Forest Recovery Programs in Madagascar
This bleak scenario is a far cry from the rule of ousted President Marc Ravalomanana (July 2002 to March 2009) during which protected areas were tripled to cover 10% of the country’s surface. Madagascar has become exemplary in its approaches to conservation of natural assets, this tripling of protected areas being a mainstay of President Ravalomanana’s ambitious five-year Madagascar Action Plan. However since former mayor of Antananarivo Andry Rajoelina took power of the country in what has been widely viewed as a coup d’état, confusion, chaos and lawlessness have reigned and the conservation initiatives previously in place now appear to be in jeopardy.
Association Mitsinjo’s nursery at Station Forestier d’Analamazaotra, opposite ‘Perinet’ – photo: Derek Schuurman
Endemic tree species are being propagated in a growing number of nurseries, funded and managed by NGOs such as Association Mitsinjo and Man And The Environment; far-sighted hotels such as Anjajavy and Le Domaine de Fontenay; organizations which arrange conservation-oriented tours for volunteer workers such as ReefDoctor; and some foreign tour operators specializing in Madagascar, such as Rainbow Tours. The aim of such projects is usually to grow saplings in nurseries and then use them to restore degraded habitats to a more healthy state.
In this article we will review some of the most accessible forest recovery programs in the very different forest types of Madagascar.