The pierced rock

Baobab of Andavadoaka, Madagascar

The baobabs mounting guard on the bush behind, the coral islands in front, and the turquoise waters in the middle, Andavadoaka "pierced rock" offers an idyllic picture frozen in a stillness that barely disturbs the silent slip of the canoes Vezo.

This small village at the end of the world was awarded the UNDP Ecuador Prize by 24 finalists selected from 300 projects from 70 countries. Two villagers were then honored in Berlin for this project on the conservation and sustainable management of marine biodiversity. Operational since 2003, the Andavadoaka Project was initiated by the British NGO Blue Ventures Conservation, in partnership with the Halieutic Institute of Marine Sciences. Its main objective is to show the local populations the benefits reported by the rational use of resources. Several sub-themes are steps towards the formation of a multi-purpose Marine Protected Area. 23 other villages followed the movement, giving birth to "Velondriake", the name chosen for the project's area of application.

The conception of Protected Areas, terrestrial or marine, has evolved greatly as they are no longer prohibited areas jealously maintained outside of everything. On the contrary, a mutually advantageous correlation between Conservation and Development is being sought.

Text: Thomson Andriamanoro
Photos Pierre-Yves Babelon
Thanks to Manga Lodge

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