Protection and Promotion of Biodiversity for Sustainable Management of Natural Resources in the North West of Madagascar
Project location: MADAGASCAR, Ambato, Ambohidravy protected areas, Site “Usine A” Diana Region, District Ambanja; Lakes of Mount Passot, Nosy B
Project start date: June 2012 - Project end date: November 2013
Project number: 2012-057
Beneficiary: L’homme et L’environnement
Timeline of the present activity report: June 1st, 2012 to November 30th, 2012
I. Knowledge and Protection of Biodiversity in Northwestern Madagascar
I. a) Knowledge of biodiversity and man & nature relationships on various areas of interest
With the exception of Ambohidravy site which received a complete inventory, knowledge of biodiversity on ites of Mont Passot and Ambato relied primarily on bibliographic existing data.
All studies highlighted the incredible richness of each site, but also threats to these resources.
For all three sites, there are 15 wildlife species (fauna) that have a protected status - and are endangered according to IUCN rankings - and the same number of plant species. A more detailed inventory for the site of Mont Passot is expected in the first quarter of 2013 for threatened species.
Several studies and surveys have been realized for the following resources in order to determine good practices foe their exploitation : raffia, bamboo, herbs, cocoa and partial evaluations were made on other resources such as seeds, fruits and endangered species.
Five information sheets (indicating the availability of the resource and the constraints and opportunities of its operations for domestic or commercial use) are already available for :
- Cananga odorata (Ylang ylang)
- Piper borbonense (tsiperifery, wild pepper)
- Black pepper (Piper nigrum, dipoivra)
- Vanilla (Vanilla madagascariensis, Vahimpira wild)
- Theobroma cacao (cacao)
A draft version of the cultural calendar is available for the whole area of Ambanja giving essential information about seasonal works for twenty species of vegetables, fruits and cash crops in the region.
A reconciliation was also performed with the association RainForest Alliance for the specific support of cocoa farmers to improve the quality of crops, the development of organic farming, with a view to local processing of finished products (chocolate, cocoa powder and paste).
Specifically concerning cultural aspects, an anthropological study was conducted on site Ambohidravy to identify :
- traditional knowledge held by women (pottery, crafts)
- knowledge holders in traditional medicine.
L'Homme et l'Environnement also collected data about the architectural heritage of the region, and the community asked them for assistance in the rehabilitation project of the sacred Doany of Ambohidravy Forest.
The existence of remarkable sacred sites largely contributed to maintain forest remnants, since beliefs are alive and population still respects the local "fady" (taboos). The valuation of these sacred sites and ritual practices should be fully integrated into conservation and development strategies, including tourism.
A series of 12 posters was designed and is the subject of translations and illustrations. 3 posters with the cultural characteristics of the area have already been completed on the following topics: Sacred lakes of Mont Passot (1), traditional Sakalava fishing canoes (2), pharmacopoeia and traditional medicine (3). Once the latest translations available, these materials will be printed and installed on site.
A training workshop for facilitators in environmental education was conducted in November 2012 and led to the formalization of an annual program of activities. A partnership with the Office of Tourism Ambanja is designed to implement this initiative in order to training tourist guides who will develop new skills in terms of environmental mediation.
I.b) Monitoring and restoration of forest ecosystems
Mixed brigades were formalized on three sites and were trained in forestry control and legislation.
Following tourism development in the neighboring island of Nosy Be, there has been an upsurge in illegal logging of timber to meet the demands of hoteliers. In this alarming situation, a meeting was held at the headquarters of the district chief in order to put an end to the illegal exploitation of natural resources Ambanja. A field mission was conducted with the participation of district chief and the head of cantonment forest. Combined with awareness-raising measures, the authorities fined offenders and called for the application of the "Dina" (traditional environmental conflict resolution). Results of the operation: Four complaints were filed against four offenders through legal action.
Eleven tree-nurseries employees have been recruited and are dedicated to the production of plants. They received training on production techniques of plants, fertilization in the first phase and ecological monitoring in the second phase of building internal capacity.
One nursery has been installed in Ambohidravy and can produce up to 50,000 plants per year. Two nurseries in Ambato can produce 70,000 plants and plants production in Mont Passot is estimated at 60,000 plants. Planting of native species have been made (ramy canarium madagascariensis, hazomena, khaya madagascariensis, voankarabo Entada giga .......) for ecosystem restoration. L'homme et l'Environnement proceeded to rehabilitation of mangroves with the active participation of the local population and thousands of strains of vetiver were planted in nursery soils in order to avoid siltation of lakes on Mont Passot.
II. Improve governance frameworks and promote an innovative partnership for sustainable human development
II.A participatory formulation of development plans
This point is not the subject of funding to date, the actions carried out interviews focus on the creation of a directory of actors, the existing data collection as research results, communal development plans of the cities of Ambanja and Nosy Be. Various mapping studies have led to the formalization of simplified planning schemes. A reconciliation was undertaken with key development actors in the region : ADAPS (peasant group), ICP (Integrated Growth Pole Project), the Office of Tourism Nosy Be and the Group of Tourism Operators of Ambanja. Meetings and exchanges allowed to share information on current projects, and identify synergies and potential blocking factors.
Public consultations have yet to complement the device for the formulation of development plans in a more accurate and truly participatory logic.
From a methodological point of view, l'Homme et l'Environnement organized the dissemination of practical guides for the formulation of municipal development plans "green and gendered" and for the implementation of territorial Agenda 21.
II.B Capacity building of local actors
A partnership has been established with a technical institution in the region to support the producers for the development of fruit and vegetable crops. Indeed, the first failure of a project on tomatoes and onions in Ambohidravy site showed the need to provide technical assistance in the long term.
To date, l'Homme et l'Environnement has not yet identified any specialist able to accompany them on aspects of inventory and multiplication of orchids, although the stock remains attractive given the synergy with expectations of visitors (scientific tourism).
II.C capacity building workshop about management of natural resources, agroecology.
Five main groups of interest are being structured in the area: the craftswomen who already have a formal association but must evolve into a form more suitable for development of economic activities, the group of healers and midwives, the actors involved in the development of tourism activities (including guides and women wishing to exercise hospitality and catering for visitors), parents and teachers of the cell members supporting educational projects in Ambohidravy.
Regular support was provided to the beneficiaries through our social organizer who regularly shares information, and ensures animation and capacity building so that they can formulate their own projects, appropriate rules and principles of associative life and set the basic principles for organizing activities.