Ecological Restoration Alliance of Botanic Gardens

Missouri Botanical Garden

Madagascar: Preserving and Restoring a Rich and Diverse Flora

Posted on 19 September 2016

Madagascar is known for its extraordinary diversity, with 11,600 named plant species native to the island and a predicted 3000 additional species waiting discovery and/or scientific naming.  At least 83% of the Malagasy flora is found nowhere else on earth. Sadly, only 10% of the original vegetation remains on the island.


Over the last decade, Missouri Botanical Garden’s Madagascar Research and Conservation Program has implemented habitat restoration projects in association with community-based conservation programs at twelve sites scattered throughout the country. In total these sites encompass 61,650 hectares and include an array of native vegetation types.  Restoration activities include:

  • Thorough botanical inventories of each site, providing key information for science-based restoration
  • Reducing or, if possible, eliminating destructive activity (such as wild fires, shifting cultivation, and non-sustainable exploitation of timber) in degraded forests to facilitate natural regeneration
  • Establishing nurseries that produce seedlings of native trees (particularly pioneer species) for forest restoration projects, as well as fruit and spice trees to provide food and income for local people
  • Planting fast-growing trees as sources of fuel wood and timber for local people, thus helping to provide an alternative to the unsustainable use of dwindling native forest resources

Efforts are also underway with local communities to provide alternative and improved livelihoods from economic activities dependant on the non-sustainable exploitation of natural resources.

Please contact Chris Birkinshaw for more information about Missouri Botanical Garden's work in Madagascar.

 Native tree nursery adjacent to the Ankafobe Forest

Firebreaks have been established to protect Ankafobe Forest

 


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