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Nosy Be crater-lakes 
(Mont-Passot)

Ylang-ylang
essential oil

L'Homme
et l'Environnement
PhytoDes 



With a wealth of biodiversity and breathtaking landscapes, Mont-Passot, north of Nosy-Be, is an exceptional site. It is a volcanic hill strewn by eight small crater lakes. 

The fish found in these sacred lakes are very special, as Mont-Passot is the only place in the whole world where they can be found. In addition to being endemic to Madagascar, these fish species, which come from two different genus (Paratilapia and Ptychochromis), have remained isolated and have given rise to new sub-species, which are totally endemic to the lakes where they live. 

The flora is just as special as 71% of the plant species surveyed on Mont Passot are endemic to Madagascar, two of which specific to the island of Nosy Be. It is also home to a few specimens of a critically endangered lemur (Hapalemur griseus).

 

Major issues 

 

A large majority of the island’s population relies on these lakes as drinking water source. However, different pressures are increasingly threatening these natural reservoirs and their associated ecosystems.

On one hand, the fragile soils around the craters are under the threat of erosion as a consequence of low-productivity and harmful agricultural practices. On the other hand, the area is subject to extremely high pressures to create new, uncontrolled tourist infrastructures that would spoil the landscape and contribute to increasing pressures on the existing biodiversity. 

This could lead to irreversible degradation of this area, especially in terms of water quality, which, in turn, could have significant impacts on human populations, as well as on the flagship species of this exceptional area considered as one of the island’s pearls. 

 

 

The project and the prospects for change 

 

The development of sustainable plantations (ylang-ylang in this case) combined with soil fixation using vetiver will give incentives to the local communities to stop using practices that are harmful to the environment. The processing subsectors for these two species (vetiver and ylang-ylang) are already available locally. 

Securing productive lands should provide local populations with additional incentive to follow the sustainable development plan. These measures would improve the quality of the water of several lakes. 

Activities planned include :

  • Implement a joint development plan, which will allow for developing economic income-generating activities to the benefit of local populations;
  • Support the development of ylang-ylang plantations combined with soil fixation using vetiver on the lakeshores;
  • Conduct health, education, cultural, and economic development interventions to support the implementation of the local management plan.

 

Committed partners

 

For twelve years now, the Madagascar registered NGO L’Homme et l’Environnement has been working to develop projects that improve the living conditions of local populations, while preserving the biodiversity. This NGO proposed to the regional authorities the establishment of a development plan integrating conservation and protection of the lakes’ water quality. In exchange, L’Homme et l’Environnement obtained a 10-year management contract to implement the proposed program.

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To learn more about this project and its 2016 key achievements, please click on this link.

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