COP15: Madagascar Coalition For Protected Areas Launched

The Madagascar Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development launched the Madagascar Coalition for Protected Areas during a well-attended side-event of the COP15 UN Biodiversity Conference.

Madagascar has 123 Protected Areas across the nation, in the right places that are worth protecting as they represent the country’s biological diversity, natural heritage, and provide nature-based solutions to sustainable economic development needs of the country.

From the 2003 Durban vision of tripling Madagascar’s protected areas to the 2014 Sydney pledge to strengthen marine protected areas, the Madagascar government and non-government organizations have worked on creating and managing the system of parks and reserves across the nation. Supported by mostly international donors, thousands of competent, dedicated local experts, working tirelessly with local communities and the beneficiary impacts are starting to show in some of the protected areas. These success
stories provide critical insights in how protection of ecosystems generates multiple benefits for the nation and indeed the planet.

“As several of the protected areas in Madagascar start to evidence multiple benefits for our people and the planet, we are pleased that our very capable conservation actors are aligning efforts to efficiently expand the level of effort and resources across all 123 protected areas in the country.” stressed Mr. Rinah Razafindrabe, Director General of Environmental Gouvernance, as the representative of the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development, Mrs Marie-Orléa Vina, during his introduction speech.

Unfortunately, as the economic status of Madagascar continues a downward trend, Madagascar’s conservation organizations are increasingly challenged in their efforts to help implement protected area management across the nation. This has provided strong arguments to build a strong coalition capable of driving twenty-first century change towards integrating conservation with economic development.

Madagascar has nearly everything it needs to implement its number one strategy to protect biodiversity. All that is required now, is to amass adequate financial resources and political will to enable magnification of success across the entire system of all 123 protected areas in the country. This will be the shared goal of the new Coalition for Madagascar Protected Areas.

“What do we do? We secure long-term financing through two partners, FAPBM. We are very motivated to continue to work with this partner because they show very high level of commitment and also have improved their performance significantly. We are very big supporters of the coalition for protected areas, it is a great initiative to bring together national and international friends of Madagascar and we are very happy to be part of this initiative and make our contribution.” This was the call-to-action from Mrs Barbara Schnell, KfW Director of sector policy, sent towards donors.

Starting with the COP15 of the CBD in Montreal, the Ministry, together with several members of the Coalition will profile the value of investing in Madagascar’s protected areas as agents-of-change for poverty alleviation of local communities and sustainable development of local and regional economies.

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