Since the 1980s Madagascar has experienced increasing international attention promoting conservation and development, attracted by its biodiversity hotspot status. The island has consequently been a testing ground for new approaches to environmental governance including integrated conservation and development projects, community-based natural resource management, new generation co-managed, multiple-use protected areas and the commoditisation of forests and biodiversity through reduced emissions from deforestation and degradation and schemes implementing mining biodiversity offsets. In addition, the liberalisation of economic policies has led to internationally funded agricultural development projects, large-scale land acquisitions for food and biofuel production by foreign corporations and governments, and globally significant mining investments. Policy reforms developed alongside these interventions and were characterised by approaches purportedly designed to improve social and environmental outcomes for the Malagasy people through more participatory forms of governance, which promised greater equity and sustainability. The functional effectiveness, transparency and social justice impacts of new governance approaches and their related environmental and social regulations vary widely, however. This chapter applies a common focus on participation and social justice to case studies of four sectors: agriculture, mining, forests and protected areas. In doing so, we highlight a ‘participation gap’ between intentions and practice with serious implications for social justice, and reflect on what has, and has not, been learned over three decades of environmental governance reforms.