Conservation Gap Analysis: Madagascar

June 21, 2018

The Dugong and Seagrass Conservation Project asked two policy experts from the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi to explain how to apply the DPSIR policy analysis model to our Project Parnters. With this information our partners are analyzing the policy gaps for dugong and seagrass conservation in their countries.

A complete text of the gap analysis can be downloaded here.

Here is one of those analysis done by:

Please give us an over-view of your project and dugong/seagrass in Madagascar.

Madagascar has been identified among the Indo-Pacific West countries hosting the “Dugongs”, a species classified as vulnerable by IUCN. The high level of human dependence on marine resources for survival has been the main cause of threats to dugongs and seagrass beds in coastal areas of Madagascar. Over-fishing and unsustainable fishing practices have resulted in the degradation of marine ecosystems and bycatch of endangered species, including dugong. In addition, some fishermen are targeting these species directly.

Faced with all this, Madagascar benefited from a project entitled “Improving the efficiency of the conservation of seagrass ecosystems and support to the important populations of dugong in the Indian Ocean and Pacific basins”. This project is co-financed by the Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund, and the GEF, with support for the implementation of UNEP.

Project implementation is technically supported by the Ministry of the Environment in collaboration with conservation NGOs and partner institutions. The main intervention sites of the project are the DIANA, SOFIA and BOENY Regions.

What are the policy gaps related to dugong and seagrass conservation in your country?

One of the components of the project – MG5 – on the facilitation for the conservation of Dugongs and seagrass, managed by the Directorate General of the Environment, is to fill this gap. It consists of an in-depth analysis and study of gaps in national legislation related to the conservation of Dugongs and their habitat with a view to proposing agreed recommendations.

Has the Dugong and Seagrass Conservation Project been able to address those? What has been done to address those gaps? And what are the next steps to undertake until the end of the project and beyond?

The results of this study showed that there is imprecision of existing regulations in Madagascar in relation to the conservation of the dugong and its habitat. This analysis also leads to the conclusion that despite the fact that the overall political frameworks for environmental management in Madagascar (updated Malagasy Environment Charter, the national environmental policy for sustainable development, another global management framework of biodiversity) are all favorable to the protection of biodiversity in general, it is clear that at the national level, there is still no regulatory text specifically related to the dugong and its habitat.

How can dugongs and seagrass get political attention and be effectively prioritized by decision-makers (equally and along with other marine mammals and habitats)?

Only a few “DINA” exists at local level. “Dina” is a community level agreement that rules and control community behavior including natural resource management. Dina can be legally recognized through validation via short. The Dina can be used to regulate a wide range of issues and to solve conflicts, especially in remote areas.

At the end of the results of this analysis, one of the concerted recommendations is to put in place a regulatory text on the protection of Dugong and its habitat with the support of this same project.