Madagascar’s COFAV is home to 21 lemur taxa, of which a disproportionate number are categorised in elevated threat levels according to the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. For example, the target area is home to the Golden Bamboo Lemur, a Critically Endangered species. The primary threats to all target species include deforestation (largely as a result of in-migration into the forest and insufficient controls on logging, deforestation and fires) and poaching.
Hunting of the Golden Bamboo Lemur is prevalent in the area, the species being considered easy to catch due to its relative lack of fear of humans. The sale of lemur meat snacks on stalls along forest footpaths is commonplace.
This project will empower COFAV communities to conserve their lemurs through a multifaceted approach that builds local capacity, addresses livelihoods concerns and promotes stakeholder collaboration and communication.
Numerous community-based information-gathering and awareness-raising initiatives will be combined with the promotion of alternative sources of income and protein, and the capacity-building of Community Forest Management associations. Support will be given to forest inhabitants to make their lifestyles more sustainable. Agricultural production on deforested land will be boosted through training on improved techniques, with 6 community tree nurseries operational to provide saplings for agroforestry, reforestation and forest restoration.
By 2021, the aim is to see:
- Poaching of lemurs reduced by 60% in the target area.
- Knowledge of lemurs improved in the project area which covers 32,000 hectares.
- That 90% of people living in villages bordering the rainforest project area are aware of the uniqueness of local biodiversity and report an increased appreciation of lemurs.
- Lemur-friendly income-generation activities and alternative sources of protein developed for 50% of forest dwellers.
- The capacity of 9 Community Forest Management associations strengthened in management and governance, particularly legislation.
- That 45,000 endemic trees are planted in the project target area to meet lemur and human needs.