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.
|Mangabe: conserving the 'blue forest'|
Mangabe rainforest is a site of international biodiversity importance. It also provides many essential natural products and associated services to the rural and urban communities in the district of Moramanga. We are working with people to protect the priority areas within the forest and also to support local communities sustainably use natural resources. We hope that the Mangabe forest will become a protected area in the future and the first step towards achieving this was completed in 2008.
Mangabe forest, or the 'blue forest', covers approximately 40,000 ha in eastern Madagascar and is divided between two administrative distrcts, Moramanga in the north and Anosibe An'ala to the south.
Mangabe forest is home to almost half of the world's breeding ponds for the golden frog according to recent studies on High conservation priority sites for mantella frogs. We are now working with local communities to conserve the habitat at these breeding ponds in 23,000 ha of the northern section of the forest. The Mangabe forest is one of seven sites that we are assissting communities and government develop into a new protected areas. In addition to the focus on frogs, we are therefore involved in a number of other activities at the site, which include:
In the long-term we hope that the Mangabe forest is awarded full protected areas status but of the type that permits sustainable use in all but the most sensitive areas and of all but the most protected or vulnerable species. This forest is very close to two main roads and the expanding urban center of Moramanga and needs to be managed wisely, with livelihoods and development objectives in parallel with biodiversity protection.
We thank the donors below for currently funding for this project