Launch of BETSAKA Project to Access Madagascar's Protected Areas

We are excited to announce the launch of the BETSAKA project (Biodiversity-economy tradeoff and synergy assessments for conservation areas), an initiative to assess the environmental and socio-economic impacts of protected areas in Madagascar from 2000 to 2024. This project is a scientific and financial collaboration between the evaluation departments of AFD and KfW and IRD's UMI SOURCE (as part of the Geo4Impact program).

The role that biodiversity plays in the stability of ecosystems and human well-being is now a global priority for scientific understanding. The recent Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework (2022) sets a '30 by 30' goal to protect 30% of the planet's lands and oceans by 2030. However, despite the efforts made, controversy persists over the effectiveness and legitimacy of protected areas, particularly regarding their impact on deforestation and the well-being of local communities and indigenous peoples.

BETSAKA aims to assess the tensions and synergies between the environmental and socio-economic impacts of protected areas in Madagascar. The project will focus on four key questions:

Do protected areas;

  • Reduce deforestation?
  • Limit fires in and around protected areas?
  • Improve the living conditions of surrounding populations?

To what extent and by what means do the financing, governance and management practices of protected areas determine these impacts?

To answer these questions, the team will use a mixed methodology combining quantitative and qualitative analyses, based on existing data as well as new data generated by rural observatories. Mapme tools will help to optimize the analyses!

The results of this evaluation could inform Madagascar and other countries about the effectiveness of public conservation policies. We also hope that the data, tools, and methods produced will contribute to a better understanding of the links between the financing and management of protected areas, biodiversity conservation and the development of local communities.

We look forward to sharing the advances and findings of this project with the global conservation community and contributing to more informed and effective policy and practice in this crucial area for our planet.


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