Union Soamitambatra is using a traditional consensus-based Malagasy governance system, known as fokonolona, and community social contracts, known as dina, to regenerate the Badika forest and its surrounding lakes. Working with 6,589 people across ten villages, the union brings together community user groups, technical experts, municipal government, and private sector partners to protect and restore local ecosystems and provide for sustainable jobs. Member incomes from the sale of fish and other products have reached four times the minimum salary for the country, while attendance in primary school has increased from 30 to 90 percent. Farmers have transitioned to a variety of short-cycle seeds such as rice, maize and peanuts to diversify their agricultural activities. Spawning areas for fish have been protected, while compliance with sustainability standards are helping to increase fish abundance and catch size. Together the union manages 14,910 hectares of forest and 65 hectares of lakes, integrating management of natural resources with economic and social sustainability. The union is a beacon of strength, serving as the last barrier against an expanding tobacco industry that is the primary driver of land conversion and deforestation in the region.
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Equator Prize 2015
Ecoagriculture and Food Security
Community-Based Adaptation to Climate Change
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