Habitat loss is one of the main threats to Madagascar’s species. The Malagasy government has taken steps in recent years to restrict damages from these activities, mainly by creating protected areas. However, the COVID-19 pandemic threatens to compromise progress made in habitat conservation. As an austerity measure, the government closed national parks and halted patrols in protected areas. As a result, illicit activities spiked in these unguarded areas and, without financial support to get necessities like food, people turned to bushmeat as their incomes evaporated. Although parks are now open, the global crisis continues and the government keeps directing its resources away from habitat protection.
Regional agencies can continue conservation efforts, but most of these community-run organisations lack the financial stability to protect forests for an extended period. Without immediate intervention, conservation programs targeting the wildlife of Madagascar, most of which is either Endangered or Critically Endangered, will suffer irreparable setbacks.
- Prevent the overexploitation of forests;
- Expand target species’ habitats;
- Maintain the stability of the community during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Organize monthly patrols at all sites;
- Equip monitoring teams with suitable field equipment;
- Provide reliable transportation of seedlings and reforestation workers by maintaining vehicles at two sites and purchasing fuel;
- Financially support nursery assistants, Single Mother’s Club participants and office personnel;
- Hire a gardener to oversee food production at a field site and facilitate gardening workshops.
This project is a part of the IUCN SOS African Wildlife initiative, which is funded by the European Commission’s Directorate General for International Cooperation and Development (DG Devco) through its B4Life initiative.