At the very start, Madagasikara Voakajy (MV) used to run researches on species conservation. Madagasikara Voakajy was created in 2005 following two projects on Malagasy species conservation called The Chameleons project in 1998 and the Lamin’Asa Fiarovana Ramanavy sy Fanihy in 2000. Through these works of research, the team had already recommended conservation measures adapted to threatened species. And the Government’s vision to increase the surface of the protected areas to 6 million hectares was the natural issue of these recommendations.
In 2008, MV decided to contribute to the creation of seven new protected areas (NPA) in the Alaotra Mangoro Region, to achieve the country’s challenge to triple the surface of terrestrial protected areas.
After many efforts, the decrees of creation of seven NPAcovering 30823 hectares were finally approved on 2015.
The Mangabe – Ranomena – Sahasarotra New Protected Area (NPA) is located in the Moramanga district. The decree of its creation was published on April 2015, the 21st (Décret N° 2015-725 du 21 Avril 2015).
From July, 15th to August 17th, our team carried out a field work there, led by Voahirana RANDRIAMAMONJY. The main purpose of our trip was to inform the villagers living around the NPA about the official decree.
It was a ratsy lalana to Beparasy, or a bad road to Mangarivotra as we soon found out. This little town in eastern Madagascar, located 54km from the town of Moramanga, has recently been renamed from “Many fleas” to “Blue air” in a bid to increase its appeal. Yet appeal it had as Madagasikara Voakajy launched their third annual festival to celebrate the hard work that local Malagasy communities have been undertaking in a bid to protect their forest from the devastation of environmental threats such as slash-and burn agriculture and illegal gold mining.
As a collaboration between Madagasikara Voakajy, King’s College London, Bangor University, University of Antananarivo, The Royal Geographical Society and the P4GES project, our research team set out on the 4th of June for 2.5 weeks of fieldwork in Mangabe. We visited multiple sites in the region to measure water infiltration rates, study vegetation density, and carry out an accuracy assessment to verify our land use change maps. We were specifically looking to find out what effects land use change has on local hydrology and ecology.
From 24th to 28th March 2014, 54 leaders and members of 12 community-based organisations working with Madagasikara Voakajy in Moramanga and Ambatondrazaka districts got together to foster their engagement for conserving the unique biodiversity in their villages, part of the unique biodiversity of Madagascar.
|Creating new protected areas|
We are working with communities and government in seven rain forest sites to create new protected areas.
Since 2005 Madagascar has significantly expanded it protected area network. This ongoing effort has already seen some of the largest remaining forest blocks come under improved management. In 2008 we worked with communities in the Alaotra Mangoro Region in eastern Madagascar to develop new protected areas. These have since been awarded temporary protected area status by the Malagasy government but major work is ahead to complete the process.
Six of these provisional protected areas are relatively small in size (< 1,000 ha) but are hugely important to local people, the local economy, endemic species and long-term adaptatoin to climate change. Forest patches of this size are easily overlooked by international organizations and donor (they are somtimes called orphan forests for this reason) but we beleive that their importance, value and contrlbution are large even if their surface area is small.
Mangabe forest though is larger (23,000 ha) but all of these provisional protected areas are being developed on the principles of sustainable and legal use of biodiversity in forests managed and conserved by locall community associatons.
For more information on these sites click here for Mangabe and here for Orphan Forests.