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For the restoration of Madagascar's ecosystems

This Saturday, June 5th, we will celebrate World Environment Day under the theme of "Ecosystem Restoration". A day that reminds us that it is important to review our relationship with nature and the urgency to act for our planet.

Madagascar's ecosystems have been under severe strain for years.

Our oceans are facing unprecedented pressure due to overfishing, pollution, climate change, etc.

During this nature month, let's restore ecosystems by planting trees, greening our cities, redesigning gardens, changing diets or cleaning up rivers and coasts.

Madagascar National Parks acts to increase the resilience of ecosystems

The restoration of ecosystems is among the priorities of Madagascar National Parks as a means of biodiversity conservation and sustainable livelihoods for communities living in protected areas.

From 2018 to 2020, 12,000 ha of degraded forests and mangroves are under restoration thanks to the collaboration of Madagascar National Parks with all stakeholders at local, regional and national level. Like the "Humid Forests of Atsinanana", UNESCO World Heritage site where a collective international and national effort has been combined, with local communities as key actors. From Masoala National Park, through Ranomafana to Andohahela, the project mobilizes nearly a thousand men and women from local areas. Trained in seedling production and restoration techniques, they were also able to share their traditional knowledge and will be able to participate in the long term in other future forest rehabilitation activities. The remuneration of their participation contributes to mitigate the socio-economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic at the household level. Nearly 500ha are expected to be under restoration by the end of 2021, with a high potential for scaling up in the Eastern Rainforest Ecoregion, and thus continuing to provide ecosystem services. An example is Ranomafana National Park, which contributes $230/ha/year to ecosystem services at the landscape level.
                                                  Madagascar National Parks

Restore coral reefs to strengthen their resilience and ensure the supply of fish products

Coral reefs are very important for marine life. Apart from their ecological and socio-economic roles such as air purification by photosynthesis or protection of the coastline against waves, they are also nursery and habitat areas for various fish species and a tourist attraction. However, they are threatened by overfishing leading to an imbalance between herbivorous and carnivorous fish, the use of non-selective fishing gear, pollution, coral harvesting and climate change.

To enable them to fulfill their roles, WCS, together with the communities living in the intervention areas, is carrying out passive restoration activities through the implementation of different marine area zonings (marine protected areas/MPAs and Locally Managed Marine Areas/LMMAs) combined with the promotion of sustainable fishing and the prohibition of coral harvesting or coral turning. The monitoring of these measures, carried out by the patrollers, was thus able to demonstrate that the reefs at the sites showed a strong resilience, with a mortality rate of 1.6% for the Ankivonjy MPA after the bleaching phenomenon of 2016. As for the catch, the rate was 3.20kg of fish per fisherman per day in 2016 against 5.65kg in 2019.
                                                                                                                        WCS Madagascar

When communities regenerate ecosystems

Fanamby, a non-profit organization, has focused on working with local communities to conserve biodiversity since 1997. However, it realizes that only a holistic approach, reducing social inequality, can address the need for social resilience in order to preserve biological diversity and the ecosystem services that flow from it. It is in this perspective that social enterprises promoting local and regional economic development were born in Fénerive Est, in the SAVA Region and in the DIANA Region. Local entrepreneurs, once structured and trained, can respond to more interesting markets with an added value that directly benefits the region and local producers. The latter then participate in the establishment of school or health infrastructures in their region, thus improving the standard of living in areas that are often difficult to access. Strong communities, able to manage their own development, have a better understanding of environmental issues and participate strongly in the restoration of ecosystems and landscapes ravaged by fire and clearing.

With this approach, some 20 nurseries in 5 regions have restored 1,482.95 hectares in two years, including 107.5 hectares of active forest restoration. Active reforestation continues on a permanent basis in all sites as long as illicit actions continue. Local actors also continue to work hard to ensure the survival of these young shoots.

In short, ecosystem restoration often has many faces. And we remain convinced that the best way to safeguard ecosystems is to let nature do its work.
NGO Fanamby