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Case study

Velondriake Locally Managed Marine Area (LMMA)

Lesson learned
* Community leadership plays a very considerable role in the broader marine conservation movement
* Through the use of Dina – customary laws that are recognised by the government – communities have designed effective rules that can be enforced locally to ban destructive fishing practices, protect endangered species and designate priority marine areas for protection

Sustainable use and conservation of marine resources and promotion of livelihood.
Contact details
Vatosoa Rakotondrasoa

Velondriake is one of the first collaborative Locally Managed Marine Area (LMMA)  to be established in Madagascar, and one of the largest in the Western Indian Ocean. The Velondriake LMMA evolved from the establishment of a successful temporary octopus no-take-zone by the village of Andavadoaka in November 2004. Villagers themselves assessed the state of their natural resources, identified and analysed the problems and tried to understand the root causes of these. Confronted with the concrete realities they have developed solutions that are within their capabilities. Carrying out these has brought a tangible improvement in their daily lives, establishing and reinforcing the link between the management of their natural resources and their own well-being. As important as the community developing and implementing the management measures themselves, these measures were well aligned with local economic realities. They accommodated the necessity of villagers making a living from fishing, and the potential for fishers to improve their earnings through these measures ensured broad support. The effectiveness of the creation and management relied strongly on the leadership and vision of a few key community leaders. They were active in leading the project at a village-level from the outset. As such this has been a community-driven process, the community taking action themselves only after, sometimes long, assimilation of the steps necessary for sustainable resource use and according to their own agenda.