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Madagascar community association wins prestigious Equator Prize
Date:7/8/2014

A community association, established and supported by the Wildlife Conservation Society since 2003, and focused on improving sustainable management of marine resources in Madagascar's Antongil Bay has been awarded the Equator Prize.

The community associationcalled the Plate-forme de Concertation pour le Dveloppement Durable de la Baie d'Antongil (PCDDBA)will receive $5,000 at an upcoming award ceremony at the United Nations on September 22, 2014. Presented by the Equator Initiative, the Equator Prizes are awarded biannually in recognition of local sustainable development solutions for people, nature, and resilient communities. PCDDBA was chosen from a record 1,234 nominations from 121 different countries.

"We congratulate our local partners on winning this prestigious award," said WCS Malagasy scientist Bemahafaly Randriamanantsoa. "This recognition from the Equator Initiative will certainly help us promote this consortium as a model for resolving fishing crisis and finding sustainable alternatives."

Said Dr. Caleb McClennen, Executive Director of WCS's Marine Program: "We applaud the successful efforts of the PCDDBA to make a difference in Antongil Bay, one of the most biodiverse marine coastal ecosystems in Madagascar. We also thank the Equator Initiator for bringing global attention to innovative local consortiums aimed at creating a sustainable future."

The Plate-forme de Concertation pour le Dveloppment Durable de la Baie d'Antongil (PCDDBA) is a local collective bringing together fishing communities and various stakeholders to promote the sustainable management of marine resources in and around Antongil Bay, the largest bay on the coast of Madagascar.

The group was formed to address a number of issues such as conflicts between artisanal and industrial fishing interests, declining fish populations, marine ecosystem degradation, and the loss of coastal mangrove habitat to development. For two decades PCDDBA, WCS, government authorities and other partners have joined forces to address these challenges.

Most recently this has led to the establishment of a network of 25 community-run marine protected areas and the reduction of the use of destructive fishing gears along 150 miles of remote coastline, with 96 beach seines destroyed in May 2014. Beach seines are very fine mesh nets that cause severe depletion and crashes of fish populations in areas where they are used.

By providing a forum for continuing dialogue and resource management, the PCDDBA has achieved measurable results, including an increase in fish populations and the restoration of functioning marine ecosystems. The group has also helped to increase local incomes while providing a conflict resolution mechanism to guide resource access and use.


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Contact: John Delaney
jdelaney@wcs.org
718-220-3275
Wildlife Conservation Society
Source:Eurekalert  

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