Nature conservation, think impact.

Posted on 12 September 2021
are part of the activities created in the framework of nature conservation. They are designed to be measurable and impactful because at the rate nature is degrading, we need solutions that work and are visible. 

We know the impacts of climate change on human health, on the resilience of protected areas and animal species, we know the impacts of human activities on nature. To address the loss of nature, non-governmental organizations, governments, civil societies... have been mobilizing to protect the environment for decades. Yes, nature conservation is based on science, it is quantifiable and demonstrable. Of course, the impacts of conservation do not cancel out the negative impacts of human activity on nature. This shows that it is time to push for high impact initiatives.

Let's talk about forest landscape restoration, for example. WWF is one of the pioneers in Madagascar through its program in the rainforests of the Fandriana-Marolambo landscape. Activities started in 2010 and thanks to the commitments of communities and local authorities etc., the program has been able to restore about 500 hectares of the landscape. About 500 hectares of the landscape have been actively restored during the 13 years of the project. 

Reforestation initiatives are designed and developed to have concrete, quantifiable positive impacts on the health of nature and the improvement of the living conditions of communities that are consistent with the dizzying pace of nature degradation.  For example, in the Menabe and Atsimo Andrefana regions, 17,000 hectares of natural forests are dedicated to the sustainable production of firewood. By 2023, WWF intends to reforest 2,725 hectares of forest in these two regions for fuelwood production, including agroforestry systems that generate income for communities.

In terms of climate impact, the 4 million hectares in Madagascar by 2030 are expected to support the sequestration of 0.14 Gigatons of carbon dioxide. Under the AFR 100 (African Landscape Restoration Initiative), Madagascar has committed to restoring 4 million hectares by 2030.

In terms of high-impact initiatives, it is also important to note the global successes under the Save Our Mangroves Now program, which is an alliance for the conservation of mangrove habitats in the Western Indian Ocean and worldwide. Madagascar is contributing with over 236, 000 hectares of mangroves (2019). To support this global effort, since 2007, in the Menabe, Melaky and Diana regions, 50,000 ha of mangroves have been successfully protected and more than 19 million mangroves have been planted between 2009 and 2020. WWF and local communities in the Diana and Menabe regions have achieved more than 128 hectares of mangrove reforestation by 2020 despite the context of pandemic and health restrictions. 

WWF's inclusive conservation approach involves communities. Community involvement is essential for large-scale initiatives but not sufficient to reverse the rate of nature loss. Under the Revenu for Nature program, for example, communities around the COMATSA protected area have been supported by various partners including WWF to diversify their source of income, and in so doing, improve their well-being. Through training and the development of a ginger sector, the average income per trained producer has increased from 187,171 Ar in 2018, to 287,300 Ar in 2019 and 270,000 Ar in 2020 (Annual Report 2020 - WWF Madagascar). This also has an impact on the natural resources of this region because they are exploited sustainably, noting that the main source of income there is the vanilla sector. 

In sum, the raison d'être of conservation is to positively impact the survival of our nature, with sustainable initiatives that are sometimes built over a long period of work. We can maintain our sources of hope for a positive nature by 2030.