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Antanambaobe and its committed community, in the heart of the northern forests.

After a journey of more than six hours through the high mountains and forests of the COMATSA protected area, we finally arrive in Antanambaobe, one of the 9 fokontany of the commune of Bevonotra.

Antanambaobe is located about 70 km west of Sambava, the nearest district. The forests that surround this village are the source of water for the local community, they regulate the climate, shelter exceptional species of fauna and flora, and supply the population with various goods: food, timber, medicinal plants...

To continue to benefit from these resources, it was necessary to implement sustainable forest management. To do this in 2016, a community association "Fikambanana Miaro ny Ala Maitso eto Antanambao be" (association that protects the green forest) is structured to manage more than 833 hectares of forests. At that time, Francellin Jean Judicaël was vice-president of the association. Three years later, he was elected president by the members of his base community after having demonstrated a great commitment to the preservation of forest resources. Currently 30 years old, he is one of the youngest presidents among the community associations of this region and was also elected as secretary of the union of the grassroots communities of the entire commune of Bevonotra last year.
This young president admits to having experienced difficulties between 2018 and 2020: inability to enforce regulations, threats to community association members, lack of legitimacy of the structure... in short, the community association did not have the necessary grip to deter people from illegally exploiting forest resources. Despite this, conservation efforts have been beneficial: deforestation was down from 10 hectares in 2019 to 5 hectares in 2020 (WWF mapping analysis).

Following the end of the sanitary confinement, WWF has continued support to the community of Andanambaobe since July 2021. Field teams are working with this community association to strengthen its legitimacy in the eyes of the rest of the community, to implement its management strategy and to carry out conservation activities and awareness raising.