Menabe Antimena: Facing conservation challenges with the private sectors

Madagascar is an exceptional island; home to many endemic species and exceptional fauna and flora. The biodiversity conservation in Madagascar is mostly dominated by nongovernmental organizations and decentralized governmental actors, putting the activities at the mercy of funds availability from international institution. Fanamby considered that in the worst case scenario, for the future of conservation, the private sectors are the ones that can impact at large scale the human-centered policies, the socio-economic development and the conservation of the environment. This conviction led Fanamby to approach diverse private operator and stakeholders in every site it manages to see how a partnership can involve long term solutions. In the Menabe region, kingdom of the Baobabs, three companies agree to give it a try as they sign agreements with the
site promoter to ensure sustainability of the area.

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Aerial view of Menabe Forest – 2007 (Photo : Fanamby)

A transition toward the efficient use of resources requires a considerable shift on how business is conducted. By signing partnership agreements, Fanamby aims to share create a participatory management of the area in order to ensure sustainable finance on the ecological monitoring of the protected area of Menabe Antimena. Knowing that the dry protected forests are now under the risk of disappearing by 2020 with a loss of 3.26
hectares every year since 2010, Fanamby aims to empower local stakeholders to take action in conservation activities. 7% of the total forest was lost in 2017, despite the monitoring, the alternative source of income created and the trial in establishing the Commune Management Scheme, proving that the issue is elsewhere. The loss of the forest coverage not only impacts the habitats of the endemic species and the availability of resources for the local communities, it will also reduce the economic potential of the area that is now focused on tourism and agribusiness. The partnership agreement with the Relais of Kirindy and the Lodge de la Saline were both settled to promote responsible tourism in the area. The agreements reinforce the commitment of these infrastructures toward environment conservation by buying local products only, by providing works for the local communities as staff, by supporting ecological monitoring surrounding the area and by using water wisely while trying to establish sustainable source of energy. All private sectors have agreed to respect the rules and regulations, the established policies in the management plan of the area; as well as the ecological monitoring procedures. All the stakeholders are aware of the environmental issues in the area and the risks and impacts they will have on the long term.

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Les Salines de Menabe – 2009  (Photo : Fanamby)

In addition to their commitment to conservation, the private operators are also committed to have a positive impact on local communities in all of their activities by hiring 100% of their staff locally and by providing training to local people in order to recruit as much as they can. Thus, they ensure that their customers are participating to the improvement of the local economy as the private operators were often criticized in their lack of impacts on the regional economy. They also promote transparency in the source of their products which drives the region toward sustainable economy. In fact, Fanamby is considering sub-delegating the area managed by the Saline the Menabe, by the Relais of Kirindy and/or the Grand Saline in order to ensure the sustainable management of these areas that cover more 5 hectares of mainly marine protected areas.

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Local women – Menabe Antimena

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