/ ©: WWF-MWIOPO/M. Lippuner

Monsieur Boba

“I witnessed how the seasons changed”

Monsieur Boba is a kid from Vondrozo – he spent all his life in the area and knows it like no one else. Today, he can witness how forest destruction and climate change have impacted the region. And he tells us about solutions.
“When I was young, farmers were burning the forest in Tsaragisa over and over again,” he says. “At the time, they already experienced problems with water, there was never enough water to irrigate the rice fields. But they did not know there was a direct link between water and forest, and thus did not think slash-and-burn had to be stopped, nor what to do instead.”

“When WWF and the Ministry for Water and Forest (MEF) came to our village ten years ago to help us create our community based forest management association (COBA), we all started to see the connection between the delivery of water and the forest cover."

Trees planted

"In 2004, when our association could finally function on a legal basis, we halted slash-and-burn agriculture almost completely. Of course, you always have a few people who don’t play by the rules, but at least we can do something about the issue now. In 2004, we also planted 500 native trees, and 1,500 the year after. Since then, we have planted 1,500 trees annually.”

“The state of our forest is much better nowadays. Even the lower parts of it look much healthier today since we protected them from burning time and again. There is a lot more water available for irrigation now, even though the seasons are shorter.”

Messy calendar

“When I was a child, the rainy season always started in September, now it still often does not rain in December. Sometimes, there is rain when we really don’t expect it. As a result, the agricultural calendar is a mess. This year, the rice plants produced low yields. But I am confident that with our new way of protecting the forest, we’ll manage to overcome those difficulties. The forest gives life and food.”

“We need to plant trees if we still want to use timber for our houses. It’s good to see that no one wastes wood any more in our village. And thanks to the training we received from WWF agents, now we know how to plant green beans and peanuts. They have also helped us start a rabbit farm. Although we experienced some difficulties with this latter activity, we want to continue. All these products can be sold, that’s why everyone is enthusiastic about them.”

More and further than us

“I hope that my children and grandchildren will pursue what we have started. They should continue to plant trees. There is a Malagasy saying that only an idiot resembles his father. Thus, our kids should dare and do even more, go further, than us.”

There is a Malagasy saying that only an idiot resembles his father. Thus, our kids should dare and do even more, go further, than us.”

Monsieur Boba

 / ©: WWF-MWIOPO / M.Lippuner
The village of Tsaragisa. Vondrozo area, Madagascar.
© WWF-MWIOPO / M.Lippuner
 / ©: WWF-MWIOPO / M.Lippuner
The community of Tsaragisa started a rabbit farm, with the help of WWF.
© WWF-MWIOPO / M.Lippuner
 / ©: WWF-MWIOPO / M.Lippuner
Rice fields, near Taragisa. Climate change has impacted the rice yields recently.
© WWF-MWIOPO / M.Lippuner

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