Building a home for people and biodiversity in Mangabe Reserve, eastern Madagascar

Julie Hanta Razafimanahaka

Mangabe Reserve was created in 2015 primarily to provide an oasis for the Critically Endangered golden mantella frog Mantella aurantiaca and the lemurs Indri indri and Propithecus diadema. The sustainability of the Reserve depends entirely on the capacity of the local communities to manage it. This is made challenging by the poor education level of the population and the difficult access to the villages. Over the past years, we have been bringing technicians from the towns to inform and train community members. It is now time to make this knowledge locally available so that youths who are better educated can access and use them as needed. Our aim is to establish an information centre at each of the ten villages within Mangabe Reserve by 2030. In 2020-21, we will start this initiative in Mangabe village. At the centre, all community members will be able to access documents about the Reserve, the existing regulations, improved farming techniques, financial management, personal development, health, etc. Monthly awareness and training events will be organised there too. This project, funded by the Kate Stokes Memorial Award, will contribute to reducing annual forest cover loss from 555ha in 2015-18 to 250ha by 2030.