Alaotra Resilience Landscape, Madagascar (AlaReLa)
This project delivers important data and information on drivers and barriers of livelihood opportunities and threats and juxtaposition these factors with biodiversity conservation values to inform policy and decision-makers for the sustainable use and management of the landscape’s natural and agricultural resources.
About the project
A growing challenge in tropical terrestrial resource management is the reconciliation of a continuously increasing demand for agricultural products while balancing a growing number of values and interests such as environmental values for conserving biodiversity, maintaining ecological functions and providing critical ecosystem services for supporting rural livelihoods. The socio-ecological landscape of Alaotra-Mangoro in Madagascar will serve this research to deliver important information on drivers and barriers of livelihood opportunities and threats. Juxtaposition of these factors with biodiversity conservation values will inform policy and decision-makers on the sustainable use and management of the landscape’s natural and agricultural resources. This is especially important in times of rapid climate or economic change. Sustainability in resource management and planning of an Alaotra-Mangoro socio-ecological landscape can be achieved if the main resource users see an ownership in the framework that reflects their needs. Resilience management or the assessment of a socio-ecological system’s ability to absorb shocks and perturbations is important for the long-term and sustainable functioning of a system. The AlaReLa project consists of three portions or working packages: (1) The social and ecological system will be explored through participatory approaches, and a conceptual model will be created. (2) The model will be transformed into participatory modeling platforms for the stakeholders to validate our understanding of the model and to explore alternative futures of natural resources management. And (3), the knowledge generated is embedded in the decision making processes, fostering resilience in the Alaotra social and ecological system.
- Characterizing the Socio-Ecological System (SES): Identifying issues and their trends, actors and their practices, resources and their dynamics, focusing on the drivers of decision making and the potential impacts of policy and management decisions on b iodiversity and the stakeholders’ livelihood strategies and on the SES’ ability to provide and deliver ecosystem services.
- Constructing Scenarios of Change: Integrating social, economic, ecological and governance processes in a platform able to simulate sub-regional (Alaotra) trajectories including sensitivity analysis and levels of uncertainty and incorporating feedback loops based on coping strategies developed by stakeholders as evidenced by locally relevant participatory modeled scenarios.
- Fostering Resilience: Embedding the results of our research in the decision making process at the sub-regional level, through well-defined impact pathways involving policy makers and the civil society since the inception of the project, through participatory construction of scenarios.
Research results of the project contribute to strengthening adaptive capacity of the Alaotra SES to better cope with change and future shocks allowing local communities and decision makers to better balance conservation and development.
Project information on P3