Posted on 12 June 2018
Michel Ramadany is 45 years old. Married with four children, he lives near the mangroves of Antenina, in the district of Ambilobe, north-west Madagascar. Like other members of his family, Michel is part of the organization that manages the mangroves around his village. Supported by WWF, these villagers have sustainably managed 1148 hectares of mangroves since 2015.
In an area plagued by illicit charcoal production from mangroves, he is the one that is called to the rescue when situations deteriorate. Aided by WWF, he has been trained in conflict management, and has particularly distinguished himself recently by resolving a conflict between two villagers in Antenina.
Over the years, two contiguous landowners in this village had lost sight of the boundaries of their respective lands. One of the owners had extended his plot, and in response, the second destroyed his neighbor’s crops. The conflict escalated to a point where violence seemed inevitable, yet Michel managed to work with both parties and find an amicable solution.
"I am delighted and pleased to contribute to the improvement of local Fiarahamonina
(society) here in Antenina," said Michel. An agreement was reached and signed between the two owners: compensation for the destroyed crops and respect given towards their respective plot boundaries.
Today, the two neighbors remain on very good terms, and Michel has become something of an expert in conflict management. In fact, his fame has greatly exceeded the limits of his village. Often called upon elsewhere to resolve similar cases, his techniques will certainly be solicited in case of flagrant illicit charcoal production, or other conflicts related to the sustainable management of mangroves.
"I will always be ready to share what little I have for the good of my community, but I hope that conflicts won’t occur," he concluded, more positive than ever.