More than half of Madagascar's population depends on ecosystem services - Photo: Bernhard Walter
Green coasts for Western Madagascar
A project aiming for conservation and sustainable resource use at the Indian Ocean
Madagascar is part of the Madagascar and Indian Ocean Islands Hotspot, one of the 36 biodiversity hotspots worldwide. The second largest mangrove area and the largest coral reefs in the western Indian Ocean provide a rich biodiversity on more than 1,140,000 km² of marine habitats and 6,000 km of coastline. More than 50% of Madagascar's population live close to the coast and depend on the ecosystem services provided by the natural landscapes that surround them. In addition to terrestrial habitats and Madagascar's biological diversity, marine resources and habitats are under enormous threat. Around 70% of Madagascar’s population lives in poverty. Moreover, the country suffers an average of three major climate-related disasters (cyclones, floods and droughts) per year, another cause of persistent hardship.
The project is targeting the coastal zone of the Mahavavy-Kinkony Complex (CMK) protected area in the north-western Boeny region of the country. CMK covers 302,900 ha and includes the Mahavavy river delta, extensive mangrove gallery forests, dry forests, wetlands and the huge Lake Kinkony.
Due to the remoteness of the coastal region and inaccessibility during the rainy season, poor soils and low yields in agriculture, as well as hardly any development opportunities, the local population suffers from poverty and lack of job and income opportunities. Impacts of climate change, lack of adaptation measures and lack of knowledge about sustainable agricultural and fishing practices (e.g. traditional fire clearing, destructive fishing techniques) reinforce these effects. Intense use of the fragile coastal and marine ecosystems, such as mangrove belts, fish spawning grounds in the river delta and offshore coral reefs lead to severe degradation, erosion and decline in essential ecosystem services.
With support from ASITY Madagascar, CMK was transformed into a community-managed protected area in 2007. Together with the local population, a management plan encompassing the zoning of use was developed, which regulates the use of buffer and marginal areas and prohibits access to zero-use zones. However, management transition is still not complete in all parts of the protected area and the municipalities that are already self-governing still need regular support.
Our aim is to enable the coastal communities of the CMK to manage their resources sustainably in order to conserve coastal natural resources, adapt to the impacts of climate change and improve their livelihoods.
Income generation through sustainable use of local resources
By developing local marine and terrestrial value chains the project intends to generate higher and sustainable income for local communities and conserve coastal ecosystems. The following activities are in implementation:
- Survey on marine value chains and piloting of most suited value chains
- Expansion of fish farming in freshwater ponds for additional income and reduction of the pressure on marine resources
- Improvement of quality local handicraft production and marketing with 60 women for income generation
- Socio-economic monitoring
Marine protection and adaptation to climate change
Our aim is to strengthen the climate resilience of coastal ecosystems and agriculture and to safeguard ecosystem services for the long-term. The local communities suffer from unregulated use of marine habitats, in particular through external user groups, which leads to overexploitation.
- Piloting of Climate Smart Agriculture methods
- Erosion control through afforestation of mangrove forests, reforestation of gallery forests and afforestation of dry forests
- Assessment of condition of marine ecosystems and development of a tailor-cut conservation and use concept
- Regional and local awareness creation campaign
- Coastal monitoring
- Introduction of fishing regulations in order to reduce illegal exploitation
Capacity development, monitoring and communication for enhancing the management of the protected area CMK
We aim to further develop the capacities of the local communities for improved community-based protected area management. Therefore the following activities are being implemented:
- Strengthening of the community-based protected area management through capacity development
- Community demarcation of coastal conservation and use zones and community-based monitoring
- Enhancement of the CMK management platform MMZ and networking with the protected areas network Nouvelles Aires Protégées, NAP
- Communication and environmental education programme
The protected area is being managed local communities in a complex management system - Photo: ASITY Madagascar
Due to the lack of job and income opportunities, the local population suffers from poverty - Photo: Wolfgang Beisenherz
The majority of the coastal communities of the coastal communities live in direct dependency on marine resources - Photo: ASITY Madagascar
Local handicraft production generates sustainable income for women - Photo: ASITY Madagascar
Traditional fire clearing threatens the sensitive ecosystem of the protected area. - Photo: Bernhard Walter
Heavy erosion leads to destructive sedimentation of marine ecosystems - Photo: ASITY Madagascar
Green coasts for Western Madagascar
Country / Region
Madagascar / Mahavavy-Kinkony Complex (CMK)
October 2020 to March 2023
ASITY Madagascar is looking back to long years of experience in conservation and sustainable development in Madagascar. ASITY Madagascar and NABU are partners of the global BirdLife International network.
Sponsored by / Supported by
The project is financially supported by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
With this project we are contributing to the following SDGs
SDG1, SDG2, SDG8, SDG9, SDG11, SDG12, SDG13, SDG14, and SDG15