Coastal communities in southwest Madagascar depend on marine resources for income and food. Community-based aquaculture is showing promise as a way to diversify livelihoods for this region. A partnership developed in 2009 between conservation NGOs and a private sector seafood export company led to the creation of a mariculture project focusing on sea cucumbers (sandfish: Holothuria scabra) and red seaweed (cottonii: Kappaphycus alvarezii).
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COMACO works with over 80,000 households in Zambia's Luangwa Valley and Eastern Province. It provides them with agricultural inputs (e.g. seeds, tools), training in conservation farming techniques, commodity transport and processing, and access to wholesale and retail markets under COMACO's "It's Wild" brand. Households achieve improved food security, increased incomes, and are incentivized through conditional price premiums and extensions assistance to conserve soils, water, forests, and wildlife.
A combination of mandatory and voluntary HCV assessment has resulted in a larger proportion of forest concession areas being protected at landscape-level than elsewhere. A benefactor of this situation is Kampar Peninsula in Riau Province, Indonesia: one of the largest remaining peatland forest areas and home to a unique, bio-diverse peat swamp-forest environment. Asia Pacific Resources International Limited's (APRIL) efforts to protect the area’s peat dome through the implementation of a protective ‘plantation ring’ have proven an effective strategy.
The ongoing project “Incorporation of Sacred Forests into the Protected Areas System of Benin,” supported by UNDP and financed by GEF, preserves tracts of forest with religious and ecological significance in Benin. These sacred forests are at high risk, and the recent addition of Sacred Forest as a category of Benin’s protected areas legislation paves the way for greater protection of the forests included in the project scope as well as other forests around the country.
Wilderness Safaris’ community engagements and development activities recognise the realities of the importance of community support for conservation and tourism and broadly aim to ensure that neighbouring communities value conservation areas and thus will ensure their long-term sustainability. We endeavour to achieve this through finding ways to translate conservation and ecotourism successes into meaningful, real and visible socio-economic benefits for local communities.