+44 (0)207 697 8598

Analysis of the drivers, evolution and impacts of the demographic pressure on the Barren Isles ecosystems

Supervisors: Bienvenue Zafindrasilivonona, Florence Pichon
Location: desk and field (Madagascar)
Duration: min 3-6 months

The Barren Isles ecosystems (Melaky region) are subject to increasing anthropogenic pressures that threaten the durability of local livelihoods through the depletion of marine resources stocks. Current decreases in catch and income for local fishermen are due to external threats, but also result from a dramatic increase in population and its associated fishing effort and practices. Madagascar’s average annual population growth rate of nearly 3% is compounded by a recent and continuously growing migration phenomenon to the region.

The Barren Isles Locally Managed Marine Area (LMMA) aims to implement a durable and efficient management configuration in order to preserve and organise the  utilisation of the Barren Isles’ precious resources; this requires thorough knowledge of the socio-economic status and trends of the target population. A survey carried out  in the summer of 2012 among local fishing communities, gathered over 300 questionnaires - centred on local livelihoods, household characteristics, migration patterns, fishing activity and environmental knowledge. Its analysis will provide the indispensable information needed to assess the features of the local population and the way they conduct their activities, as well as baseline data to measure evolution of such factors in the future.

A preliminary analysis has been completed in order to disseminate the initial findings among stakeholders, but a more thorough analysis that draws on results of similar studies and looks at more complex statistical relationships between variables is still needed.

Field work would include follow up focus groups and key informant interviews to confirm and explore new results. This process is essential to the implementation of conservation initiatives, led by the community, and could potentially be successful in tackling overexploitation and therefore increase the resilience of local fishing communities’ livelihoods.

Independent research projects (2013-2014) - Madagascar

Independent research projects (2013-2014) - Belize