The Masoala National Park (a World Heritage site), Makira Natural Park, and Antongil Bay comprise the epicenter of Madagascar's unique biodiversity. Known as MaMaBay, this land/seascape encompasses more than one million hectares of land and sea in the north-
eastern region of the country and contains the largest remaining tract of pristine eastern rainforest in Madagascar as well as man- groves and coral reef habitats along Antongil Bay, Madagascar's largest bay and world- famous as nursing grounds for humpback
MaMaBay supports an estimated
230,000 people, primarily subsistence farm- ers and fishers, who depend on the essential
ecosystem services provided by these habi-
tats. MaMaBay faces many challenges: grow- ing demands for agricultural land, intensive bushmeat hunting, illegal logging, and un- checked and unsustainable fishing.
WCS be- lieves it is critical to support community live- lihoods and improve resource stewardship for the protection of Madagascar's unique biodi- versity. The WCS MaMaBay program is built on lessons learned over the last 18 years and is recognized as a model for conservation through sustainable integration of biodiver- sity protection with community-based man- agement of forest and marine resources. For instance, since 2009, 13 locally managed marine areas (LMMAs) have been imple- mented and formalized through social con- vention, locally called Dina.
Further, several other villages are currently setting up addi-
tional LMMAs, which will make this the largest network of LMMAs in Madagascar. Over the next three years, WCS seeks to further con- solidate this integrated approach to achieve long-term conservation in which the integrity of MaMaBay ecosystems are maintained in harmony with improved well-being of local communities and resource stewardship. Thanks to the support of the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust, WCS will reinforce community-based natural resource management to promote sustainable liveli- hoods, advance integrative communication and education systems, and implement im- proved law enforcement monitoring in the peripheral zones of one of the most important remaining natural habitats on the planet. One of the key expected outcome of the project include the improved management effective- ness of Antongil Bay’s network of locally managed marine areas.