LOCATION: Tsinjoriake, Madagascar

Between 2007 and 2009, CC’s founder Dr. Robert Horwich was instrumental in providing technical assistance to a group of nine communities in creating a community conservation network around a future conservation area in SW Madagascar named Tsinjoriake. The new community co-managed protected area Tsinjoriake in south-wester Madagascar was formally established by the Malagasy Government in 2015 and has both IUCN (International Union for the Conservation of Nature) categories III and V, that of natural monument and of a protected harmonious land and seascape. Tsinjoriake in the local Malagasy dialect means a “panorama of land and sea”. The objective of the protected area is to sustainably manage the natural resources and to preserve the unique natural ecosystems as well as the associated cultural values. Now over 10 years later, CC is returning to provide technical support service and catalytic funding for a new generation of community leaders with an objective of extending efforts to other community protected areas in Madagascar.

The Tsinjoriake community co-managed protected area is a globally unique land and seascape that provides habitat for locally endemic biodiversity of global importance and ecosystem services that sustain the livelihoods of the people living in the area It also contains culturally valuable natural monuments and sacred areas. CC is re-initiating activities after the COVID pandemic period to support TAMIA. TAMIA (Tahosoa Alalndriake Mitambatse Ianatsono Andatabo) translates to “healthy union of forest, land and people between Andatabo and Ianatsono” with Saint Augustin and Ianatsono being the northern and southern borders of the protected area is the network association of nine communities.

The Tsinjoriake protected area has globally unique biodiversity with many locally endemic faunal and flora species. The terrestrial zone is composed of xerophilic “spiny” forest where floral inventories have identified 126 genera of 59 families of plant species, many found only within the community conservation zone. Of the 13 Moringa tree species in the world, three are found in Madagascar and two are locally endemic. All three of these species are located within the Tsinjoriake protected area. These species provide for a variety of local traditional medicines and Moringa oleifera also provides an important nutritional source for the local population.

The protected area is also habitat for three lemur species that include the infamous ring-tailed lemur, Lemur catta,(known locally as “Maki”) and two mouse-lemur species, Microcebus griseorufus and Microcebus murinus. 77 bird species have been recorded in the protected area, including 30 species endemic to Madagascar and seven endemic to the south-west of the country.

This protected area has cultural and spiritual importance for the local Tanalaga and Vezo ethnic groups as there are many sacred forest sites as well as other natural areas which are used for specific ceremonies such as offerings to the ancestors.

TAMIA’s activities have been on hold since the pandemic, and they currently have no partnering organization to support them moving forward. The overall objective of the small grant support to TAMIA aligned with the objective of the Tsinjoraike community co-managed protected area, that wherein “the natural resources, unique natural ecosystems and biodiversity, and the associated cultural values of the Tsinjoriake are sustainably managed and preserved for existing and future generations”.