Faced with the problem of deforestation, which is a real national challenge, and the intensification of extreme climatic phenomena (drought, floods), and the increasing pressure on natural resources, the commune of Fianarantsoa is committed to a policy of sustainable development. This has led to the creation of a climate plan integrating a project for an urban protected area to protect its historical and natural heritage while perpetuating the ecosystem services of supply and regulation, and the development of a green network to reconnect the parks and outlying forest islands.
At a crossroads, in a rural region where the majority of the population lives from agriculture and is below the poverty line, Fianarantsoa is doing everything possible to develop a dynamic, ethical, resilient, and quality living environment for current and future generations.
“Madagascar is among the most vulnerable countries to climate change. This is reflected in the increase in climatic phenomena such as cyclones, drought and floods. The Urban Protected Area Project is the cornerstone of this vision of a sustainable and resilient development for the decades to come. This future Protected Area will allow us to value our history and heritage and to dispose of the Perrine legacy for future generations. It will also help reduce the vulnerability of our territory to the effects of climate change, and will be a great tool for the development of ecotourism and education of young and old.”
Mayor of Fianarantsoa
INNER & NEARBY FORESTS
Kianjasoa is a hilly, largely forested, semi-natural system located in the heights of the old city on an important archeological site in the city center. Human infrastructure is scarce, exotic while previous may be dominant in this area, while native wild species are significantly reduced. Though it is a degraded forest, it is the true green lung of the commune and delimits the urban space, with the neighboring countryside to the west.
The commune is planning to constitute an Urban Protected Area that integrates this forest, the archaeological site, and the adjoining wetlands below as part of the harmonious socioecological landscape. By creating the first Urban Protected area in Madagascar, Fianarantsoa seeks to engage in innovative, resilient development, adapted to the context of a developing country. By connecting urban green spaces through the development of a green grid, the city aims to address ecosystem fragmentation and support wildlife and biodiversity in the urban landscape.
Close to the urban community of Fianarantsoa, pilot agroforestry projects are being carried out to produce oil from bark near the perimeter of the Commune. The intention is to extend these exploitations up to the periphery of the nearby Ranomafana National Park, so that this economic activity can become an income-generating activity for the local population, lessening the pressures on the forest, and thus contributing greatly to the conservation of forest habitats.
Ranomafana National Park was created in 1991, following the discovery of the golden bamboo lemur 5 years earlier. Ranomafana is primarily mountainous with low altitude forests and was classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2007. The park covers an area of 41,500 ha and is home to a wide variety of animal life, including 115 bird species, 62 reptile species, 98 frog species, 90 butterfly species, and 43 mammal species, of which 26 are lemurs.
The park is one of the country’s most visited, with more than 20,000 visitors each year, as well as home to the Centre ValBio research station, founded in 2003 and located just half a kilometer from the entrance to the park.