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International Partnerships

Reconciling biodiversity and food security in Madagascar

Madagascar is a truly unique biodiversity hotspot. More than 80% of the flora and fauna can only be found on the island. However, this unique mosaic of life is under threat from deforestation, hunting and illegal trade in wildlife.

Madagascar SWM project
© FAO/David Mansell-Moullin

The EU funded Sustainable Wildlife Management (SWM) Programme is working to improve food security, conservation and sustainable use of wildlife in and around the Makira Natural Park, Madagascar’s largest protected area.

© FAO/David Mansell-Moullin
© FAO/David Mansell-Moullin

For the local Malagasy (in French Malgache) Indigenous People wild meat is an important source of protein, fat, and micronutrients. It is an essential part of the diet. The programme promotes alternative sources of meat, such as backyard poultry and fish farming using endemic species. By improving understanding of wild meat consumption hunters turn into conservationists, which leads to better protection and sustainable management of the natural resources.

I want to gradually quit hunting as I am now benefitting from chicken farming. And if we are helped, things will return to the way they were before and the animals will populate the forests again.

Jean Rabe – A Malagasy hunter and conservationist

Jean Rabe – A Malagasy hunter and conservationist
Jean Rabe – A Malagasy hunter and conservationist © FAO/David Mansell-Moullin

Nirina, an inspiring small-scale businesswoman who is trying to improve her life, and those of her 2 daughters, in the remote village of Marovovonana in North-east Madagascar on the edge of the Makira Natural Park. Until re'cently, Nirina's community relied on hunting for food and income.

I was invited to this chicken farming training course. We will no longer have food problems, if the project works well we will also earn money and then I hope that people will see us as an example to follow.

Nirina, A Malagasy small-scale business woman