Developing collaborative strategies for sustainable management of mangroves in the Boeny Region Littorale, Madagascar
To promote the sustainable conservation and utilization of mangroves in the Boeny Region through the development of a viable, collaborative and integrated management approach.
Specific Objectives of Project:
Objective 1: To develop a sustainable co-management mechanism to strengthen the governance of the mangroves as a renewable natural resource.
Objective 2: To promote community-based mangrove restoration to compensate for the degraded and lost resource and secure the future of ecosystem services they provide.
Objective 3: To appraise and promote viable, alternative livelihood options to enhance local community socio-economic welfare and safeguarding of the environment.
Madagascar accounts for about 2% of the global mangrove extent. About 20% (equivalent to over 60,000 ha) of these mangroves are in the Boeny Region in the northwest of the country, which support a diversity of livelihoods. In many cases, poverty, traditional dependence on mangrove resources and lack of viable alternative livelihoods are the root causes of mangrove loss and degradation, coupled with inadequacies in the enforcement of governance mechanisms. Consequently, annual mangrove loss is estimated at 0.06%. Accordingly, the ability of mangroves to continue offering the ecosystem services in support of livelihoods is compromised, despite the fact that mangroves in Madagascar are legally within the state’s domain. There is, however, a devolution arrangement (referred to as GELOSE) that provides limited access user rights to the mangroves for domestic and non-commercial use. Despite a partial devolution of management rights from the government to local communities, there is a lack of comprehensive and effective management strategies to counteract the mangrove degradation and loss observed in almost all mangrove ecosystems in Madagascar. Hence, the relevance of GELOSE legislation to actually favour community-based management is debatable. This project seeks to demonstrate viable modalities of enhancing community engagement within the existing framework of such local arrangement. The project aims to promote sustainable conservation and utilization of mangroves in the Boeny region through development of viable collaborative and integrated management approach. The project will demonstrate sustainable community-based management, restoration and livelihood activities in the framework of the locally secured management (GELOSE) and the use of Dina (Charter of customary law) in the governance of natural resources at community level in three villages. This is expected to result in sustainable co-management mechanism developed in the 3 villages, sustainable restoration measures demonstrated in 10 hectares of mangrove ecosystem, and 3 viable alternative livelihood activities identified and accepted by communities. The project will complement on-going mangrove conservation work including that of Asity Madagascar, a non-government organization in Soalala in the Mahavavy Bay, south of Boeny Region in collaboration with Birdlife International and will incorporate lessons learnt from the recently launched community -based mangrove carbon offset project in the Bay of Assassins in the southwest region.