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Velondriake, meaning “to live with the sea” in the Vezo dialect of the Malagasy language, is a locally managed marine area (LMMA) in southwest Madagascar.[1] Covering a marine and coastal area of about 800 square kilometres (309 sq mi), and home to nearly 7,000 resident Vezo fishers, Velondriake is one of the largest LMMAs in the western Indian Ocean.[2][3] The LMMA includes coral reefs, mangroves, seagrass beds, baobab forests, Spiny forest and other threatened habitats.

A local set of laws devised by the communities within Velondriake, called "dina",[4] governs the LMMA. The dina is legally recognized and restricts destructive fishing practices such as poison fishing and beach seining, governs six permanent marine reserves, and oversees temporary closures of octopus fishing grounds and mangrove reserves. An elected body made up of community members, called the Velondriake Association, is responsible for enforcement of the dina" .

All permanent residents of villages within Velondriake are "de jure" members, with the right to participate in the association and benefit from its actions. The Velondriake General Assembly consists of elected representatives from each of the 25 villages within the LMMA; larger villages, such as Andavadoaka, have six representatives, while smaller villages have only two or three. Velondriake is divided into three graphical regions, or "vondrona", each with an elected cabinet (president, vice president, secretary, treasurer, and advisers). Finally, the three regions are led by a central committee of about 20, called the "foibe", which has elected cabinet members as well.

Velondriake is supported by partner organizations Blue Ventures[5] a UK-based marine conservation NGO that has been working in Velondriake and throughout Madagascar since 2003, the Wildlife Conservation Society[6] and the University of Tulear.[7]

Other activities implemented within the LMMA include aquaculture of sea cucumbers and seaweed to supplement local incomes and provide alternative livelihoods to local fishers; fisheries monitoring research; provision of family planning and reproductive health services; education about maternal, child and community health; as well as formal and informal youth environmental education programs supported by the MacArthur Foundation and UNICEF.[8][9]


The President of Velondriake was awarded the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) J. Paul Getty Award[10] in 2008 for his outstanding leadership and contribution to conservation. Prize money has since been used to establish a scholarship fund for selected students from his home region of southwest Madagascar who wish to study marine conservation.

Andavadoaka,[11] one of the founding villages of the LMMA, won the United Nations Development Program’s (UNDP) Equator Prize in 2007 for success in piloting the first temporary octopus closure, which has since been replicated over 150 times throughout more than 35 villages along Madagascar’s coastline.


  1. ^ "Home - MIHARI Network". Mihari Network. Retrieved 13 August 2017. 
  2. ^ Harris A (2007)
  3. ^ Cripps G & Harris A (2009)
  4. ^ Andriamalala G & Gardner C (2010)
  5. ^ "Blue Ventures - Beyond Conservation". Blue Ventures. Retrieved 13 August 2017. 
  6. ^ "Saving Wildlife and Wild Places -". Retrieved 13 August 2017. 
  7. ^ "Université de Toliara". Retrieved 13 August 2017. 
  8. ^ "Blue Ventures - Beyond Conservation". Blue Ventures. Retrieved 13 August 2017. 
  9. ^ "Home - MIHARI Network". Mihari Network. Retrieved 13 August 2017. 
  10. ^ in 2008 for his outstanding leadership and contribution to conservation.
  11. ^ [1]

1. - Official Velondriake Website 2. Harris A. (2007) ‘To live with the sea’ Development of the Velondriake Community-managed Protected Area network. Madagascar Conservation & Development Vol.2, Issue 1: 43-49. 3. Cripps G & Harris A (2009) Community creation and management of the Velondriake marine protected area. 4. Andriamalala G & Gardner C (2010) L'utilisation du dina comme outil de gouvernance des ressources naturelles: lecons tires de Velondriake, sud-ouest de Madagascar. "Tropical Conservation Science" Vol. 3 (4): 447-472.

Coordinates: 22°04′00″S 43°14′00″E / 22.0667°S 43.2333°E / -22.0667; 43.2333