An on-line signing ceremony was held on 24 August 2020 between the Korean Embassy to Madagascar and UNESCO, in the presence of the Malagasy Minister of Environment and Sustainable Resources, for a project entitled “Biodiversity Conservation and Sustainable Natural Resource Management for Integrated Community Development in National Parks of Madagascar – (BIOCOM)”. The Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) will be providing 5.5. USD over the course of the next five years to fund this project. The goal of the project is to preserve the biodiversity of Marojejy, Andohahela and Montagne des Français protected arears– and improve the well-being of local communities through the development of alternative and sustainable income generating activities.
The Rainforests of Atsinanana provide local community with crucial ecosystem services. The forest landscape from northeastern, Marojejy Park, to southeastern Madagascar, Andohahela Park, consist of over 136 300 ha (distributed across a Category II protected area and its surrounding buffer zone), which represents both a key biodiversity stronghold and a vital bridge maintaining the long-term connectivity between the largest remaining intact rainforest in the country’s biologically rich Eastern Rainforest Biome.
The Montagne des Français forests represents a dry deciduous forest and cover 6 141 ha. Vegetation structure on the upper portion of Montagne des Français is a flat karstic habitat with a specific vegetation type including a mixture of dry forest, short thicket, and rupicolous vegetation. This protected area faces many threats such as the extensive conversion of forest trees to charcoal.
The project activities will be carried out with Madagascar National Park and the “Service d’Appui à la Gestion de l’Environnement ». These activities are expected to achieve the following outcomes: (i) reduced deforestation and an increased area of ecologically intact forest, (ii) long term conservation of effectively managed and protected areas, (iii) sustainable livelihoods of local communities achieved through the development of alternative income generating activities, and (iv) increased engagement of youth and women in natural resources governance through awareness, training and capacity building activities.