Update written by Chris Birkinshaw
Missouri Botanical Garden
Madagascar Research and Conservation program
The Missouri Botanical Garden (MBG) is the oldest continually operating botanical garden in the United States and is a world leader in plant taxonomy and conservation. The organization supports locally based programs in more than a dozen countries. The largest of these, built over three decades, is in Madagascar, where our organization has several offices and 60 permanent staff.
Historically, MBG’s Madagascar Program has focused on taxonomic research, botanical exploration, and in‐country capacity building, with special emphasis on training. However, towards the end of the last Millennium, our staff became increasingly concerned that plant conservation efforts in
Madagascar were far from adequate to prevent the extinction of a significant part of the country’s unusually rich and largely endemic flora. To address this critical need, we first conducted research to identify 79 priority areas for plant conservation (PAPCs); then, in 2002, we launched a pilot project to conserve, through a sustainable community‐based initiative, one of these areas – the
Agnalazaha Forest, a rare and precious fragment of littoral forest in southeast Madagascar.
Read on here.