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Published on 16/07/2020

Preserving the forests of Sainte-Marie with the Maisons du Monde Foundation

On 8 June, the Maisons du Monde Foundation launched a round-up operation whereby customers can donate their change to support local communities striving to preserve forests on the island of Sainte-Marie, in Madagascar.

This operation is the new facet of a partnership that has been ongoing since 2016 between GRET and the Maisons du Monde Foundation via a project entitled “Protecting biodiversity in Sainte-Marie through local governance of resources and of the territory”. The island of Sainte-Marie, which has 5,000 hectares of forest, including 800 hectares of intact forest, is classified as a priority site for protection by the Malagasy state. The island’s biodiversity is exceptional, but it is threatened by overfishing, overexploitation of resources, urbanisation of the coast and climate change. In 30 years, more than 25 % of the island’s forests have been lost or degraded. Fisheries resources, which are vital for 35,000 Saint-Marians, have also drastically decreased. The objective of this partnership between GRET and the Maisons du Monde Foundation is based therefore on the ambition to preserve and restore forests on the island – which is known worldwide for the beauty of its landscapes and its rich biodiversity – by supporting the implementation of local, collaborative governance that respects inhabitants, the environment and natural resources.


A project co-constructed with the island’s inhabitants

Last March, the Maisons du Monde Foundation asked its teams to vote on several projects put forward by various NGOs. The employees were won over by the project being conducted in Sainte-Marie, which was selected for a round-up operation.

From 8 June 2020, 100 % of micro-donations made by donating change from purchases made in the brand’s stores will be paid on to the project, making it possible to consolidate involvement and empowerment of local populations for the restoration and preservation of biodiversity on the island of Sainte-Marie.

During the first phase of the project, which had already been benefitting from the Maisons du Monde Foundation’s support, various actions for reforestation and protection of the island’s forests and mangroves were conducted. The direct involvement of 13,000 inhabitants on the island enabled restoration of ecological corridors spanning 353 hectares, as well as a floristic inventory carried out by the Missouri Botanical Garden, identifying more than 260 remarkable species on the island. 42 jobs were also created, including nursery grower and community-based project manager positions. In 2016, the project also initiated the launch of the Platform of consultation and support for development (PCADDISM), a local association bringing together the entire population of Sainte-Marie. The association’s objective is to structure an ecological vision of the territory by conducting actions affecting all areas of sustainable development: agriculture, planning, the environment, education, etc.

Funds raised thanks to this round-up operation initiated by the Maisons du Monde Foundation will make it possible to support PCADDISM’s in its actions for sustainable development of the island and to improve the most vulnerable communities’ socio-economic resilience through the development of agroecology and reforestation nurseries.


More information on:

The Maisons du Monde Foundation

GRET’s activities in Madagascar

The commons-based approach in GRET’s projects

Commons and shared governance: for sustainable inshore fishing in Antongil Bay in Madagascar