Supporting Target 4 of the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation by Integrating Ecological Restoration into the Missouri Botanical Garden's Conservation Program in Madagascar
Chris Birkinshaw, Porter P. Lowry II, Jeannie Raharimampionona, and James Aronson. Ann. Missouri Bot. Gard. 99: 139–146. Published 13 December 2013.
The Missouri Botanical Garden (MBG) is supporting community-based conservation at 11 priority areas for plant conservation
in Madagascar. Our strategy for conserving these sites integrates a range of activities that include research and monitoring, the
creation and policing of local rules to enable the sustainable use of natural resources, environmental education, the provision of
alternatives to the unsustainable over-exploitation of natural resources, poverty alleviation, and the restoration of degraded
ecosystems. While this approach is successfully conserving biodiversity in the short term and at local scales, over a longer time
period these reserves will become increasingly threatened by a rapidly growing human population whose livelihood is dependent
on natural resources that will become increasingly rare outside of protected natural areas. Extensive ecological restoration of
landscapes surrounding reserves is a prerequisite in Madagascar for the long-term conservation of these protected areas and will
thus be an essential part of a national effort to achieve Target 4 of the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation (GSPC). Here, we
describe our current restoration program, analyze its strengths and weaknesses, and consider the threats and opportunities
relating to restoration in Madagascar. This information is used to identify key attributes for a proposed up-scaled restoration
initiative that can serve to develop more sophisticated methods, strengthen expertise through training, and demonstrate the
power of ecological restoration for achieving long-term, sustainable conservation outcomes, as called for by the GSPC.