Arlington, Va. (Dec. 21, 2020) – Conservation International, as a Global Environment Facility partner agency, today announced the Boeny Endowment, a $US 4.5 million fund to ensure the long-term conservation of nature and biodiversity in the northwestern landscape of Madagascar. The endowment will provide sustainable financing, technical and other support to five protected areas, while also fostering sustainable livelihoods in the surrounding communities.

The five protected areas that will receive support from the endowment are: Ankarafantsika National Park, Biocultural Site of Antrema, Mahavavy Kinkony Complex, Baly Baly National Park and Bombetoka-Beloboka.  

Spanning over 588,000 hectares, the Boeny protected area network is home to important populations of birds, fish, turtles, tortoises and lemurs that face ongoing habitat loss due to land conversion for subsistence agriculture, fires and removal of trees for charcoal production. In particular, Boeny’s dry forests are among the most threatened by deforestation and forest degradation in Madagascar, with an annual deforestation rate of 1.4 percent.

The protected area network aims to lessen these threats through ecological monitoring, aerial patrols, invasive plant species removal, forest restoration and fire control measures. The conservation effort will also build on successful activities that have prioritized the protection of the region’s key biodiversity while increasing household incomes through sustainable beekeeping, fishing, cattle rearing, craftsmanship, agriculture and ecotourism. The endowment will support these efforts by providing consistent funding for the five protected areas. Starting in 2022, revenues from the endowment will provide around $US 130,000 per year to the protected areas, covering around 50 percent of recurring costs.

“The Boeny protected areas are incredibly important ecosystems not just for biodiversity but for the services they provide to local communities. This funding will help ensure there are adequate resources to care for it in a way that inspires local engagement to care for it in a way that inspires local engagement and raises awareness of why conserving these forests are important,” said Miguel Morales, CI’s Senior Vice President of the GEF Project Agency. “Establishing the Boeny Endowment will ensure this important part of Madagascar continues to thrive for generations to come. 

The Boeny Endowment will be managed by the Madagascar Foundation for Protected Areas and Biodiversity (FAPBM), with support from Conservation International Madagascar and two government agencies: General Directorate of the Environment (DGE) and Directorate for the national System of Protected Areas (DSAP).

“Conservation International has worked with partners for the last three decades to find a way for nature and people to thrive together around the Boeny region’s protected areas,” said Sahondra Rajoelina, Country Director of Conservation International Madagascar. “The Boeny Endowment will provide support for sustainable management of natural resources for the benefit of local communities that rely on them for income and will ensure the long-term sustainable financing of the protected areas to place them at the heart of the sustainable development of the entire region.”

“We are grateful to the Global Environment Facility and Conservation International for this generous gesture,” said Liva Raharijaona, executive director of the Madagascar Foundation for Protected Areas and Biodiversity. “For 15 years, we have been dreaming of a greener Madagascar and aim to preserve our unique biodiversity for future generations. Now, we are one step closer to that vision.”

About Conservation International

Conservation International works to protect the critical benefits that nature provides to people. Through science, partnerships and fieldwork, Conservation International is driving innovation and investments in nature-based solutions to the climate crisis, supporting protections for critical habitats, and fostering economic development that is grounded in the conservation of nature. Conservation International works in 30 countries around the world, empowering societies at all levels to create a cleaner, healthier and more sustainable planet. Follow Conservation International’s work on Conservation News, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

About the GEF

The Global Environment Facility (GEF) was established on the eve of the 1992 Rio Earth Summit to help tackle our planet’s most pressing environmental problems. Since then, the GEF has provided more than $21 billion in grants and mobilized an additional $114 billion in co-financing for more than 5,000 projects in 170 countries. Through its Small Grants Programme, the GEF has provided support to more than 25,000 civil society and community initiatives in 133 countries.