Some African countries have developed strategies to overcome the financing challenges for conserving their Protected Areas. For example, Madagascar is exploring a variety of funding mechanisms from trust funds to private sector investments.
Madagascar is one of the world’s 17 mega-diverse countries, and also a global extinction hotspot because of the high rates of both endemism and habitat destruction (Dunham et al. 2007). There is a conflict between conserving Madagascar’s biodiversity and making more land available for people (Scott et al. 2006).
In 2003, President Marc Ravalomanana set out his ‘Durban Vision’ to treble the coverage of Protected Areas in the country. As of 2008 Madagascar had more than 71 Protected Areas (World Database on Protected Areas 2008) but, like other African countries, scarce resources still to manage them. Trust funds, debt swaps, tourism-related fees, concessions or taxes, sector-based environmental fees, ecological payments for environmental services and private sector investments are proposed as financing mechanisms for Protected Areas. Partnership with private mining interests and environmental taxes on the mining sector are also being explored.
The Madagascar Foundation for Protected Areas and Biodiversity, a Trust Fund to finance Protected Area conservation, was set up in 2001 and by 2005 had raised more than US $34 million from various sources (Paddack 2005).
BirdLife International (2008) Madagascar has developed innovative mechanisms to finance Protected Area conservation. Presented as part of the BirdLife State of the world's birds website. Available from: http://www.birdlife.org/datazone/sowb/casestudy/278. Checked: 21/10/2014