Madagascar aims to restore 4 million ha of degraded forests by 2030 under the Bonn Challenge. Chief among the constraints identified to forest landscape restoration (FLR) are a lack of tenure security for smallholders and weak forest law enforcement. We present preliminary results from research in Boeny Region, Madagascar to improve understanding of local tenure systems and how they might affect FLR investment. We identified two land tenure models: an endogenous model rooted in the local customary system with weak state intervention, and an exogenous model heavily influenced by external actors and where customary systems have limited legitimacy. These differences will affect FLR investment choices and success of tenure securitization. We recommend that FLR actors be trained to use tenure diagnostic tools that distinguish between different hybrid systems. Such training will provide FLR actors with the conceptual tools needed to design and implement FLR programs appropriate for complex tenure systems.