Development of Community-based Ecotourism in the Anjozorobe-Angavo Protected Area
Project title: DEVELOPMENT OF COMMUNITY-BASED ECOTOURISM IN THE ANJOZOROBE-ANGAVO PROTECTED AREA
Current status: Ongoing Concluded
Duration (est.)/dates: July 2007 – July 2009
Partner entities: Government of Madagascar, Fanamby NGO, United Nations Development Programme, World Wildlife Fund (WWF), International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), General Directorate of Water Resources and Forests; Ministry of Tourism; Ministry for Decentralization and Regional Planning; National Association of Protected Areas Management; Kudéta Consulting; Antananarivo University; Rural Support and Development Programme; Mangoro Regional Development Committee, Regions and Districts; MERNS Environmental Programme Office; French Global Environment Fund; Economic Structural Adjustment Programme
Source(s) of Funding: ST-EP Foundation
Executing Agency: Fanamby NGO
Main project objective: to develop ecotourism products along the Anjozorobe-Angavo Forest Corridor for the benefit of rural communities and the conservation of its primary forestland and biodiversity.
The Anjozorobe-Angavo Forest Corridor is one of the last vestiges of natural forests in the Central Highlands of Madagascar, rich in biodiversity but also prized for its development potential. The high level of forest clearing, illicit cutting and sale, fires, and charcoal endangers not only its rich biodiversity, but also the farms operated by 13 communes adjacent to the Forest Corridor. By developing community ecotourism, with men and women from surrounding communities engaged in protection and development activities, the project is designed to enable local populations to enjoy its social, economic, ecological and tourism-related benefits.
Activities were divided in various components.
Development of an ecolodge and excursions: the ecolodge Saha Forest Camp was built and inaugurated in 2008. The lodge comprises 10 bungalows and a restaurant for 50 people. The community refurbished the 10km access track and built a visitor reception centre at the entrance of the park. Three ecotourism circuits were developed within the forest reserve and one “immersion” circuit was developed, offering first-hand experience of village activities (rice farming, vanilla, basketry, cart-building, etc.)
Awareness-raising and training: members of the local community were trained in reception services, hotel and restaurant tasks, and maintenance. A Sustainable Tourism Code was drafted by the community.
Promotion: a brochure and a website were developed www.sahaforestcamp.mg A fam tour with 24 tour operators was also organized.
Main project outputs/deliverables:
Joint venture established for the management of the ecolodge: management of the lodge was transferred to Kudéta Company in 2009 after their proposal was selected out of three others. A detailed contract was signed between Kudéta and the community which respects the Sustainable Tourism Code and includes clauses such as the provision of jobs to locals (85% minimum) and the supply of local products (90%). Moreover, 7% of business turnover will be paid to the community when a minimum turnover is reached.
Quality services are offered: a survey among visitors indicates a 90 per cent satisfaction rate with the quality of services. The products offered at the restaurant are produced locally and conservation best practices are in place.
The number of visitors is increasing: In 2009, 987 people visited Saha Forest Camp and according to the management team, the number of arrivals has increased in 2010 and 2011. Information on the lodge has been featured in various magazines as well as in a documentary for the French TV5.
The project was successful in creating opportunities for the local community and in establishing an innovative management scheme for joint ventures.