Comments for http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2009/03/for_those_of_us_closer.html http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2009/03/for_those_of_us_closer.html en-gb 30 Tue 21 Apr 2015 06:06:44 GMT+1 A feed of user comments from the page found at http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2009/03/for_those_of_us_closer.html Richard Black (BBC) http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2009/03/for_those_of_us_closer.html?page=88#comment8 Thanks for your question about the Daewoo land deal in Madagascar, lumenfez. To be honest, I don't have enough details about it to make any specific comments; but what I would suggest is that the details are all-important. What types of land were specified? What were the environmental and social constraints? How was the income to be utilised? Who retains ultimate ownership?These are key questions, it seems to me, not only in this case but in the other land deals being pursued in Africa at the moment. On the one hand, they could create modern versions of colonial-era plantations that were basically run as private fiefdoms; on the other, they could generate new income for cash-strapped communities, mandate environmental protection, and bring better technologies to improve agricultural productivity all round.Many thanks for your insightful comment, robinson-crosue. Your sentence "The real problem is that poverty is [as] endemic as many animal species" expresses one of the big, big problems perfectly, I think. Mon 23 Mar 2009 13:29:21 GMT+1 manysummits http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2009/03/for_those_of_us_closer.html?page=77#comment7 I found this article on the effects of climate change on Madagascar.http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/06/080609115216.htmApparently, the study is robust. For me, it lends weight to other predictions of the upslope migration of species in response to a warming planet, both qualitatively and quantitatively.As Tim Flannery has mentioned in his book, "The Weather Makers" (2006), there is only one issue, climate change.- From Calgary - Sun 22 Mar 2009 23:52:51 GMT+1 rainbowtrs http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2009/03/for_those_of_us_closer.html?page=66#comment6 The latest news from Marojejy National Park can be read on www.marojejy.com/Crise_e.htm. Sun 22 Mar 2009 17:48:50 GMT+1 rainbowtrs http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2009/03/for_those_of_us_closer.html?page=55#comment5 This post has been Removed Sat 21 Mar 2009 18:26:15 GMT+1 robinson_crosue http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2009/03/for_those_of_us_closer.html?page=44#comment4 I worked in Madagascar from 2001 to 2004 as EU technical assistant within National Authority of Protected Areas (ANGAP). Even though conservationists, and I am one of them, seeks an happy ending of the Malagasy crisis, it is really difficult at present to foresee a happy ending for rural communities, in Madagascar and others African rural communities, where poverty increases over the years, despite prominent voices like President Ravalomanana. He has been accused from the young opposition leader to run the country like a private estate (a french journalist nicknamed him "tropical Berlusconi"). I don’t know if it is true or not, but I was there till 2004 and he had his momentum, at least in the highlands. But where democracy is not working and it is just a concept and matter of declaration to calm down the worries of donors, things may change quickly. The real problem is that poverty is endemic as many animal species. The establishment of successful conservation strategies, with real participation and ownership of the user of ecosystems, will be possible once sound policies of poverty eradication are working in rural areas. In this field, there is a lot of paper work like many parks in Madagascar and elsewhere are just paper parks. Sad to say that, but, in my view of course, is the reality.The point is that environmental depletion is growing everywhere due to bad governance, and corruption, at the top, and rampant poverty at the grassroots. Corruption is an “ongoing humanitarian disaster”. Also the civil unrests and insecurity turns rural people and military in environment predators. It seems that over the years there is no real progress on the god governance of environment in Africa. Many Presidents of the continent run their countries like private estates. Elites of capital cities disregard rural people, and this is also true in Madagascar, and officers are send in secluded rural areas as punishment. Of course international conservation organizations do their best to protect species and ecosystems, with people participation and alleviate somehow poverty and so on…. When I worked in Madagascar the cutting in the forest of Tsimembo was organized by a MP elected in that area (Mr. Ravalomanana was president at that time), for its own benefit but also for the benefits of rural dwellers, who got some money from illegal tree cutting, with complicity of forestry service, which in turns get his own benefit too (in frech we say "gagnant-gagnant" strategy). In the same area an international conservation organization was working with same local communities of the forest of Tsimembo to put in place a “sustainable” forest management scheme. Reports and papers of this organization where enthusiastic about the job and achievements, and the donors too of course. It is only trough good governance and stability, which cannot be without poverty eradication, conservation will be achieved. The day when a forestry officers of any secluded post of Madagascar (and not only) will be not interest (or at least afraid) in trafficking wood to integrate his meager salary, or MP will be prosecuted for illegal trafficking, that day will be the day of change. Any international conservation organization, or declaration at international conference, or declaration of any President will not do the job. The question is: anybody knows the solution? Of course donors countries have not the solution as they have already destroyed their own environment, so they are not a good example as far as conservation is concerned, of course. Sat 21 Mar 2009 12:26:50 GMT+1 Daarel http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2009/03/for_those_of_us_closer.html?page=33#comment3 You should all read this story and remember the people (some of the poorest in the world) in this situation. [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator] Sat 21 Mar 2009 03:27:13 GMT+1 manysummits http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2009/03/for_those_of_us_closer.html?page=22#comment2 But the current lesson of Madagascar is that all effective in-situ conservation, whether national parks or species protection or sustainable logging or whatever else it may be, depends in the end on good and stable governance.- Richard Black (above)We have all seen our governments come and go, with seemingly little continuity between regimes. Witness Bush vs Obama. Or Chamberlain vs Churchill, etc...To my mind, the United Nations offers one of our best hopes for a more humane future."The UN was founded in 1945 after World War II to replace the League of Nations, to stop wars between countries and to provide a platform for dialogue."http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_nationsFor me, a North American, it is most reminiscent in its conception and even its operation to the "Great Peace" of the Iroquois Confederacy, in modern guise of course. Sat 21 Mar 2009 01:30:40 GMT+1 lumenfez http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2009/03/for_those_of_us_closer.html?page=11#comment1 I'd be interested in your opinion of the Daewoo land deal that Rajoelina has apparently thrown out as one of his first actions since he took power. How important is this politically? It seems to me that to give over such a huge amount of the country's arable land to feed Koreans is hardly a good political move. While it might have provided some jobs, it would not have benefitted many people in Madagascar. Fri 20 Mar 2009 19:14:44 GMT+1 big__ted http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2009/03/for_those_of_us_closer.html?page=0#comment0 Thanks for bringing this to everyone's attention - I wish this was on the front page, not stuck out in the blogs. You're quite right about all the implications you draw from the recent change in regime, and about how hopeful many of the ecotourism, offsetting and sustainable investment schemes were looking before the Ravalomanana regime fell. What you're missing though, is quite how high the stakes are. In 2005, Madagascar had 879 species of land vertebrate - so mammals, birds, amphibians and reptiles - of which 739 (83%) are found nowhere else on earth. For context, Britain has about 350 species, mostly birds, and almost all are found in much of Western Europe.It's the single most important conservation location on earth. The international community must try everything we can to keep the new Rajoelina government involved in the business of protecting these species. Fri 20 Mar 2009 16:10:02 GMT+1