Protecting and restoring key habitats in Madagascar – contributing to global action to restore the Earth

23 April 2021

Antananarivo, Madagascar, 22 April 2021. Grants to the total value of 684’461 EUR have been awarded to four organisations in Madagascar to address biodiversity conservation needs in line with national policy and the priorities of the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development (MEDD). The European Union (EU) and the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS) have made funds available through the IUCN Save Our Species African Wildlife Initiative and the BIOPAMA Action Component (AC), both managed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

As we celebrate Earth Day 2021, 51 years after the first event in 1970, which gave a voice to an emerging public consciousness about the state of our planet, support for the protection of the many services that nature provides is more important than ever. In Madagascar, the European Union and the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS), through IUCN Save Our Species and the BIOPAMA Action Component grants, both managed by IUCN, and in collaboration with national and local authorities, are contributing actively to conserve and restore some of these services and ecosystem functions – in wetlands and forest areas across the country. This work is especially important now as trade chains collapse and people rely more than ever on local natural resources for their livelihoods.

Madagascar, a biodiversity hotspot and ecological Eden for humanity, is also a vulnerable and highly threatened territory. The Malagasy State, through the Ministry of the Environment and Sustainable Development, has chosen the challenge of reversing the trend of continuous loss of biodiversity, by developing ambitious projects and programmes, combining conservation, restoration, valuation and transmission. I remain convinced that it is by intensifying intelligent, transdisciplinary and transformative partnerships that we will succeed in this challenge. I therefore welcome the involvement of the European Union, together with IUCN, to co-support Madagascar’s environmental development with my department,” said Dr. Baomiavotse Vahinala Raharinirina, Minister of the Environment and Sustainable Development.

Biodiversity and environmental conservation are essential to well-being and prosperity. On this Earth Day, I invite our Malagasy friends and partners to work together to pass on to future generations not only a world as rich and diverse as the one we have inherited, but also the tools to ensure its sustainability”, says Mr Giovanni di Girolamo, Ambassador of the European Union to the Republic of Madagascar and the Union of the Comoros. “The partnership of the European Union with the Malagasy Government in the conservation of the environment and its biodiversity will be strengthened in the immediate future with a strong commitment of the European Union and its Member States, centred on the Green Deal”, continued the Ambassador.

The projects supported through these grants largely focus on engaging with local communities surrounding protected areas to ensure sustainable utilisation of natural resources and protection of key areas and species. Missouri Botanical Garden is supported through two Rapid Action/Response grants for work in three forest areas – Makirovana-Tsihomanaomby Forest in North East Madagascar and Ankarabolava-Agnakatrika Forest in South East Madagascar and one coastal protected area (Pointe à Larrée NPA) – to alleviate the impacts of COVID-19 and support sustainable livelihood development and resource protection. Omaha Zoological Society are working in four forest sites – Kianjavato; Torotorofotsy; Montagne des Français; Mahafaly/Lavavolo – to protect these sites through community patrols, as well as supporting the maintenance of reforestation nurseries and reforestation activities. In addition, key species like lemurs and tortoises are being tracked to monitor populations and habitat.

Two of the projects supported with EU funds through the BIOPAMA Action Component are not directly linked to COVID-19 impacts. Madagasikara Voakajy has received a Small Technical Grant to update the management plan for Mangabe Reserve and improve infrastructure, equipment and facilities in the reserve. These priorities were identified through and Integrated Management Effectiveness Assessment (IMET) conducted in January 2020, which highlighted key needs for the reserve to move towards being a more effective and fair protected area. The Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust, together with various partners in the country, are working to improve biodiversity and provide more resilient ecosystem services for 10,000 local people living in the Lake Sofia catchment. This is done through strengthening the capacity of communities to develop and deliver a management plan on site, and providing training for Ramsar site managers to plan for managing wetlands to help provide long-term climate change resilience.

‘’These grants are timely and contribute to Madagascar’s efforts in addressing some of the major environmental problems including deforestation and habitat destruction. IUCN reiterates its commitment to conserving nature for a healthy planet and people. We continue to help communities in these uncertain times while stepping up areas of work that will help develop more resilient ecosystems for the benefit of nature and people,” says Mr Luther Anukur, IUCN Regional Director for Eastern and Southern Africa.

The BIOPAMA-funded projects in Madagascar are:



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