Madagascar has established ambitious goals for restoring its degraded forests under the Bonn Challenge; tenure rights and tenure security are likely to affect landholders’ willingness to invest in forest landscape restoration practices.
In northwestern Madagascar (Boeny region), tenure challenges in three major local land categories (forests, savannas and seasonally flooded bottomlands) need to be considered; each category has particular tenure issues associated with it.
The main sources of tenure insecurity for forests are: (a) the undermining of local forest management groups and (b) tensions between the Forest Service and communes over allocation rights to forested lands.
In the savannas, reforestation is emerging as a way for migrants to claim land through the state, thereby bypassing traditional authorities. While tenure security is strengthened for migrants, there is a long-term risk of conflict as the area available for grazing lands and upland crops declines.
In the bottomlands, women in some communities are working to obtain primary rights to land; having those rights will provide a greater incentive to plant trees since secondary rights holders are typically prohibited from doing so.
Tenure varies across the different land types; these differences and their impacts on landholders’ willingness to invest in land conservation are important to understand for the implementation of forest landscape restoration.