|Date||14 Aug 2001|
South East Madagascar is an area of high biodiversity coupled with commercially interesting mineral deposits. Since 1996 an environmental team from QMM (a Malagasy subsidiary of Rio Tinto plc) has been researching the biodiversity of the littoral forests around Fort Dauphin, not only where mining is proposed but also in sites outside the immediate mining areas. QMM is working with a team of non-governmental organisations such as FFI, Conservation International, Missouri Botanical Garden and various Universities around the world.
The area covered by this project falls outside the mining path and adjacent areas. The goals are to collect data on remnant populations of crucially endangered fauna and flora endemic to remnant forest patches and other habitats of the littoral forests of SE Madagascar as well as on key socio economic parameters influencing their survival; and to build capacity and commitment of young Malagasy biologists and social scientists to pursue careers in environmental conservation.
Five recent Malagasy university graduates will carry out 6 month studies of the terrestrial and aquatic wildlife and vegetation of SE Madagascar's littoral forests at important sites, and the results will be made publicly available and incorporated into land-use and planning processes currently ongoing.