Implementation of the NBSAP
The National Strategy for Sustainable Management of Biodiversity (NSSMB) was established in 1996. The principles of the NSSMB are: to contribute to the improvement of the living conditions of the entire population by reducing poverty, based on knowledge (modern and traditional), ownership, and a sense of common welfare; to be part of the development process (at the local, regional and national levels); to take the development of international trade into account; and to promote realistic alternatives. The NSSMB is structured around three strategic orientations: 1) conservation of biodiversity (ecosystems conservation; wild genetic resources conservation; agrobiodiversity conservation); 2) sustainable valuation of biodiversity (improve knowledge regarding economic, ecological and sociocultural values of biodiversity; improve the situation of under-valued and under-used biodiversity products; develop ecotourism); and 3) reduction of the pressures on biodiversity resources (improve behavior towards biodiversity; enforce legislation; develop alternatives to the destruction of timber and natural resources; develop biosecurity).
The NSSMB also discusses the need for more protected areas, capacity-building, access and benefit-sharing, improved monitoring, development of partnerships, a mechanism for sustainable financing and regional, local and community planning.
The mainstreaming of biodiversity management in planning frameworks is considered a national priority. Madagascar is currently revising its National Strategy for Sustainable Management of Biodiversity (NSSMB), although partial updates were completed in 2008. An environmental program of a duration of 20 years assisted with NSSMB implementation (today, this environmental program helps empower the management of protected areas).
Actions taken to achieve the 2020 Aichi Biodiversity Targets
A notable success in the implementation of the NSSMB and the National Environmental Action Plan is the increase in protected areas from 3% in the past to about 8% of the country’s total area (4,751,895 ha) in 2009. The Humid Dense Forest of the East, composed of 6 national parks with a total area of about 479,661 ha, has been nominated as a World Heritage site. In addition, reforestation efforts have covered an area of 34,925 ha and, in 2008, the fight against bush fires resulted in a 75% reduction in burned areas compared to 2002.
Regarding the conservation of threatened and endemic species, various conservation strategies and plans for conservation of endangered species (amphibians, chameleons, crocodiles, lemurs, turtles, birds, vositse and Prunus Africana
) have been successfully developed and implemented. Assessment on the conservation status of other taxonomic groups (amphibians, mammals, fish) has also been conducted according to IUCN criteria. To address the previous wild species trade management problems in the country, a national action plan recommended by the CITES Secretariat was developed by Madagascar. This five-year action plan was unanimously validated by national as well as international stakeholders in 2003. Consequently, the sale of ornamental plants is regulated by CITES and only approved operators have the right to export species contained on the CITES list.
Madagascar has ratified other international conventions related to biodiversity to enable it to implement the NBSAP (e.g. Ramsar Convention, Nairobi Convention for the Protection, Management and Development of the Marine and Coastal Environment of the Eastern African Region). As a member nation of the Indian Ocean Commission, Madagascar is involved in a program comprised of various components, involving islands of the western Indian Ocean.
Since the 1960s, many expeditions to prospect and collect plant genetic materials have been organized by FAO, in collaboration with international agricultural research institutes and national research centers. The material collected (e.g. rice, seed of leguminous plants) is kept in cold rooms or coolers or directly planted in fields (cassava, perennial plants). The National Silo for Forest Seeds is the institution in charge of the sustainable management of forest plant genetic resources in Madagascar, where research and indoor storage are being conducted for 50 species. For the implementation of the Global Plant Conservation Strategy under the Millennium Seed Bank project, sample seeds of 2,000 species are stored for long-term conservation in the National Silo for Forest Seeds bank.
In order to mitigate environmental degradation, processes linked to protected area creation, large mining projects, petrol and oil projects, large-scale agricultural exploitation, aquaculture projects, forestry projects, road contruction, textiles, tourism, wetlands, sensitive areas are subject to Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) regulations and the Environmental Management and Social Safeguard Plan (PGES). For example, the mining sector has adopted a framework of compensatory measures which provides support for the establishment and management of a conservation area (230 hectares including 160 hectares of forest in the Mandena area), as well as for ongoing efforts to support ecological restoration.
Progress has also been observed as a result of the use of scientific data to prioritize key areas for biodiversity, implementation of environmental education policies and an environmental monitoring system, integration of the environmental dimension in the sectors, implementation of the MECIE (Making Investments Compatible with the Environment) Decree, among other environmental protection programs.
Support mechanisms for national implementation (legislation, funding, capacity-building, coordination, mainstreaming, etc.)
The Environmental Units Platform serves as an interface between environmental authorities, other sectoral ministries, decentralized structures, operators and other partners, offering support and advice on environmental issues relevant to each concerned ministry. The functions of Madagascar’s Clearing-House Mechanism (CHM) and knowledge management on biodiversity and biosafety are ensured by the National Office for the Environment. The National Educational Policy Related to the Environment is enforced through close collaboration between the Ministry of Education and Scientific Research and the Ministry of Environment and Forests.
The MECIE (Making Investments Compatible with the Environment) Decree is a legal instrument requiring public or private investors to perform an Environmental Impact Assessment on investments that are potentially harmful to the environment. The MECIE Decree does not consider the concept of Strategic Environmental Assessment (although a guide for Strategic Environmental Assessment has been produced).
Mechanisms for monitoring and reviewing implementation
The country has a national environmental dashboard that regularly generates reports on the status of the environment. Although initially designed to be a decision-making tool, the national environmental dashboard proved useful to the different types of actitives undertaken in relation to research and training at the country level. Subsequent to the creation of the administrative regions, environmental dashboards were adjusted for use at the regional level, with 90% of the regions now having their own dashboard. The regional dashboard is updated regularly. In addition, each year, the Plants Specialist Group from Madagascar conducts conservation status assessments of plants in collaboration with IUCN. In 2005, 39 plant species were prioritized for a value chain analysis and different studies were conducted to improve knowledge on flora values, such as the Plant Resources of Tropical Africa, as part of building knowledge and promoting rural development. Each taxonomic group conducts a periodic conservation status assessment. The strategy for the conservation of Madagascar lemurs was produced in 2013. In addition, the national CHM, which is now part of an international network, benefits from regular capacity-building and will be an important tool to monitor and review national implementation.