Deforestation and poverty in Madagascar : is this the end of duality ?

The program "Sustainable Wildlife Management '' (SWM) Madagascar was launched the 30 April last by the Minister of the environment and sustainable development. With an international dimension with the help of NGOs as "Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. (FAO), the project seeks to curb the poverty-biodiversity loss couple.

The project is funded by the 11th Funds European for the development of the European Commission for an Intra-ACP strategy (the States of Africa Caribbean and Pacific Group). It is available in 12 ACP countries drivers. The main objective of the SWM is to keep the Malagasy wildlife and ecosystems while improving the living conditions and food security of dependent people in protected areas.

The inexorable pressure on forests

The Malagasy forests and the animals they support are seriously threatened. Deforestation in Madagascar is considered to be one of great concern worldwide. Between 50.000 and 100.000 hectares of forest are destroyed every year causing serious problems of soil erosion, of climate change (rainfall) and loss of biodiversity. 75 % plant original species have disappeared. Of after WWF, agricultural practices and the use of wood as fuel have led to the loss of the majority of the Malagasy forests. In a country where the minimum wage is 45 € per month, the population is forced to eat with the means at hand by relying on hunting, picking and cutting wood. The only source of energy available and affordable to make Cook food is the charcoal.

Awareness and support of local communities of protected areas

The SWM program will begin in the part of the National Park of Makira, to the northeast of the island. This Park is home to the largest area of intact forest remaining in Madagascar. The project will be an inclusive approach to encourage the local population to stand up for the protection of their environment. At the same time, the project will contribute to support the rural population in the management of their arable land, techniques of fishing and domestic livestock. Thus, It will depend less forests nearby. «We will promote the consumption of plant and animal resources sustainable and improve access to wild species more resilient to hunting. It will be exotic species supervised by an organization of sustainable hunting», says Hubert Boulet, Coordinator of the SWM for FAO. «Furthermore, We will support the breeding of poultry and fish farming to give access to animal protein », He adds.

SWM will actively participate in the sustainable development of the island as long as actions materialize. «This project will require a paradigm shift in the level of Government, making effective efforts underway », Remember Patrice Talla Takoukan FAO representative in Madagascar, in Mauritius, in the Comoros and the Seychelles.

The struggles against deforestation and, at the same time, the one against poverty are not incompatible. Nevertheless, a lot of perseverance and authority to reverse the downward spiral that binds, for the time being, pressure on the environment and underdevelopment.

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