Madagascar partner sights 18 dugongs and works with communities to protect them
August 22, 2016
MG3 Project Update: Jan thru June 2016
C3 worked on optimising the governance structure of the Park – because of the size of the area, remote communities do not have the opportunity to participate in planning and monitoring activities. C3 proposed a division of the Park in three sub-regions, acting as a conduit of information between all communities and the Park authority, whereby C3 can reach 326 community members.
18 live dugongs were reported in 6 different locations and zero dugong mortalities were reported.
The Nosy Hara Marine Park has restrictions for local communities on marine and coastal resource use, “dina”, and these require to be updated in a participatory manner. C3 initiated the update reaching out community members to raise their awareness on the restrictions. The Partner reported that due to the legal status of the Park (related to co-management by national authorities and communities), previous attempts to update and enforce the dina failed. As an adaptive management solution, in June 2016, C3 signed a collaborative agreement with the Mihari network to provide legal advice and support.
Capacity building in Nosy Hara Marine Park also progressed very well in this reporting period.
C3 trained 40 Conservation Ambassadors (CAs) from all 21 villages, who received basic marine ecological training about dugongs, other endangered species, marine habitats, threats and conservation regulations.
The network of Junior Ecoguards also expanded with 18 new members, totaling up to 88 guards as of the end of this reporting period. C3’s Junior Ecoguard programme has received official endorsement from the Ministry of Education for its extension across the entire country. A Junior Ecoguard Training Manual was published and is available for download at http://c-3.org.uk/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/pdf/technical_reports/JE%20manual%20Final.pdf.
The incentive component of MG3, including a poultry farm, a community-run restaurant and ecotourism bungalow, and a handicraft enterprise were previously launched to provide a sustainable livelihood solution to local communities and alleviate pressure on dwindling fisheries. The incentives were monitored and important steps were identified to improve quality on the spot and the marketing of final products/ services. A feasibility study and consultations with fishers for two new business enterprises revealed interest in duck and goat farming.
As part of the incentives to local communities,
C3 began a health service programme (a doctor and a midwife visit communities on a monthly basis) and a school programme, improving education conditions for pupils in three schools.
A tri-partite agreement (C3, Ministry of Education & Schools Association) has been signed for a scholarship programme to support continuation of studies by the highest achieving students.
C3 field team’s work was facilitated by the purchase of a motorbike with the GEF funds under MG 3, allowing them to reach remote communities in a timely manner and freeing them from reliance on the public taxi-brousses.
Four major outreach events took place at Lalandaka village (a dugong hotspot), Diego city (World Environment Day), Ambodivahibe protected area (festival) and Mangoaka village (regional reforestation event).
Outreach materials designed and distributed include dugong information boards, posters, t-shirts and factual postcards.
C3 teamed up with the famed clothes company of the Indian Ocean islands, ‘Baobab clothing’, to produce fundraising dugong t-shirts and informative posters for their shops across Madagascar, with a proportion of profits going to C3’s dugong conservation work.