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U.S. Government Supports New Presidential Initiative to Save Madagascar’s Menabe Antimena Protected Area
USAID project extended to provide technical assistance for resettlement plan in Bezeky
March 17, 2023


MORONDAVA – The United States is helping Madagascar preserve its unique biodiversity and provide new sources of income for some of its most vulnerable people through support of a new Presidential Initiative for the Menabe Antimena Protected Area.

On March 17, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) joined the Minister of Agriculture, representatives from the ministries of Land Use Planning and Environment and Sustainable Development, the Governor of Menabe, and regional authorities to launch the new “Titre Vert” (Green Title) Initiative to provide access to arable land for populations who have illegally settled in the Protected Area after fleeing drought in the South.

After demonstrating productive use of the land, migrants will be eligible for official land titles for government-donated plots.  With support from USAID, Titre Vert was developed by a committee made up of the regional governor and staff from the directorates of Menabe, as well as officials from the ministries of Agriculture, Environment and Lands.

The initiative is centered in the village of Bezeky, where migrants will be offered voluntary relocation alongside the village’s current residents.  Both populations will benefit from upgrades in infrastructure, assistance with agriculture, and support for diversified livelihoods.  The government will provide the land and join with USAID and other partners to develop infrastructure for public services, expand housing, and furnish support for agriculture activities.

“As the climate changes, migrants will continue to seek refuge in new regions,” USAID’s Office of Sustainable Environment and Economic Development Director Agathe Sector said at the launch.  “Assisting them to access land and build sustainable livelihoods toward a brighter future is a truly forward-thinking, more sustainable, and humane approach.  It will also help to stimulate the economy and turn degraded land into bountiful fields and forests.”

Over the last decade, the influx of migrants to the Menabe area depleted natural resources, and illegal cultivation of maize and peanuts led to massive deforestation.  This new reserve will provide new sources of income away from the Protected Area.

USAID has extended its Mikajy activity in Menabe for a sixth year to assist more than 800 households already in the Bezeky land reserve and 1,000 new farmers around the park.  Introduction of conservation agricultural practices will improve crop yields and soil quality, and reforestation of a “green belt” around the protected forest will provide villagers wood and other needed materials for their daily lives.

The United States and the Government of Madagascar work together like “mpirahalahy mianala” to protect the country’s unparalleled biodiversity and precious natural resources with investments of over $60 million since 2013.