Financing mechanisms and profitable income-generating activities in the new National Park

Geographical location:

Africa/Madagascar > West Indian Ocean > Madagascar

Summary

The Fandriana Marolambo landscape on Madagascar covers almost 200,000 hectares and consists of grasslands, savannas and forests. It is home to many rare and endangered species and has very high levels of endemism.

The project aims to find new and creative financing mechanisms and income generating activities which are compatible with conservation in this landscape, including agroforestry and the opportunities presented via fair-trade labelling. As the project is rolled out with teh cooperation of government, NGOs and local communities these methods will be tested and evaluated.

Background

Fandriana-Marolambo is situated between the Central plateau and eastern escarpment, South of Antananarivo. The moist forests represent an important centre of endemism and have been identified as a priority landscape for forest restoration. These forest corridors are home to 13 lemurs flagship species and other animals such as 30 species of micro mammals, 29 reptile species, and 64 species of amphibians. In addition, there are 280 species of plants, many of them also endemic.

However, the forest corridor of Fandriana-Marolambo is highly threatened by deforestation and forest fragmentation.

WWF started working in this landscape in 2004 as a pilot forest landscape restoration project. WWF activities have so far improved the services supplied by the different ecosystems.

Whilst initial activities have been successful, there is now a need to reinforce and consolidate long-term income generating activities and long-term community benefits for conserving and restoring forests in this new Protected Area.

Objectives

- By 2012: market-oriented alternatives are identified, tested and promoted.
- By 2011: the potential of microfinance is evaluated.
- By 2012: capacity-building of farmers associations are promoted
- By 2012: restoration of ecological connectivity in the corridor is promoted.
- By 2012: a partnership on profitable agroforestry is developed.

Solution

The project will structure existing farmers’ associations already set up by WWF as cooperatives to ensure farmers gain fair prices for agroforestry products.
- Facilitate establishment of microfinance agencies in remote rural areas around the new Protected Areas and evaluate the potential for microfinance to facilitate the commercialisation of pro-poor business ventures in the agroforestry sector.
- Support capacity-building of farmers’ associations in the wider landscape in improved agriculture, agroforestry practices and successful microcredit initiatives.
- Support active restoration (native planting involved) and passive restoration (areas left to regenerate naturally) with local communities using key native species in areas where forest connectivity is highly needed.
- Make agroforestry and restoration, a long-term professionalized and profitable activity for local communities.

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