Protected areas – Support for surrounding communities is a priority

The preservation of biodiversity goes hand in hand with the consideration of communities bordering protected areas.

The integration of community needs upstream of the conservation plan seems to be an essential element for the preservation of biodiversity. This is what emerged from the recommendation of the white paper on the study “our protected areas are vital for our development”. The study was commissioned by the Foundation for Protected Areas and Biodiversity of Madagascar (FAPBM) and Madagascar National Parks (MNP). It focuses on the economic contribution of Madagascar’s protected areas through six cases (Ankarafantsika, Mahavavy-Kinkony, Antrema, Ranomafana, Mantadia and Makira). Among the recommendations issued within the framework of the study, the establishment of an environmental and local management framework in protected areas. This is mainly, according to the study, to provide protected areas with a standard environmental and social management system to ensure that conservation activities do not harm or compensate for the losses suffered by local communities. In the cases studied, an insufficiency of income received by protected areas is palpable. This must be a support mechanism for communities surrounding protected areas. The study indicates that the equitable redistribution of the costs and benefits of conservation is essential to obtain the adhesion of the communities to the mechanisms of conservation. To do this, the recommendations indicate that the financial motivation of these communities in the protection of protected areas is essential. Communities living near protected areas must therefore benefit from the ecotourism, energy, fishing, agriculture, education and public health sectors.


To reduce pressures on ecosystem services. Strengthening surrounding communities. As part of the study, it was noted that communities must have the capacity to manage protected areas. Indeed, as direct beneficiaries of the proximity of protected areas, the empowerment and involvement of local communities in their management is a step towards good governance of protected areas. To date, SAPM protected areas are managed with members of the VOI (Vondron’olona ifotony). Other reserves (LMMA, community reserves) are managed exclusively by communities, but they struggle to find adequate technical and financial support to guarantee the effectiveness of their management.

At the same time, the integration of the private sector in supporting local communities was raised. This is to ensure the sustainability of conservation projects. In order to make the business model viable, partnerships with the private sector are among the advanced solutions.

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