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Resource strategy for Madagascar eyed

  |   Feb. 24, 2012 at 6:47 PM
ANTANANARIVO, Madagascar, Feb. 24 (UPI) -- Scientific methodology for establishing marine protected areas in Madagascar gives the country a "diversified portfolio" of management options, researchers say.

The study by the University of California, Berkeley, the Wildlife Conservation Society and others looked at information on the country's climate, along with dependence on fisheries and marine resources, to create planning approaches to establish priorities for management along the entirety of Madagascar's west coast, a WCS release said Friday.

Madagascar is one of the poorest countries in the world yet has proposed to create more than 3,861 square miles of protected areas to provide for the long-term conservation of its marine resources, the release said.

"It behooves countries, in the face of impending fisheries and climate crises, to plan and implement intelligent management that will increase the resilience of their natural marine resources," WCS study co-author Tim McClanahan said.

The study highlights the differences in the country's regional patterns of human pressures and biodiversity resources, the WCS said.

"This paper will provide a road map for Madagascar to plan and manage these resources and the methods should prove affordable and useful for the poorest countries where adaptation to climate change will make marine spatial planning a critical part of a successful response."

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