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Monitoring of natural forests in Madagascar

About the Project

In less than a hundred years the forest cover of Madagascar, one of the world’s most important hotspots of biodiversity, has fallen dramatically. The remaining forests serve as the last local and regional refuge for numerous species and represent important natural resources for the local communities. These forests have become extremely fragmented, which makes them very sensitive to human pressure and the impacts of climate change. Due to poverty and high population growth, lack of fertile land and water, political instability, as well as difficult climate conditions it is a daily challenge for the people to get a decent income in the rural areas. Often the only way to sustain a livelihood is to get it from the forest. Loss of forest is, however, causing increasing problems with e.g. access to clean water and resilience to extreme weather conditions. Thus, it has become increasingly acknowledged that preserving forests is one important piece of the puzzle in efforts of reducing absolute poverty and supporting sustainable livelihoods.


Protection, restoration and monitoring of natural forests in Madagascar

The purpose of this project is to develop a method for the conservation of small forest fragments in the dry areas of Madagascar, while providing a means of sustainable development for the local communities. It also aims at creating a system for monitoring the forests that, based on satellite images freely available in the internet, could be easily adopted by local organizations working with limited resources. The main parties co-operating in the project are The Finnish Association for Nature Conservation (FANC) and the NGO Vakanala in Madagascar.

Globally the project consists of two branches:
• Reforestation, aimed to small forest fragments conservation and restoration for the preservation of biodiversity, soil preservation and groundwater aquifer sustainability and to the development of sustainable agriculture model intending to replace the traditional slash and burn practice;
• Monitoring, aimed to developing a tool for any stakeholders to map and monitor the forests easily and without operational costs. Over 2012-2015, the monitoring branch is also aimed to creating a detailed map of the forests located in the western part of Madagascar.

Since 2011 Transparent World has participated into monitoring branch of the project. During this period our specialists have developed the idea and technical workflow of mapping process, took part in field trips, conducted seminars and GIS training for local partners, have created the map of forest and comprehensive system of gathering and sharing the data, including FTP-database and geoportals.


Forest mapping: results



Pic. 5.  Result: overview map for pilot areas


Pic. 6.  Result: map of Ranomafana pilot area

Comparing with global data shows good agreements between our results and IFL mapping.

Our maps are currently based on canopy structure features only. It should be possible later to connect certain canopy structure with a certain disturbance level but it will require more field observations. Не знаю, надо ли это на сайте отражать. Думаю,нет?