Protecting the Biodiversity of Madagascar
November 18, 2004 | Press Release | Conservation & Sustainable Development

MacArthur has announced ten grants totaling more than $2.8 million in support of conservation and sustainable development efforts in Madagascar.

Supporting an extraordinary diversity of ecosystems and species, Madagascars relative isolation has made it one of the worlds most biologically important places, said Jonathan F. Fanton, President of MacArthur. Almost 90% of Madagascars land mammals, reptiles, and flowering plants are found nowhere else on earth. Our support will help safeguard this rich biodiversity by conserving large land and seascapes, and by building the infrastructureincluding academic, governmental, and non-governmental institutions that is necessary to ensure long-term protection.

Four grants have been made to help conserve large land and seascapes in Madagascar (see map for details):

  • The Wildlife Conservation Society received a grant of $650,000 over three years to help conserve Madagascars largest national park, Masoala National Park, and to help set up the Makira conservation site. Funds will be used to establish an ecological monitoring program for Makira and to make arrangements for co-management of the site with local communities.
  • World Wildlife Funds Madagascar Programme has received $350,000 over three years to begin the process of formally establishing the Nosy Hara Archipelago as a designated marine protected area in the northwest coastal area of Madagascar. Funds will also be used to help develop an ecotourism business plan for the region.
  • A grant of $325,000 over three years was awarded to Madagascars National Park Service, ANGAP, to work with the Institute for Marine Science and Research at Madagascars University of Toliara to develop training courses in marine protected area management. ANGAP will work with international conservation experts and foreign universities to design and carry out the courses.
  • CARE received a grant of $300,000 over three years to help build the capacity of community institutions to manage the coastal resources of Masoala National Park. Funds will also be used to develop knowledge and information systems to establish monitoring, assessment and evaluation of management impacts.

Six grants have been made to help build and strengthen Malagasy conservation institutions:

  • A grant of $375,000 over three years was awarded to the Tany Meva Foundation to help provide the financial resources and technical expertise necessary to engage local communities in the conservation of their environment. Tany Meva, which has an investment fund of $10.3 million and awards grants totaling $450,000 each year, was created in 1996 with funding from the Malagasy government and the U.S. Agency for International Development to involve local Malagasy communities in conservation efforts.
  • A grant of $300,000 over three years was awarded to Princeton University and the Wildlife Conservation Society to develop a national information system to provide conservation techniques and up-to-date biodiversity data. Funds will be used to enhance an existing database; develop new tools for species modeling and conservation planning; train technicians in the use of the new technologies; and begin the process of establishing a mechanism to link the database to others around the world.
  • BirdLife International received a grant of $275,000 over three years to work with Aisty, a local nongovernmental organization, to help conserve the wetlands of southwest Madagascar.
  • Groupe d'Etude de Recherche sure les Primates de Madagascar (GERP) received a grant of $125,000 over three years to help survey primates in the proposed Makira conservation site. Results from the survey will be used to help establish Makira and plan for its management.
  • The University of Antananarivo was awarded $100,000 over three years to launch a conservation biology course to help train managers for Madagascars conservation sites.
  • A grant of $50,000 over three years was awarded to Centre Ecologique de Libanona to help develop a university level Environmental Management Training Program to meet the human resource needs of conservation development organizations and programs working in southern Madagascar.
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