Posted on 04 July 2018
The first half of 2018 was difficult for the southern part of the island.
The rainy season was very short and so the agricultural yields were very poor. Without rain, there is no agriculture, and villagers’ main source of income is threatened.
Unfortunately, some people have responded to this damaged harvest by exploiting the wildlife in protected areas. “So far, we have already apprehended three poachers of Varika lemurs who hunt due to a lack of rain,” said Tefy Andriamihajarivo, manager of the forest of Analavelona, Sakaraha district, southwest of Madagascar.
Whilst some hunt illegally, others produce illegal coal that they supply to the city of Tulear. “Farmers have become charcoal producers, and take their raw materials into protected areas. They cause considerable forest clearing,” said Tahiana Menjanahary of Tsimanampesotse National Park. To make matters worse, climatic factors, such as insufficient rainfall, accentuate these destructive practices.
In the face of these threats posed by climate change, terrestrial protected area managers at the LAFA Forum have found it important to have a platform to address climate change issues in the management of protected areas in Madagascar. Supported by WWF, WCS and Fanamby, the second edition was held in Fianarantsoa in mid-June to help find solutions through the training of protected area managers. “Thanks to the training, not only do I understand what climate change is, but also how to effectively sensitize communities to reduce looting. We can then direct them to other alternative sources of income,” said Tefy Andriamihajarivo.