Improving Livelihoods of Local Human Populations
all of the landscapes where WCS works in Madagascar, local communities
are essential to the success of our conservation initiatives. Madagascar
is one of the world’s poorest countries and rural communities that live
in and around the protected areas where WCS works. Paradoxically these
people are both the largest sources of threats to the protected areas –
e.g. through hunting, fishing or slash and burn agriculture, and the
only solution to Madagascar’s conservation crisis.
an NGO dedicated to the conservation of the world’s biodiversity, WCS
also has an obligation to “do no harm” to local communities dependent on
natural resources and where possible to implement strategies that
improve their wellbeing.
possible, WCS aims to integrate community focused activities into our
conservation work to generate incentives for local communities to change
harmful behavior and engage in conservation in a way that benefits both
their own wellbeing and the natural resources on which they depend. Our
range of livelihoods and community development activities includes:
Building Capacity in Natural Resources Management:
training and capacity building activities help local communities
collect and analyze basic data to make decisions about the best use of
their own natural resources. Examples include support to locally managed
marine area (LMMAs) to determine seasonal closures for octopus,
training for community forest managers on ecological monitoring and
patrolling, and support to the creation of management plans for
community forest areas.
Improved Subsistence Agriculture and Fishing: by
supporting communities to learn and adopt improved agricultural
techniques, the ecological footprint of their activities can be reduced
while yields are increased. Examples include intensified rice production
systems that reduce clearing for new rice paddies or equipment
restrictions in LMMAs that allow larger and more valuable fish to be
caught while juveniles are protected.
Provision of Alternative Protein Sources:
to reduce hunting and illegal fishing alternative sources of protein
and micronutrients are promoted through household-scale livestock
activities with chicken and endemic fish farming. Support to veterinary
services – including vaccinations – is an essential part of this work.
Conservation Enterprises: conservation
enterprises are defined by WCS as community-led cooperatives or
businesses that sustainably exploit or transform natural resource based
products. WCS supports conservation enterprises working with raffia,
cocoa, vanilla, cloves and ecotourism as well as marine products such as sea cucumber and seaweed farms. Contact us if you would like further details on any of these products! Read more
Sustainable Financing for Community Development Activities:
Each sale of carbon credits from Makira Natural Park generates revenues
that are used by local communities for development activities such as
schools, health projects or training in agricultural techniques. 50% of
net revenue from each sale is earmarked for these activities. You can
buy credits on either of these online platforms:
or contact us directly!
the marine areas where we work we support communities to access small
grants and facilitate partnerships with private sector partners who
provide support for community development.