Supporting communities to lead the way on natural resource management, NCBA CLUSA, in partnership with Tetra Tech, has begun work on the five-year U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Mikajy Project to support national-level planning and local development in two key regions of Madagascar.
Working in Menabe and Mamabaie regions, the USAID Mikajy Project will address key threats to biodiversity through community-based natural resource management, enhancing well-being for communities near protected areas, and strengthening natural resource tenure and property rights for resource-dependent communities.
As a technical assistance partner, NCBA CLUSA will contribute to the economic development of communities in those regions by facilitating the diversification of conservation-friendly livelihood opportunities. NCBA CLUSA will lead an initial assessment to determine which value chains in each region may have the greatest impact on biodiversity conservation while increasing farmers’ incomes. Once value chains have been selected, NCBA CLUSA will facilitate market linkages with local, regional, national and international buyers and assist producers to meet market demands for conservation-friendly products. The expertise and outcomes from this work will bolster the knowledge management goals of the partner project in Madagascar—USAID Hay Tao.
Read the full U.S. Embassy press release below:
The U.S. Government, through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), has officially launched two new projects benefiting Madagascar’s environmental sector. The projects—USAID Hay Tao and USAID Mikajy—will focus on strengthening community-based management of natural resources. USAID Hay Tao will bolster national-level information, policies and systems, and USAID Mikajy will support local communities in western and northeastern Madagascar to sustainably manage and benefit from their natural resources. Both projects are will operate for five years and are worth a combined $45 million USD.
In his remarks, U.S. Chargé d’Affairs Stuart Wilson emphasized that the U.S. Government was, “thrilled to be relaunching a sizable program in the environmental sector,” and underlined the financial and cultural benefits that strong environmental management can bring by drawing parallels between Madagascar’s unique environment and the United States’ system of national parks. USAID Madagascar’s Acting Mission Director Linda Gregory made the case that Madagascar’s rich biodiversity can be used for the country’s economic and social growth. “We believe in the concept that biodiversity is development,” she said.
Gregory asserted that local communities must be engaged in and must benefit from the proceeds of their natural resources in order for conservation to be successful. “Simply put, without the support, participation and leadership of local communities, we cannot protect these environments,” Gregory said.
Madagascar’s Minister of Environment, Ecology and Forests, Guillaume Venance Randriatefiarison, and the Representative of the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources were also on hand to help launch the projects.
The two projects are the largest parts of USAID’s Conservation and Communities Program, which is designed to provide environmental protection while simultaneously lifting the fortunes of local communities by giving them a bigger say in the management of their local resources, promoting sustainable community development and creating related jobs.
USAID Mikajy focuses on two regions rich in biodiversity and economic potential—Menabe in the west and an area in the northeast consisting of protected rainforest landscapes and seascapes, anchored by Makira and Masoala Parks and Antongil Bay. Known collectively as MaMaBay. USAID Mikajy is being implemented by Tetra Tech, with sub-partners including the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), the National Cooperative Business Association CLUSA International (NCBA CLUSA), the Interchurch Organization for Development Cooperation (ICCO), Viamo and the Multi-Sector Information Service (MSIS).
USAID Hay Tao is the knowledge management portion of CCP and will develop tools and approaches for community-led development. It will be implemented by Pact, an international development organization that will lead a consortium of partners, including the World Resources Institute and the U.S.-based University of Rhode Island—Coastal Resources Center.