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Korean Government Support BIOCOM Project for Madagascar (2020-2024)

An on-line signing ceremony was held on 24 August 2020 between the Korean Embassy to Madagascar and UNESCO, in the presence of the Malagasy Minister of Environment and Sustainable Resources, for a project entitled “Biodiversity Conservation and Sustainable Natural Resource Management for Integrated Community Development in National Parks of Madagascar - (BIOCOM)”. The Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) will be providing 5.5. USD over the course of the next five years to fund this project.  The goal of the project is to preserve the biodiversity of Marojejy, Andohahela and Montagne des Français protected arears– and improve the well-being of local communities through the development of alternative and sustainable income generating activities.

The Rainforests of Atsinanana provide local community with crucial ecosystem services. The forest landscape from northeastern, Marojejy Park, to southeastern Madagascar, Andohahela Park, consist of over 136 300 ha (distributed across a Category II protected area and its surrounding buffer zone), which represents both a key biodiversity stronghold and a vital bridge maintaining the long-term connectivity between the largest remaining intact rainforest in the country’s biologically rich Eastern Rainforest Biome.

The Montagne des Français forests represents a dry deciduous forest and cover 6 141 ha. Vegetation structure on the upper portion of Montagne des Français is a flat karstic habitat with a specific vegetation type including a mixture of dry forest, short thicket, and rupicolous vegetation. This protected area faces many threats such as the extensive conversion of forest trees to charcoal.

The project activities will be carried out with Madagascar National Park and the “Service d’Appui à la Gestion de l’Environnement ». These activities are expected to achieve the following outcomes: (i) reduced deforestation and an increased area of ecologically intact forest, (ii) long term conservation of effectively managed and protected areas, (iii) sustainable livelihoods of local communities achieved through the development of alternative income generating activities, and (iv) increased engagement of youth and women in natural resources governance through awareness, training and capacity building activities.

 

The signing of this agreement comes at a very critical time. The corona virus pandemic has further exacerbated the challenges that Madagascar is facing in protecting its biodiversity. This project is a testament to Korea’s strong commitment to work closely together with the Malagasy government and UNESCO to protect the natural heritage of Madagascar.
HE. Mr. Lim Sang-Woo, Ambassador of South Korea to Madagascar
The outstanding and notable support of KOICA in the preservation of the environment is particularly timely in the current period. The COVID-19 pandemic crisis indeed places the conservation of natural resources in the face of unprecedented challenges and demands unprecedented efforts, especially to ensure the preservation of these forests for future generations.
Ms. Ann There Ndong Jatta, Director and Representative, UNESCO Regional Office for Eastern Africa

The project is set to benefit local communities located in the periphery of Marojejy, Andohahela and Montagne des Français protected areas. About 280 young people and women will be trained on leading occupations in the field of tourism, as well as rural trades. The capacity building component of the project will benefit 45 primary and secondary schools enrolling more than 6,000 children and 220 teachers.

UNESCO and all implementing partners express their profound gratitude to the Government of the Republic of Korea for the funding which affirms their commitment to UNESCO programmes and Global Priority Africa agenda.