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.
Migration of inland peoples to coastal environments in the Mikea forest
Independent research projects (2013-2014) - Madagascar
- The effects of short-term spatio-temporal closures of mangrove areas on fish populations
- Visualisation of traditional crab captures data in western Madagascar
- Study of national octopus fishery status and trends in Madagascar
- Study on status and trends of octopus fisheries in the Western Indian Ocean
- Analysis of growth rates of hatchery-reared holothurians (Holothuria scabra) in community-managed aquaculture farms
- Madagascar as a case of study for red seaweed farming implementation in the WIO
- A study of local farmer income over the course of the aquaculture programme since 2007
- Effectiveness of community-based marine aquaculture in Western Indian Ocean: what can be learned from past and present, successes and failures in order to further development
GIS & Remote Sensing studies
- Assessing the status of methods for detecting mangrove degradation through geospatial analysis
- Multi-criteria analysis for the definition of REDD+ project boundaries
- Identifying and deriving spatial surrogates for the primary drivers of mangrove deforestation
- Assessing the status of methods for modelling future deforestation scenarios
- Assessing natural regeneration within areas of deforested mangrove
- Centralising and organising the Blue Forests Project’s geospatial database
Socio-economic and integrated studies
- Analysis of the agents, drivers and underlying causes of mangrove deforestation in Madagascar’s northwest
- Value chain analysis of charcoal production in Madagascar’s NW coast
- Migration of inland peoples to coastal environments in the Mikea forest
- Development of the Barren Islands LMMA sustainable finance plan
- Climate adaptation impacts of a forest carbon project in Velondriake locally- managed marine area
- Analysis of the drivers, evolution and impacts of the demographic pressure on the Barren Isles ecosystems
Carbon & Forestry studies
- Sustainable harvest of mangroves in Madagascar
- Alternative fuel-wood plantations to prevent leakage of mangrove REDD+ activities
- Mangrove forest regeneration after harvesting and the associated changes in carbon stocks
- Changes in mangrove carbon stocks associated with natural die-off
- Comprehensive assessment of the seagrass meadows of the Velondriake LMMA and their value for blue carbon projects
Independent research projects (2013-2014) - Belize
- Describing community structure of reef fish within seagrass, mangrove and reef habitats: using ecological data to evaluate management effectiveness of Bacalar Chico National Park and Marine Reserve
- Why all the algae? An assessment of the population status and distribution of key reef herbivore, Diadema antillarum, in Bacalar Chico Marine Reserve
- The value and vulnerability of avifauna in Bacalar Chico National Park and Marine Reserve: forming recommendations to ensure planned tourism development is environmentally-sound