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Interdisciplinary Network for Sustainable Management of Marine Biodiversity: Environmental and Social Diagnosis of Marine Turtles in the South-West Indian Ocean

Annual Call for Projects 2005


Marine turtles, a common heritage of humankind, are seriously threatened throughout the world. Some global solutions have been developed, implicating international actors in common strategies covering the worlds' oceans. The islands of the south-western Indian Ocean and particularly Madagascar are areas of high concentration and migration for five endangered species. Several research and conservation programmes for marine turtles exist in this sector, but none are devoted to them in the area of Maintirano (which is covered by the current project), despite it being an essential site in the dynamics of the species.

The project approved by the Geneva International Academic Network (GIAN) in 2005 aims to fill this gap by establishing a biogeographic diagnosis on marine turtles and their ecosystem as well as a sociological study of the populations which interact with these animals. Subsequently, it will propose a sustainable strategy of ecological and social conservation which will result in concrete action in the field and can be used as a model for other marine conservation projects.

In detail, the principal objectives are as follows:

Scientific objectives: to fill the gap in scientific knowledge on the various species of marine turtles and their ecosystem in the area of Maintirano and analyse their interaction with other regions. The goal is to constitute a database using pre-existing methodologies adapted to meet the project's needs. By using genetic identification, it will focus on understanding the origins of green turtle populations that nest and are hunted in great numbers in the Barren islands. A parallel objective is to undertake an innovative sociological study concerning the interaction between local populations of traditional fishermen and the management of their oceanic resources, particularly marine turtles. In addition, the ambition of the project team is to promote greater understanding of coastal and insular issues, and of the populations of the poorly-known western coast area of Madagascar.

Ecological objectives: to...

The grant provided by the GIAN for this project totals SFr 250,231

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Project Team

Dr. Rakotonirina Berthin , Principal Member, University of Toliara, Madagascar.

Mr Stéphane Ciccione , Principal Member, Centre of Study and Discovery of Marine Turtles (Reunion Island) (CEDTM).

Mr Olivier Ralison Harifidy , Principal Member, World Wide Fund for Nature International (WWF) .

Mr Géraud Leroux , Principal Member, Natural History Museum of the City of Geneva .

Dr. Rabenevanana Man Wai , Principal Member, University of Toliara, Madagascar.

Dr. Frank Muttenzer , Principal Member, Graduate Institute of Development Studies (GIDS) .

Mr Jean-Paul Paddack , Principal Member, West Indian Ocean Programme Office, World Wide Fund for Nature International (WWF) .

Mr Rémi Ratsimbazafy , Principal Member, World Wide Fund for Nature International (WWF) .

Mr Ramahaleo Tiana , Principal Member, World Wide Fund for Nature International (WWF) .

Dr. Jean Christophe Vié , Principal Member, Species Programme (SP) , World Conservation Union (IUCN) .

Related Links

> Marine Turtles

> WWF Marine Turtle Update 3, February 2007

Related News

Research Output

Marine Turtles, A Common Heritage of Humankind
(available in French only)
> more
Environmental and Social Diagnostic of Marine Turtles in the Indian Ocean: Sociological Study
(available in French only)
> more