The study highlights the differences in the country's regional patterns. These include heavy human pressure in the south and areas of high climate variability intermixed with lower vulnerability but high biodiversity in the northwest. Areas of particularly high biodiversity value include the islands, reefs, and bays of the northwest; the fringing reefs of the southwest; and the barrier reefs and islands of the central west coast.
Madagascar is one of the poorest countries on Earth yet has proposed to create over 1 million hectares (3,861 square miles) of protected areas to provide for the long-term conservation of its marine resources.
"It behooves countries, in the face of impending fisheries and climate crises, to plan and implement intelligent management that will increase the resilience of their natural marine resources," said co-author Tim McClanahan of the Wildlife Conservation Society, "This paper will provide a roadmap for Madagascar to plan and manage these resources and the methods should prove affordable and useful for the poorest countries where adaptation to climate change will make marine spatial planning a critical part of a successful response."
Co-author Caleb McClennen, WCS Director for Marine Programs, said: "Creation of protected areas is a key conservation strategy to safeguarding marine resources, but one size doesn't fit all. This study demonstrates the need for a comprehensive portfolio of management solutions from community based coastal fisheries to fully protected marine parks."
|Contact: Stephen Sautner|
Wildlife Conservation Society