© Nick Riley / WWF-Madagascar

More than twenty years of evolution of Madagascar's mangroves

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The most important cartographic study on the evolution of mangroves in Madagascar

This study was conducted by Save our mangroves now! It is an international initiative that mobilizes policy makers and supports environmental actors to stop and reverse the loss of mangroves. Save our mangroves now! has a particular focus in the Western Indian Ocean, which includes Madagascar. The WWF, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation (BMZ) and Development and IUCN are the leaders of this initiative and the authors of this cartography, available for download here.

Based on cartographic analyzes and aerial photographs, the results of this study are about the evolution of Madagascar’s mangroves from 1995 to 2018. What we learn from these scientific analyzes? For the most part, mangroves are declining everywhere in Madagascar! The total surface of ​​mangroves decreased from 294,387 ha in 2000 to just over 236,400 ha in 2018. Nevertheless, mangroves near marine or terrestrial protected areas are less impacted than others. Another important finding is that although the loss rates decreased over the years, the degradation increased. So, the degradation is the « hidden loss »

Also, and this is a milestone to this study, most of the areas where mangrove forests are managed by local communities are better in the whole country. In fact, WWF has partnered with local communities to protect and restore the mangroves since 2007, in the Menabe, Melaky and Diana regions. In total, 50,000 ha of mangroves have been successfully protected and over 2 million mangrove trees have been planted from 2007 to 2017. More importantly, sixteen community organizations from these regions are now actively engaged in the conservation of mangroves. They are supported by WWF and other conservation and development organizations within their region.

To Nanie Ratsifandrihamanana, director of WWF Madagascar, “Future mangrove conservation efforts can only be sustained if scientific knowledge is kept up to date, adequate policies and legislations exist and best practices are scaled up effectively. ”

This mapping provides an up-to-date overview of the extent and current status of mangroves on the island. We hope this will drive greater interest towards this unique ecosystem and strengthen the commitment to its conservation.

Download the full study here.

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