Madagascar – Building Resilient Marine Protected Areas


  1. Title of your Project

Building Resilient Marine Protected Areas in Madagascar

  1. Name of organisation

Implemented by: WWF Madagascar and Western Indian Ocean Programme Officer (WWF MWIOPO)
Financed by:      MacArthur Foundation

  1. Location of project

Community: Nosy Hara, Diana Region
Country:      Madagascar

  1. Project duration

Project started: January 2008
Project finished (if applicable): n/a

  1. Contact information

Name of contact person: Harifidy Olivier Ralison
Name of organisation:     WWF MWIOPO
Detailed address:           BP 738 Antananarivo
Phone:                          (+261) 034 49 888 05

Website of your project (if different): n/a

  1. Summary of practice

The project overall goal is to identify and apply new, innovative policies and strategies which help to ensure that the Nosy Hara Archipelago has secure long-term funding and are resistant and resilient to climate change and evolving patterns of use, ensuring the long-term maintenance of biodiversity and ecosystem services.

The project specific objectives are:

  • Climate change responses are integrated into MPA design and management, and sound monitoring programmes are developed;
  • Key stakeholder capacity to be effective marine/coastal resource managers is strengthened ;
  • Feasible sustainable financing mechanisms for Nosy Hara are identified;
  • A knowledge base for marine biodiversity and MPAs is developed and used by all stakeholders and as an educational tool.
  1. Context/Approach description

The Nosy Hara Archipelago area lies entirely within the Region of DIANA, some 15 – 30 km west of the region’s capital, the city of Antsiranana. Apart from the ‘tsingy’ (knife-like pinnacles spectacular landscapes that are among the most scenic in Madagascar ) there is a mixture of rocky shores, beaches and mangroves, shallow waters, numerous rocky seafloor substrates and extensive coral reef formations hosting valuable marine and fisheries resources. This Archipelago is a globally important wetlands area (Important Bird Area by Birdlife International, provisionally proposed as a World Heritage Site, likely to be a future RAMSAR site, etc.).

By protecting the resilience of this site and reducing its vulnerability to climate change, ecosystem goods and services used by surrounding communities will be protected and in turn, the resilience of these communities increased.

  1. Community involvement

Community involvement has been through application of WWF’s Climate Witness approach, a participatory assessment tool that increases awareness of climate change issues and develops locally specific climate change adaptation strategies with local communities. The tool has been applied in 3 villages in the vicinity of the marine protected area.

  1. Results & Lessons learned

9.1  Results

Results to date include:

  • Building of capacity on resilience assessment (on how to practically take into account the climate change factor in the management of an MPA) of the Nosy Hara MPA managers, Madagascar National Parks MPA managers from Masoala, and Conservation International MPA manager.
  • Carrying out of coral reef resilience assessment
  • Monitoring of coral bleaching along with the MPA ecological monitoring.
  • Training on climate witness approach and participatory rural assessment.

The next steps will include integration of climate change adaptation considerations into the protected area management and monitoring plans to ensure ongoing consideration of climate change issues in protected area management and monitoring.

  1. 2 Critical Success Factors

The project represents a successful pilot project that aims to translate theoretical knowledge on climate change impacts into practical tools that protect not only ecosystems, but the local communities that depend on their goods and services.

9.3. Transferability 

The lessons learnt from the project will be used to inform similar activities in other protected areas throughout Madagascar and in other countries in the African region.


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