New York, NY -- Madagascar’s Makira-Masoala wilderness will receive an annual $1 million grant through a new agreement between the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and Legacy Landscapes Fund (LLF), with support from Arcadia. The agreement provides annual funding of $1 million per year under LLF’s perpetual funding model, which will help preserve the integrity of Madagascar’s climate-critical eastern rainforests and support the area’s ecosystem services.

The grant will help ensure the effective management of one of Madagascar’s last great wildernesses—an area that contains some of the highest levels of endemic biodiversity in the country, including the red-ruffed lemur, black and white ruffed lemur, Madagascar day gecko, leaf-tailed gecko, helmet vanga, red owl, and tomato frog. Further, the funding will secure critical species connectivity between the region’s national parks.

“With this long-term and programmatic funding model, LLF helps to contribute to requirements of the 30x30 framework,” said LLF Executive Director Stefanie Lang. “Conservation efforts need reliable funding and a long-term perspective. We are very proud to welcome such a unique and valuable Malagasy site into the LLF network.” 

Simon Chaplin, Arcadia’s Chief Executive Officer, said, “Arcadia is delighted to ensure long-term protection of this critically important landscape in Madagascar through a joint commitment with Legacy Landscapes Fund. We have supported WCS’s work in Makira-Masoala over the past four years, and we are gratified that this WCS Nature’s Stronghold has been selected by LLF for this important recognition and critical financial support.”

“This agreement ensures reliable and substantial management funding for a unique global treasure for the foreseeable future, with strong governance by local rights-holders,” said WCS President and CEO Monica Medina. “WCS has a long history with Makira-Masoala and we’re proud to be a part of ensuring its effective, long-term management.”

The funds will be used for management of both Makira Natural Park and Masoala National Park and their adjacent buffer zones, in partnership with Madagascar National Parks.

LLF will contribute $30 million USD, inclusive of Arcadia’s private match of $10 million USD. The grant will be used to effectively manage the globally significant area and adjacent buffer zones, ensuring biodiversity protection, supporting local communities, and mitigating climate change. WCS will oversee implementation of the funds in close collaboration with Madagascar National Parks, a leader within the Malagasy conservation landscape; local government; and Indigenous organizations.  

Through its Nature’s Strongholds program, which identifies and seeks protection of the world’s highest ecological integrity terrestrial and marine areas, WCS helps manage more than 27 million square kilometers in more than 50 countries. In 2019, Arcadia announced a $20 million, four-year grant to WCS to advance global conservation through the Nature’s Strongholds initiative.

Photo captions and credits in order:
Makira Natural Park – Credit Michelle Cordray
Farmland adjacent to Makira forests – Credit WCS Madagascar
Silky sifaka – Credit WCS Madagascar


About the Wildlife Conservation Society
WCS combines the power of its four zoos and an aquarium in New York City and a Global Conservation Program in more than 50 countries to achieve its mission to save wildlife and wild places. WCS runs the world’s largest conservation field program, protecting more than 50 percent of Earth’s known biodiversity; in partnership with governments, Indigenous People, Local Communities, and the private sector. It’s zoos and aquarium (the Bronx Zoo, Central Park Zoo, Queens Zoo, Prospect Park Zoo, and the New York Aquarium ) welcomes more than 3.5 million visitors each year, inspiring generations to care for nature. Founded in 1895 as the New York Zoological Society, the organization is led (as of June 1, 2023) by President and CEO Monica P. Medina. Visit: Follow: @WCSNewsroom. For more information: +1 (347) 840-1242. Listen to the WCS Wild Audio podcast HERE.
About Legacy Landscapes Fund
LLF was established in late 2020 by the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development as an independent charitable foundation under German law. Its financial resources stem from public and private sources. In addition to funding from the German Government through the KfW Development Bank, NORAD, and the French Development Agency (Agence Française de Développement), each site needs to have a private match-funding partner who contribute to the funding model. LLF aims to support conservation efforts in the Global South with long-term program funding granted to reliable NGOs as implementing partners.
About Arcadia
Arcadia is a charitable foundation that works to protect nature, preserve cultural heritage, and promote open access to knowledge. Since 2002 Arcadia has awarded more than $1 billion to organizations around the world.