Skip to main content

Nature Conservation: Madagascar

Volume 483: debated on Tuesday 18 November 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps his Department is taking to protect endangered animal species in Madagascar. (233949)

My Department's Darwin Initiative, our annual grants programme intended to use UK-based biodiversity expertise to assist countries rich in biodiversity but less so in resources, has funded 10 projects in Madagascar over the last 12 years. These include three on bat conservation, a wetlands project, a project on small vertebrates in the Tsingy Beneraha National Park, one on chameleon conservation within local communities, one on littoral forests, and two projects on training in biodiversity. A further two projects are under consideration.

Investment under the Darwin Initiative towards projects in Madagascar has totalled just over £900,000.

Another mechanism by which DEFRA funds species conservation projects is the Flagship Species Fund (FSF). Launched in 2001 in partnership with Fauna and Flora International, the FSF provides practical support for the conservation of endangered species and their habitats in developing countries. The FSF has funded a number of projects in Madagascar, including one on golden frogs, flying foxes and the conservation of 'orphan forests' in 2007.

Although not funded by DEFRA, we are also aware that the British High Commission in Mauritius (responsible for the UK's relations with Madagascar) has funded several smaller reforestation projects out of their Bilateral fund. The High Commission also supports the Madagascar Action Plan (MAP), Madagascar's strategic five year plan. The plan includes eight commitments which aim to eradicate poverty and focus on medium and long-term development, one of which is conservation of the environment.