 15 000 acres/year of forests are used for Fuelwood; the forests close to the city of Toliara are the most threatened by exploitation.

To face the situation, addressing the fuelwood issue and mitigating its impacts on forest loss have been part of WWF MWIOPO’s challenges since 2008.

The main goal


WWF contributes to the implementation of a sustainable management of the fuelwood chain of custody in the South West region of Madagascar, thus influencing the national policy and regulatory framework for a clean, affordable, and renewable energy for cooking for the majority of the Malagasy people.

[1] Study on the Wood Energy supply for Toliara

The main activities

At the level of the South West region:

  • Support the South West Regional Energy-Forest Committee in coordinating the regional fuelfuelwood strategy implementation;
  • Mobilise the South Western region’s authorities and strengthen the capacities of administrative services in adopting and enforcing a fuelwood chain of custody regulatory framework, including improved forest management, energy efficiency in charcoal production, traceability, taxation and control measures;
  • Support communities for fuelwood oriented reforestation;
  • Support community-based forest management for fuelwood supply;
  • Develop with local partner saving fuelwood stoves initiative for Toliara households.

At a national level:
  • Share with stakeholders, civil society, private sector and public institutions the capitalized experience of the South West region for inspiration and replication in other regions, and as inputs for national consideration;
  • Promote the establishment of a national fuelwood sector regulatory framework as well as a national strategy;
  • Develop with national and international partners an innovative solar cooker initiative.

Project Data

  • Started: February 2008
  • Planned end date: January 2011
  • Executant: Voahirana Randriambola
  • Managing Office: WWF Madagascar and West Indian Ocean Programme Office
  • Address: WWF Madagascar and West Indian Ocean Programme Office B.P. 738 Antananarivo                                                                                      101 Madagascar                                                                                               +261 20 22 348 85
  • Status: active


  • Voahirana RANDRIAMBOLA

    Senior Officer, Extractive Industries & Energy Access

    WWF Madagascar Country Office,

    +261 344980355

Achievements and impacts (situation in march 2010)

* The project Steering committee has been set up and includes: the European Union, the National Centre for Industrial and Technological Research (responsible for the SEESO/CNRIT component), the WWF, the DGF, the DRFT, the Department of Energy, the Inter-regional Department of Energy and Mines, and the Atsimo Andrefana Region. An agreement between the various parties has been signed.

* The strategy document for supplying sustainable Wood Energy for Toliara (ABETOL) is available and is a reference for fuelwood projects in the South West.

* The regional decree related to the set-up of the Regional Forest Energy Committee (RFEC) has been issued by the Atsimo Andrefana Region. In this framework, various consultation works among stakeholders concerned by the Fuel wood value chain have been conducted and allowed to measure how important such a platform is in terms of the coherence, complementarity and coordination of actions undertaken in that field on the one hand, but also as support to the region in its decision making process.

* The regional decree in relation to the regulation of the fuel wood value chain in the region is ready for signature by the Region. In view of the application of this regional regulation on 4 villages (Ankilimalinika, Tsianisiha, Marofoty, Belalanda) on the RN9 axis: 831 coalmen have been listed; areas of production of charcoal have been defined in a participative way and compared to the delimitations of the Protected Areas in 14 Fokontany, in order to control the flow of wood charcoal traceability; 13 selling points have been set in agreement with the sellers and local producers;

the KASTI, local committees for the administration, protection and conservation of forests have been implemented in 19 fokontany; 11 associations of coalmen have been structured. While waiting that the regional decree is signed, an official note governing the rules for production, storage, collection and selling of wood energy in the intervention areas of the project is on implementation. 96 coalmen have been trained for more improved charcoal production practices (in terms of saving wood) and a monitoring of this training and the official note implementation is on way.

* During the afforestation campaign 2008/2009 led in partnership with the Decentralised Territorial Communities, the base communities, the individuals, the schools and the military of the RM5 team, in the villages of Andranohinaly, Andranovory, Ankilimalinika, Tsianisiha, Analamisampy, 135 000 plants have been produced for 37 afforested plots on a surface of 135ha.
The assessment workshop of the 2008-2009 campaign with the beneficiaries and the partners has allowed to analyse the general organisation, to highlight the strengths and the weaknesses, to assess the success rate, and to assess the autonomy of the beneficiaries and the decentralized Territorial Communities in the reforesting works; the 2009/2010 reforesting approach had therefore been defined and is actually on way.

* For the afforestation campaign 2009/2010, 34 beneficiary groups have actively taken part in the afforestation process, around 250 ha have been planted with wood energy species. The approach aims to a progressive autonomy of villagers. Regular monitoring is undertaken from seedlings production to forestry maintenance.
© Viktor Nikiforov / WWF Russia
Viktor and the Tuléar crew on a mission
© Viktor Nikiforov / WWF Russia

Report by volunteer Julie Bremner

Paille en queue rouge 
© WWF / Gaëtan Tovondrainy
Paille en queue rouge
© WWF / Gaëtan Tovondrainy
Forest: a huge resource for local population 
© WWF / Martina Lippuner
Forest: a huge resource for local population
© WWF / Martina Lippuner