MHF Landscape | WWF

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Mahafaly land and seascape

© WWF Madagascar / Tony Rakoto

The Mahafaly Land and Seascape is located in Madagascar’s arid southwest (Atsimo Andrefana’s region). It is especially important as it supports both the largest remaining expanse of unique spiny forest, and the world’s third largest coral reef.

The Mahafaly land and seascape

Risks and Challenges

The Mahafaly Land and Seascape's beautiful biodiversity and rich natural resources are under significant threat, as a result of external pressures that are putting the entire ecosystem’s balance at risk. These risks include:


● Demographic growth

● Unsustainable practices (slash-and-burn agriculture, destructive fishing practices, illegal and unsustainable collection of the critically endangered Spider and Radiated tortoises for trade)

● Harsh climatic conditions

● Expanding extractive industries

● Weak governance (limited citizen participation and short-term perspectives)

● Poor infrastructure and minimal government investment results in chronic food insecurity and poor economic prospects for most people, increasing pressures on natural resources.

Critically endangered radiated tortoises are being illegally and unsustainably collected for trade.

© WWF Madagascar / Martina Lippuner

What is WWF doing?

To combat these challenges WWF Madagascar works towards four inter-connected objectives in an integrated landscape approach that places adapatation to climate change at the forefront. These objectives are:


1. To improve the management and resilience of more than 600,000 ha of protected and community-managed areas in the landscape.

2. To improve the management and resilience of 170,000 ha of marine areas.

3. To foster a sustainable tuna and octupus production industry, in alignment with the principles of the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) principles.

4. To work with regional authorities so that they might adopt and impliment integrated landscape management principles in their regional development and land use policies.

Improving the management and resilience of more than 600.000 ha of protected areas.

© WWF Madagascar

What can you do?

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