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Migration of inland peoples to coastal environments in the Mikea forest

Supervisors: Kate England, Cicelin Rakotomahazo, Sylvia Paulot
Location: desk/field (Madagascar)
Duration: min 6 months

The migration of inland people to the southwest coast of Madagascar has impacted both the spiny and mangrove forests, which are critical environments for local  communities and biodiversity alike.

The Blue Forests programme aims to build a conservation project that is owned by local people and generates sustainable financing to secure the livelihoods and habitats found in this threatened ecoregion.

Our ultimate goal is to implement a REDD+ project which encompasses both the Velondriake locally managed marine area and the associated spiny forest, and includes both the local Vezo and Mikea people.
This research will contribute to conservation of the spiny forest, which forms part of ‘Madagascar spiny desert’ ecoregion, a ‘Global 200’ priority ecoregions and the Mikea Forest Important Bird Area. T

he ecoregion has the highest rates of local botanical endemism in Madagascar and deforestation of any ecoregion in the country from 1990-2005.
This aim of this project will be to identify the agents and underlying causes of deforestation and biodiversity loss in the spiny forest, through participative appraisals with the local Mikea people.
Additionally, this research aims to reveal the drivers of migration of inland people to the coast, and how new migrants to this area are using and impacting mangrove and spiny dry forests. Through this, we will come to better understand the way forward for managing this area under by accounting for the interplay between two different forest habitats (spiny and mangrove forests), and two traditional lifestyles, Vezo and Mikea.

Independent research projects (2013-2014) - Madagascar

Independent research projects (2013-2014) - Belize