The loss of Malagasy Heritage

Madafan already reported this huge threat to Madagascar’s biodiversity on a recent post, on this post, we are echoing the appeal that NGO working in the conservation and environment field has made in order to spread it to the maximum audience. This article was initially posted on NGO Fanamby’s blog

The trees must not hide the forest: the loss of Malagasy Heritage

During the last 20 years, Madagascar has undertaken significant and exemplary efforts to stop environmental degradation, effectively manage natural resources and preserve its unique biodiversity in the pursuit of sustainable development.

Beyond their inherent value, these natural riches – which are a source of national pride – also guarantee the benefits and services that are essential to the daily lives of the rural majority of the population, providing them among other things with water, food and energy.  These natural resources also guarantee the development of the agriculture, fisheries and tourism sectors.

We, non-governmental organizations working to conserve these natural resources for the long term well being of local communities, hereby express our deep concern at the current devastation occurring to the country’s natural resources:

  1. Open and organized plundering, sometimes using firearms, of precious wood from several natural forests, including national parks such as Marojejy and Masoala, which have been declared World Heritage Sites.
  2. Intensified smuggling of wild species, especially reptiles such as tortoises, to the national and international markets.
  3. Proliferation, due to the current impunity, of destructive practices such as illegal mining and slash-and-burn agriculture within protected areas and environmentally sensitive areas.

These deplorable acts will only further impoverish the country and deprive future generations of the Malagasy people from their unique natural heritage.

This situation once again compromises the efforts that have been achieved up until now to help local communities to preserve their resources from individuals attempting to plunder the national heritage for their own short term benefits.

We hereby call upon the competent authorities and all Malagasy citizens to urgently take action to stop and punish such acts so that natural resources are no longer held hostage to political crises and post-cyclone emergencies.

Through this appeal, we confirm our commitment to work for the biodiversity of Madagascar and for the well-being of the local communities, who are the stewards of this natural heritage. We invite each citizen to recognize that the sustainability of the development of the country depends upon its natural resources and we call on every individual to take responsibility.

Antananarivo, March 27, 2009

World Wide Fund for Nature, Madagascar et Océan Indien Occidental

Conservation International – Madagascar et les Iles de l’Océan Indien

Wildlife Conservation Society – Madagascar

Missouri Botanical Garden

Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust

Institute for the Conservation of Tropical Environments

The Peregrine Fund

ONG Fanamby

Madagascar Fauna Group

L’Homme et l’Environnement

Plant Resources of Tropical Africa

  • saveoursmile

    more pictures of the rosewood stock almost ready to be shipped on

  • saveoursmile

    other news report about this massive destruction of protected areas in Madagascar on [Fr]
    Help spread the word about it and have people aware and combat this

  • madafan
  • Kevin

    Unfortunately this is common in so many countries, mine included. Hopefully we can all learn to live a little easier on the planet in the next few years and make a difference. I know that my local community is making a real effort here on Vancouver Island. It can work!

    Kevin’s last blog post..Learning from Past Lessons – Concert Photography

  • madafan

    In fact local communities are almost aware of preserving their environment. Lots of NGOs and conservation entities are working towards this issue here. But the main threat is corruption and money. During this crisis, a hundred of tons of rosewood has been discovered ready to be exported, those rosewood has been looted from national parks. Estimation has it that one container of rosewood is worth 140 millions Ariary (90000 USD) …But, I fully agree with you, it can(should) work

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