ANTANANARIVO – The United States has helped Madagascar lay a foundation to preserve the country’s unique biodiversity while improving the lives of people who depend on threatened ecosystems for their livelihoods.
Over the last five years, the Hay Tao project – Malagasy for know-how – elevated local voices to the national stage and advocated for policies to safeguard precious natural resources imperiled by deforestation, overfishing, and rapid population growth.
“Hay Tao has helped communities to be better stewards of their natural resources,” USAID Acting Mission Director Agathe Sector said at a closing ceremony here today. “It also assisted the government of Madagascar to implement and enforce polices that protect natural resources that enhance the country’s development.”
Since 2019, Hay Tao has improved institutional capacity to address climate change and conserve biodiversity, strengthened environmental governance, and promoted effective conservation law enforcement. One enduring contribution is the creation of the Hay Natiora online data portal that will help the government, NGO’s, academic institutions, and the private sector to access data that will inform decision-making in the future.
USAID worked with government, civil society, NGOs, and private sector stakeholders to improve land tenure policies that affect 80 percent of the population and increase reforestation efforts and mangrove restoration.
By empowering communities, USAID helped the government of Madagascar develop and implement sound land and marine resource management policies. For example, the project helped community leaders manage marine protected areas through the establishment of traditional mechanisms like the ‘Dinabe’ and boosted the incomes of women working in fisheries.
Hay Tao also assisted organizations, such as the Madagascar Protected Areas and Diversity Fund (FAPBM) to successfully access new funding sources to better protect ecosystems. It was also able to help several protected areas enroll in the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Green List, a certification program that attracts both technical and financial resources to improve protected area management.
Like ‘mpirahalahy mianala,’ the United States stands side by side with Madagascar to help safeguard the country’s unique biodiversity. Since 2013, USAID has committed more than $60 million in programs that promote sustainability, improve livelihoods for local communities, bolster governance of natural resources, diminish international wildlife trafficking, and protect thousands of hectares from illegal exploitation.