In the MaMaBay land/seascape a wide range of human activities and productionpractices currently affect biodiversity conservation including slash-and-burnpractice, uncontrolled fire, natural habitat clearing, illegal forest logging,mining, over-fishing and bushmeat hunting mainly for lemurs and othervertebrates. These threats are driven by both subsistence and economic pressures.Strategies are adopted to promote local people livelihood through sustainableconservation and reduce conflicts and negative impacts of human activities,including:
- ensuring food security and subsistence needs by promotingimproved sustainable agricultural production techniques, agriculturaldiversification and appropriate financial support such as suitable localmicro-finance;
- enhancing human welfare by promoting economic alternatives andsustained revenue generation and facilitating access to social services;
- reinforcing/improving community resources stewardship bystrengthening local management structures to ensure empowerment, goodgovernance and law enforcement;
- raising environmental awareness through good communication,information flow and environmental education that links natural resources,livelihoods and environmental health.
These strategies have been transformed into an action plan to beimplemented either directly by WCS or in partnership with MaMaBay localcommunities and/or with potential partners.
In Southwestern Madagascar, WCS is promoting organic andsustainable production of cotton by local farmers. The project aims to reducethe negative impacts of the chemical pesticides and insecticides used inconventional cotton production on humans and the nearby Mikea National Park,but also to increase revenues oflocal farmers by reducing their dependence on importedchemicals and price premiums for biological and fair trade certified cotton.Through communication, environmental education and participatory monitoring,the project is also raising environmental awareness among local cottonproducers and further promoting the use of environmental friendly andsustainable production techniques