Government partnership to reforest island
Pictured: Baomiavotse Vahinala Raharinirina, Minister of the Environment and Sustainable Development, with Francis Rabarijohn, our General Manager responsible for Madagascar at a press conference to announce the Madagasikarantsika project.
Our business in Madagascar has entered into a three-year partnership with the national government to fund the creation, operation and delivery of five large botanical parks. These parks will contain one million trees covering a total area of 600 hectares.
Deforestation in Madagascar is considered a critical environmental issue with thousands of hectares of forest being lost each year. Over the past 60 years, 45 per cent of the island’s forest area has disappeared.
The project ‘Madagasikarantsika’ – which means ‘Our Madagascar’ – aims to address this issue through a partnership between Imperial Tobacco Madagascar (ITM) and the Ministry of the Environment. While the main aim of the project is centred on climate change, it will also have a positive social impact by creating jobs and generating an income stream from park visitors.
Madagascar is one of Imperial Brands’ most important markets in Africa, and in the last three years we have invested more than €20 million in enhancing our local manufacturing operations. With vertically integrated operations and market leadership, ITM makes significant contributions to employment, the economy and government revenues.
The forestry partnership was formally agreed at a high-profile ceremony attended by 125 guests, including many ministers, representatives of the President and provincial governors.