SUSTAINABLE, COMMUNITY-BASED MANAGEMENT OF THE FORESTS OUTSIDE MIKEA NATIONAL PARK
AREAS OF INTERVENTION
Dry dense forests, sustainable management, decentralized local authorities, autonomy, revenue.
- Improve the living conditions in the municipalities bordering the Mikea National Park.
- Transfer the management rights to the lands constituting the buffer zones of Mikea National Park, back to the riparian communities.
- Generate new income compatible with conservation for the communities, and manage resources sustainably in the municipality of Basibasy.
The communities that used the Bahidy and Bekiseny forests have requested support to establish sustainable management of the forest areas. These forests are located in the municipality of Basibasy, one of the twelve municipalities bordering the Mikea National Park. This community is made up of natives (Mikea and Masikoro) and migrants (Antaisaka, Betsileo, and Merina).
The dry forests of Bahidy and Bekiseny face pressure from multiple anthropogenic factors, in particular, their clearing to extend the fields of corn cultivation, the illegal cutting for construction timber, and charcoal production. This means that the dense dry forest of southern Madagascar has the highest clearing rate in the country (0.8%), compared to a national clearing rate of 0.4%. This clearing rate represents one of the highest deforestation rates in the world. Even forest areas with legal status such as Mikea National Park do not escape this scourge.
Mikea National park is the second most affected park by fire in Madagascar. This represents a serious threat to the unique biodiversity of this part of the country, as well as to the potential the ecosystem offers (food, wood, water filtration, charcoal, etc.)
For the implementation of the activities relating to the three identified sectors, technical and organisational support must be provided in close proximity, including the use of experience acquired by other actors in other localities, technical training and equipment.
In addition, the poor agroecological conditions worsened by climate change make Basibasy increasingly vulnerable to food insecurity. Consequently, the pressure on wild tubers (main food for Mikea and food substitute for maize, cassava, and rice for other populations) and other wild, natural resources threaten Mikea’s hunter-gatherer lifestyle. Despite support for the riverside communities to cope with the restrictions on access to natural resources during the creation of the Mikea protected area, the results have been unsatisfactory.
Sustainable management of the soil’s natural resources by the communities is granted by the State under the GELOSE law. Based on experience, ADAP believes that the transfer of management to communities is only successful if it is combined with the economic use of their natural resources. After several consultations with the communities, three possibilities for the development of non-timber forest products were identified: the cultivation of wild tubers, beekeeping, and sericulture (natural wild silk cultivation). These three options can counter food insecurity, reduce competition between the Mikea and other populations for access to natural resources, diversify the sources of income for other neighboring communities, and protect biodiversity.
To put in place any activity related to the three identified solutions, technical and organizational support from nearby is necessary. This includes building on the experiences from actors in other villages, and technical training combined with equipment allocations.
- Link with the Sustainable Development Goals
- Selected images of the project
July 2016 – February 2019
304’308 CHF, financed by the Geneva Federation for Cooperation and Development (FGC)
|ADAP CH project officer
Mr. David Hartlieb