Participatory Erosion Control Project (“PLAE”), Phases I to V

Detailed description of project:

In Madagascar, land degradation accelerates at an alarming rate due to inappropriate land use techniques, uncontrolled bush fires and rapid population growth. The washout of the topsoil is causing sedimentation of irrigation infrastructure and paddy fields, leading to reduced agricultural productivity. At present, the rural population must cover their need for fuel wood, timber and arable land through illegal use of forest land – often from inside protected areas, which threatens the country’s unique biodiversity. Insecure tenure rights further aggravate the situation. The “Participatory Erosion Control Programme” (PLAE) aims at the sustainable management of watersheds and the protection of irrigation perimeters.

The “Participatory Erosion Control Programme”, PLAE l (1998-2004) and PLAE II (2004-2014) were part of the German-Malagasy environmental programme. PLAE I and II focused their interventions on the development of effective and affordable anti-erosion measures and the introduction of improved agricultural techniques in Madagascar's largest cultivated rice areas (Bezaha, Marovoay, Andapa, Soavina, Ambanja and Antananarivo), while training farmers to apply these techniques themselves.

The 3rd phase (2014-2019) increases its scope of intervention by implementing a large-scale community reforestation approach (RVI, Reboisement Villageois Individuel, developed by GIZ). Producers are also being trained in aspects of Conservation Agriculture with the aim of improving their sites and enhancing their value from the outset. Households thus benefit from additional income, and the project contributes to poverty alleviation. In addition, PLAE assists selected communes in securing land tenure for the benefit of farmers and tree planters to guarantee the sustainability of anti-erosion measures. Decentralised communal administrations receive training and organisational support to enhance local governance and strengthen rural development.

During the third phase (2014-2019), PLAE operated in three regions (Boeny, Diana and Betsiboka) covering seven districts and 49 communes, with 909 village-based organisations and about 9.500 farmers implementing the programme. 9.112 hectares were reforested, and 5.500 hectares protected through protective measures uphill.

Phase V of PLAE contributes to the AFR100 / Landscape and Forest Restoration (FLR) initiative and to the sustainable production of wood (especially wood energy). The project targets the reduction of pressure on natural forests, the improvement of the economic situation of the beneficiaries (farmers, stockbreeders, municipalities) and the mitigation of the effects of climate change.

Type of services provided:

AHT works under the umbrella of the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries (MAEP) to which it provides support for the implementation of the PLAE. Since phase III, the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development (MEDD) is increasingly integrated into the programme's activities. The main services are:

  • Formulation and mainstreaming of a national erosion control strategy for the Ministry of Agriculture;
  • Technical and financial management of the entire programme, including part of the RPI (internal resources) on behalf of the MAEP;
  • Assistance in land use planning, land titling and enforcement of related conventions to promote rural development and biodiversity protection;
  • Technical advice for the adaptation of agro-forestry and agro-ecological practices, soil-friendly agriculture that also promotes food security to mitigate the effects of climate change, mechanical erosion control, good management of sedentary and sustainable grazing on degraded land without the use of fire as a pastoral management scheme and protection of investments against bushfires;
  • Reforestation on degraded land, support to the wood energy and the strengthening of biomass energy value chains;
  • Establishment of communal forests on degraded land (reforestation and deforestation; pilot approach);
  • Support to village associations and groups (more than a third of which are women) in planning, managing, and monitoring land restoration;
  • Investment in communal infrastructure, especially for land tenure security, and erosion control measures.
Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (MPAE)
BMZ through KfW
04/1998 – 06/2021
Contract value: 13,241,273 €