Mangabe rainforest is a site of international biodiversity importance. It also provides many essential natural products and associated services to the rural and urban communities in the district of Moramanga. We are working with people to protect the priority areas within the forest and also to support local communities sustainably use natural resources. We hope that the Mangabe forest will become a protected area in the future and the first step towards achieving this was completed in 2008.
Mangabe forest, or the 'blue forest', covers approximately 40,000 ha in eastern Madagascar and is divided between two administrative distrcts, Moramanga in the north and Anosibe An'ala to the south.
Mangabe forest is home to almost half of the world's breeding ponds for the golden frog according to recent studies on pdf High conservation priority sites for mantella frogs (1.19 MB) . We are now working with local communities to conserve the habitat at these breeding ponds in 23,000 ha of the northern section of the forest. The Mangabe forest is one of seven sites that we are assissting communities and government develop into a new protected areas. In addition to the focus on frogs, we are therefore involved in a number of other activities at the site, which include:
- environmental education in primary schools
- supporting alternative income projects for new womens' groups
- encouraging the uptake of alternative farming methods for traditional crops
- creating and supporting community associations to manage natural resources
In the long-term we hope that the Mangabe forest is awarded full protected areas status but of the type that permits sustainable use in all but the most sensitive areas and of all but the most protected or vulnerable species. This forest is very close to two main roads and the expanding urban center of Moramanga and needs to be managed wisely, with livelihoods and development objectives in parallel with biodiversity protection.