Updated 08/06/22

International Emerging Action (IEA)

January 2021 – December 2022

Madagascar

Context

In order to prevent the disappearance of forest areas in Madagascar, protected areas have been introduced set up a few years ago. Despite their protection status, deforestation is currently progressing and these areas, which register important environmental losses related to legal and illegal socio-agricultural practices and pressures. However, with regard to tropical dry forests, and specifically ones those in Madagascar, there is very little knowledge about their surface, operation and evolution, compared to humid equatorial massifs. Historically, research on ecosystemic services in Madagascar were centred around a limited set of services (like carbon storage) and focused mostly on sites located in dense humid forests on the eastern side. Not many studies tackle dry tropical forests, although they represent one of the most endangered biomes on the planet. The Tavy (Malagasy name of the slash-and-burn agriculture), the need for fuelwood, or the zebus farming for instance keep wiping out tropical forests gradually, even within protected areas. However, with socio-agricultural practices that are more sensible, sustainable management that is more integrated and a better understanding of their functioning, tropical forests could grant local populations access to their multiple resources, while mitigating and preventing the mechanisms currently in place that lead to their near disappearing.

Station météorologique installée dans le Parc National d’Ankarafantsika pour le suivi des paramètres éco-climatiques en zone de forêt sèche

© IRD - Sylvain Bigot

Objectives

The SOMEWHERE project uses a naturalistic approach, combining social sciences and environmental sciences, to remove three main barriers to the study of the Malagasy dry forests:

  • The scarcity and the heterogeneity of regional data. The project aims at fostering and organizing the monitoring of bioclimatic and ecological parameters by leaning on local expertise, as well as resources and data provided by remote sensing
  • The disciplinary silos in studies encompassing deforestation. SOMEWHERE cross-references several scientific communities (geographers, ecologists, foresters, agronomists)
  • The weakness of analysis and calculation means. The project develops geomatics tools and grants access, training and promotion of pre-existing environmental numerical and geomatics services

The project SOMEWHERE engages in the realisation of the SDG 13 as part of the Agenda 2030: “Taking urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts, as it investigates the evolutions of the Malagasy agro-forestry socio-ecosystem, its interactions and human influences as a goal to develop adaptive measures to climatic change, by relying on in situ observations, remote sensing and the analysis of climatic and hydrological models.

The collaboration between the project’s stakeholders is a great asset, using a complementary methodology between in situ observations. This International Emerging Action will also help develop scientific seminars in Madagascar (even though the project’s steps planned for 2021 have all been cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic and borders closing.

 

Partners

Scientific coordination: Samuel Razanaka, Centre National de Recherches sur l'Environnement (CNRE) and Sylvain Bigot, Institute of Environmental Geosciences (UMR CNRS 5001, University Grenoble Alpes).

 

Funding

Centre National de Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), Institut national des sciences de l'Univers (INSU).

 

 

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