REGION Atsimo Atsinanana | COMMUNE Matanga, Tsianofaha, Vohipaho | AREA 1562 | Project Start July 2007 | Protected areas IUCN Cat VI | Decree of creation: 2015 - 794

Using community patrols to control extra pressures on timber resources at two New Malagasy protected areas. Supported by IUCN Save Our Species co-funded by the European Union

We are pleased to announce that our project titled « Using community patrols to control extra pressures on timber resources at two Malagasy protected areas is now supported by SOS - Save Our Species and co-funded by the European Commission – Development & Cooperation – EuropeAid.
In Madagascar, the secondary impacts of the covid-19 pandemic have caused further impoverishment of a population that was already poor. In some places, farmers are not able to access regional and national markets for their crops nor international markets for high value spices especially vanilla and cloves. To mitigate the consequent reduction in their income some have turned to the exploitation and sale of timber from native forest. In Makirovana-Tsihomanaomby (M-T) and Ankarabolava-Agnakatrika (A-A), two of the 11 New Protected Areas (NPA) where MBG supports community-based conservation programs, our site-based staff have reported a significant increase in the exploitation of timber that they attribute to the impact of the pandemic. This increase is degrading the habitat of endangered species of lemur and threatens to overwhelm existing teams of rangers. To reduce these pressures, we propose to increase the intensity of policing by creating and supporting teams of community rangers who will be selected from vulnerable local people and compensation for their labor.
The overall objective of the project is that populations of threatened fauna at M-T and A-A, including lemurs, remain stable.
With this project, we aim to control the tendency to anarchic exploitation of timber by increasing the frequency of patrols in every sector of the forest. This will be done by creating informal community patrol teams. Each team will consist of a Community Coordinator and five Community Rangers. The Coordinator will be a local female teacher who will engage with this project at the weekend. She will be responsible for engaging vulnerable members of the community to join the patrols as rangers for variable periods of time defined according to need. The Coordinators will be trained to inform their Rangers about the need for controls in timber exploitation and best practice for patrols (including the use of GPS Unit). Each team will also be provided with equipment and supplies to enable overnight stays in the forest. The Head of Policing for each sector will be responsible for identifying and training the Community Coordinators, and also for directing and providing oversight for their work. During the patrols the Community Rangers will seek illicit activities within the reserve, that will typically be timber exploitation but may also include lemur trapping or shifting cultivation, and, when detected, note and describe the activity and its location using a GPS Unit. All incidents will be reported to the Coordinator who will dispatch records to their Head of Policing. The Head of Policing will direct our professional rangers to investigate and compile a full report of the infractions detected. Relatively minor incidents will be addressed through the application of local rules (called DINA) concerning the exploitation of natural resources previously elaborated by the community and applied by a committee of the elders (the KODINA). To avoid further impoverishing the delinquents the KODINA would propose punishments in the form of community work rather than monitory sanctions. More serious infractions will be reported to the regional office of the forest service (CEF/DREDD) who will prosecute the delinquent in the law courts. All community participants will be compensated on their investment in this work. The impact of the project will be tracked by the Head of Policing for each sector who will calculate the average number of infractions detected per patrol-day and the number of recently cut trunks (with diameter at breast height > 10 cm) detected per patrol-day.

General view of the Agnakatrika forest

Supported by IUCN Save Our Species co-funded by the European Union

This publication was produced with the financial support of the European Union through IUCN Save Our Species. Its contents are prepared by the implementation team of Missouri Botanical Garden and do not necessarily reflect the views of IUCN or the European Union