Community support

Introduction and Objectives

The Tsimanampesotse National Park has recently been extended from 43 000 hectares to over 220 000 hectares in 2006-2007 in an effort to conserve the unique biodiversity and ecological functions found on the vast Mahafaly Plateau in south-west Madagascar.
WWF and Madagascar National Parks are collaborating on a program to transfer management of peripheral forests of the park to local community management structures that will assist in co-managing the park and in the promotion of sustainable land management practices including agro-ecological production techniques, land restoration, and reforestation for fuel wood and construction wood needs.

The northern end of the calcareous plateau is extremely threatened due to charcoal and brick production for the cooking energy and building needs of the adjacent urban population of Toliara. WWF has plans to support the forest service, some local NGOs, and the communities of Ankaronga and Ankilibe to develop forestry programs that will eventually reduce pressures on unique natural areas.

TIn conjunction with each of the forest management transfers are landscape management plans that call for forest restoration, fuel and construction wood plantations, and soil erosion control measures.

Permanent vegetation covers will increase for about 25%. This project will serve to build upon small-scale reforestation. It will also contribute to an evolving program in the Andatabo region to develop fuel wood plantations that will eventually reduce pressures on natural forests near Toliary.

 / ©: Thomas SCHULTZ-JAGOW / WWF-Canon
Beza-Mahafaly Plateau, Madagascar
© Thomas SCHULTZ-JAGOW / WWF-Canon

Project Data

  • Executant: Bernardin Rasolonandrasana
  • Managing Office: WWF Madagascar and West Indian Ocean Programme Office
  • Address: WWF Madagascar and West Indian Ocean Programme Office / B.P. 738 Antananarivo 101 / Madagascar / +261 20 22 348 85
 / ©: WWF / Martina Lippuner
Kids very proud
© WWF / Martina Lippuner

Achievements - Impacts

The rural population living in the natural resources management transfers sites and communities are the direct beneficiaries of the project. The project’s activities are mainly focused on setting-up and realizing a reforestation plan according to the landscape management plans of transferred sites. Fuel and construction wood plantations on degraded lands will also be developed in the project’s intervention area. Members of local communities will be trained to manage tree nurseries, which will provide plantation sites for plants.

In order to get communities in the Mahafaly Plateau more involved in reforestation and conservation activities, community forestry program through families, including training component and land tenure security process will be realized. In its extension, the project will also deal with bio-carbon credits issues so that community associations will have an access on it.

  • Nurserymen were formed and trained in the Mahafaly Plateau and tree nurseries have been implemented in about 13 places in the Mahafaly Plateau and in two places in Andatabo.
  • Seeds collection is going on to extend the tree nurseries. Information-Education and sensitization activities are realized among the communities and families to prepare for the plantation period.
 / ©: WWF / Martina Lippuner
Walking in the spiny forest of Mahafaly Plateau
© WWF / Martina Lippuner
 / ©: WWF / Martina Lippuner
A spider turtle
© WWF / Martina Lippuner

Challenges

In addition to local and regional threats, there is another challenge related to ensuring potential win-win scenarios with the potentialylarge scale open-air mining projects that are presently in the feasibility study stage. These projects, a titanium sands mining project within the Ranobe Area and a calcareous quarry mining operation within the Onilahy Area will increase migration into the area and potential pressures on natural habitats.

Within the overall social context, this conservation program need to have a strong focus on leveraging funds and partners that can successfully « market » alternative livelihoods and activities. Only a small percentage of these livelihoods can be directly or indirectly linked to conservation or ecotourism initiaves, the rest will remain in the production sector.