Global Programs

U.S. doubles investment in Madagascar’s environmental sector with launch of three new activities


From left: Malagasy Minister of Fisheries Paubert T. Mahatante; U.S Ambassador to Madagascar Claire A. Pierangelo; and Malagasy Minister of Environment Max A. Fontaine launch USAID’s $41 million investment in environment activities over the next five years. [photo: U.S. Embassy in Madagascar]
NCBA CLUSA is thrilled to be part of USAID’s $41 million investment in Madagascar’s environmental sector over the next five years. NCBA CLUSA will support the global development organization DAI in implementing the Harena activity. Working near protected areas, this activity will improve livelihoods, strengthen conservation efforts and reduce threats to biodiversity. With USAID Harena, NCBA CLUSA deepens its footprint in Madagascar, where it currently implements the Cooperative Ecosystem and Social Inclusion activity under USAID’s Cooperative Development Program; and the Mikajy activity as part of USAID’s Conservation and Communities Project. Read about the Harena activity launch—along with two other activities—in the press release from USAID Madagascar below. 


On May 16, the United States joined Madagascar’s Minister of Environment and Sustainable Development Max A. Fontaine, Minister of Fisheries and Blue Economy Paubert T. Mahatante, and a diverse set of stakeholders in Antananarivo to launch a suite of new U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)-funded activities in the environment sector. This launch event was complemented by a fair that showcased 20 USAID partners and stakeholders working in conservation and sustainable business development.

The three new USAID activities represent an investment of $41 million in conservation and environmental governance in Madagascar over the next five years. At the launch event, U.S. Ambassador to Madagascar Claire Pierangelo said, “The U.S. government is doubling our investment in Madagascar’s environment with these three new activities and solidifying our unwavering commitment to the conservation and sustainable management of Madagascar’s invaluable biodiversity and natural resources. We recognize the critical importance of these marine and land ecosystems to the health of the population and the economy.”

USAID Harena (“treasure”), implemented by DAI with support from NCBA CLUSA, is a land-based project that will work near protected areas to improve livelihoods, strengthen conservation efforts and reduce threats to biodiversity. USAID Riake (“ocean”), implemented by the University of Rhode Island’s Coastal Resources Center, will focus on marine conservation and spatial planning while improving coastal livelihoods. The third activity, USAID Mizana (“scales of justice”), is implemented by Alliance Voahary Gasy, and will use advocacy and anti-corruption strategies to improve environmental governance. These three activities will collaborate closely and will operate in the regions of Menabe, Atsimo Andrefana, Atsimo Atsinanana, DIANA, Analanjirofo, SAVA, Androy and Vatovavy Fitovinany.

The launch ceremony ended with a call to action by the USAID Sustainable Environment and Economic Development Office Director Benjamin Skolnik. “Madagascar has an ambitious vision for its future. Let’s work together to achieve our common goal of a thriving environment, and a thriving Madagascar,” Skolnik said.

The USAID partners’ fair event promoted collaboration and networking amongst entities working in the environment and sustainable business sector. The organizations present at the event highlighted numerous innovations to boost economic development while also promoting environmental protection. For example, Miarakap is an impact investment firm that supports conservation-friendly Malagasy businesses, such as bio-charcoal, recycled plastic, and a new type of brick for construction
that do not require wood-fired kilns. Another company, Jiro Ve, provides clean access to energy for rural communities through rechargeable solar lanterns and efficient cookstoves for schools. These companies improve environmental outcomes by reducing dependency on wood and charcoal, which is vital to protect remaining forests in Madagascar.

Since 2013, the U.S. government has committed nearly $125 million in programs that combat wildlife and precious hardwood trafficking, strengthen natural resource governance, improve forest and marine management, and partner with the private sector to increase economic opportunities for local communities in Madagascar.

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