Madagascar’s plight: how do we create better Global-Local linkages?

Madagascar’s record of biodiversity– 600 species discovered in a decade (including 6 new coffee species!)

“Over the past 20 years, Madagascar has lost more than 1 million hectares of forest, and in the aftermath of a coup in March 2009, the rainforests were pillaged for hardwoods such as rosewood, destroying tens of thousands of hectares of some of the island’s most biologically diverse national parks – including Marojejy, Masoala, Makira and Mananara.

Protecting the island’s biodiversity will have to involve locals, said Wright, and it will have to include incentives for them to look after their forests. “If they have no practical way of making a living, of course they are going to turn to the natural resources sector and see what they can get from that, and who wouldn’t do it?”

There is a long way to go, Wright added, but he was optimistic. “There are some signs that things are good – there are growing local groups who are trying to conserve biodiversity. There is a local recognition and a need to protect it for their own reasons – that is very healthy.”

What can the Global community do to support local community organizations? Stricter sanctions on illegal logging? Stronger incentives for sustainable investment by palm oil and mining companies? Offer better alternative livelihood strategies? Offer Fair Trade options?

%d bloggers like this: