Madagascar yam conservation for livelihoods
Conserving Madagascar’s edible wild yams through cultivation to enhance livelihoods and food security.Madagascar yam conservation
From our base in Madagascar, we deliver science-based plant conservation to enhance the quality of life on the island.
The Kew Madagascar Conservation Centre (KMCC) is a team of, predominantly Malagasy, botanists with exceptional field skills and knowledge of the island's flora. We deliver the Kew Science Strategy through a multi-disciplinary programme of research combining cutting-edge science, innovative technologies and local expertise.
Despite the gloom about biodiversity loss and climate change, this is an exciting time for research as Madagascar represents the perfect workbench for studying the evolution of species, floras and vegetation, due to its 85+ million years of isolation from other landmasses and resulting high levels of endemism.
The study of plants and fungi is being transformed thanks to rapidly developing technologies in genetics, bioinformatics and machine learning. For plants, although we are continuing to describe new species as they are discovered, the taxonomic backbone is sufficiently complete that the greatest gains in our knowledge will come from the massive increase in data generated by low cost DNA sequencing.
Our focus is to support phylogenetics research, such as the Plant and Fungal Trees of Life (PAFTOL) project, understanding the evolution and diversity of the flora, resolving the most diverse genera and developing new methods for rapid identification and inventories. For fungi, we are building a comprehensive fungarium collection with sufficient material for sequencing, both to support PAFTOL and for PhD students undertaking phylogenetics of small groups.
Whilst Kew develops the science, KMCC implements that science in real-world situations. Our broad thematic programme covers a range of research interests from management of protected areas and modelling extinction risk of species to ex-situ conservation.
Dr Hélène Ralimanana
KMCC senior spatial analyst
KMCC ecosystem team leader
KMCC protected areas team leader
KMCC species team leader
KMCC biodiversity team leader
Dr Franck Rakotonasolo
KMCC livelihoods team leader
Dr Mamy Tiana Rajaonah
KMCC senior botanists
KMCC senior technician
Ambanja team leader
Morondava senior botanist
Itremo senior botanist
Itremo community technicians
Jean Aime Tanjoniaina