MADAGASCAR, Mar. 27 /CSRwire/ - Pact has received a new award from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to build the enabling environment for effective community-based management and protection of biodiversity resources in Madagascar. The $23 million USD, five-year project dubbed ‘Hay Tao,’ meaning ‘Know How’ in Malagasy, will focus on empowering local communities to lead the way in the management of their natural resources.
Hay Tao is the U.S. government’s largest environmental investment in Madagascar in nearly a decade.
“Our commitment to Madagascar’s environment is now stronger than ever,” Robert Yamate, the U.S. Ambassador to Madagascar, said in announcing the project this month in Antananarivo, Madagascar’s capital.
Hay Tao will improve the enabling environment for effective, lasting community-based wildlife management and conservation of biodiversity. With extensive experience in capacity development, governance, natural resource management and integrated development, Pact will take a systems approach to the project, in order to develop a sustainable conservation sector attuned to the needs of communities.
Hay Tao will build on the multi-stakeholder engagement model developed by Pact and USAID in the recent Mekong Partnership for the Environment project, and will also leverage a state-of-the-art data portal that will be at the heart of Hay Tao. Based on World Resources Institute’s Forest Atlas, the portal will underpin incisive analysis and drive innovative programming and evidence-based policies.
Madagascar is one of the world’s highest priority countries for biodiversity conservation because of its exceptional species richness, high number of unique plant and animal species, and the magnitude of threats facing these ecologically, culturally, and economically valuable resources. There are more unique species of plants and animals living in Madagascar than on the entire African continent, and more than 80 percent of its species can be found nowhere else on Earth. Threats to Madagascar’s biodiversity include widespread poverty and unsustainable land management practices.
While Hay Tao expands the work of Pact in Madagascar, the organization has a long history in the African island nation. Pact has worked in Madagascar for more than 25 years, improving health, the environment, and educational opportunities.
“We are grateful for the opportunity to work closely with the Government of Madagascar, civil society and local communities across this amazing country to help deliver a brighter future here,” said Mirana Rakotosamimanana, Pact’s Country Manager in Madagascar. “We know Hay Tao will make the Malagasy people’s lives measurably better.”
Pact will lead a group of international partners in implementing Hay Tao, including World Resources Institute (WRI) and the University of Rhode Island’s Coastal Resource Center (URI-CRC), alongside two national civil society networks, Alliance Voahary Gasy (AVG) and Solidarité des Intervenants sur le Foncier (SIF).
Learn more about Pact’s work in Madagascar: pactworld.org/madagascar
Learn more about Pact’s natural resource management work: pactworld.org/nrm
Learn more about Pact’s capacity development work: pactworld.org/capacity
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