Sustainable management for future generations in Madagascar

Developing a sustainable landscape management model for community-led forest conservation, carbon storage, and livelihoods enhancement across Madagascar's protected area network.

A landscape of tapia trees, grassland, rolling hills and blue sky

Successful, sustainable conservation of protected areas (PAs) is inextricably linked to the people in the surrounding landscape. If they adequately value the PA and are able to access the natural goods and services they need from the surrounding landscape in a sustainable way, then protection will likely be secure. 

However, if the PA represents a resource-rich island in a landscape of critically compromised natural capital, it will inevitably be subjected to increasing pressure, and the biodiversity and carbon it holds will be eroded, along with the ecosystem services it provides, whilst dependent livelihoods will become increasingly vulnerable. 

Our proposal uses a holistic approach centred on community-based conservation, seeking to increase natural capital as a means to achieve long-term sustainability. 

Drawing from over 100 years of combined community-based conservation experience in Madagascar and mobilising a predominately Malagasy team (>80% of staff) and long-term trust built at each project site, we will instigate and facilitate a fully inclusive process to demonstrate how residents living near PAs can sustainably improve their livelihoods and thereby reduce poverty through improved productivity, even under periods of increased environmental and socio-economic stress, while simultaneously respecting and supporting forest protection. 

While Madagascar’s biodiversity enriches the lives of all humanity, poor rural Malagasy must not be the ones who pay the cost of its conservation.

  • Local stakeholders develop an inclusive, consensual vision and plan for the sustainable management of natural resources in their landscape.
  • Local communities, with support from partners, effectively manage forested areas, including conservation of the local PA and sustainable use of natural resources in the broader landscape.
  • Food security, financial independence, and reproductive health are improved as a result of increased access to sustainable livelihood opportunities and community health services.
  • Effective management of forests, improved livelihoods, and food security result in reduced deforestation rates, protection of globally threatened biodiversity, and a net increase in carbon storage.
  • Knowledge of an improved approach for community-based PA management is built and shared throughout the SAPM network and all its stakeholders.

Paul Wilkin, Project PI & Priority Leader, Ecosystem Stewardship

Adam Devenish, Research Fellow, Madagascar Vegetation Dynamics, Trait Diversity & Function
Tiana Randriamboavonjy, KMCC Communities Team Leader
Mamy Tiana Rajaonah, KMCC Livelihoods Team Leader
David Rabehevitra, KMCC Species Team Leader
Fenonirina Rakotoarison, Itremo PA Manager
James Borrell, Research Leader, Trait Diversity & Function
Maria (Bat) Vorontsova, Research Leader, Accelerated Taxonomy
David Hammond, Consortium Project Manager, Ecosystem Stewardship

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