Baobabs of Madagascar - center of international interest

Posted on December, 18 2019

A first in Madagascar! A scientific congress on the conservation of baobabs was held in Morondava from 15 to 17 December.
Initiated by the Group of Baobabs Experts and Lovers in Madagascar, which brings together PhD students in biology and plant ecology from the University of Antananarivo, the congress, with the theme "Conservation of baobabs for a sustainable economic development lever", has been attended by some 150 people from Madagascar and other countries. Students, researchers, conservation stakeholders, economic and tourist operators working in the marketing of baobab products, focused on the development of a baobab conservation strategy document and the collection of information for the preparation of the document on the the Making of Non-Detriment Findings  (ACNP) for the species Adansonia grandidieri (Renala). The ACNP is a decision of the scientific authority on international trade in endangered species of wild fauna and flora. Through these documents, management tools and strategies reconciling the conservation and economic development of this species have been developed.

Seven out of eight species in the world are found only in Madagascar, six of which are endemic to the Great Island. The population of these species is currently experiencing a sharp reduction in Madagascar due to massive deforestation over the past ten years. Thus, it is imperative to protect this species, a national symbol of the country, hence the need for activities such as this congress.

In addition, the results of the baobab research were presented by the participants who also maintained a nursery of 1,000,000,000 seedlings of native and exotic species including the baobab tree in Ambalirao Morondava. During the congress, "the exchanges with the various participants make it possible to forge new relationships for possible future collaborations for conservation and development," says Judicaël Rakotondrazafy from WWF.