The reserve covers around 50,000 square kilometres, and population growth is putting pressure on it. Poaching is one of the chief issues the rangers have to deal with. Biugurube reported that tourism throughout the reserves accounted for around 17 per cent of the gross domestic product, and added that the local population’s support for the environment was helping both the natural habitat and the animals. Zoologist Bigurube visits the villages surrounding the nature reserve and is making tireless efforts to resolve the conflicts in aims between biodiversity and economic growth. 

At the moment, plans for a new dam are threatening the reserve. The dam is to provide the region with electricity. Implementing the scheme will jeopardise Selou’s status as a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site. Of course power supply was an important factor in a country’s development, Bigurube noted. Germany could arouse the government’s interest in alternative electricity generating with wind and solar power systems and see to their implementation with private capital.

Madagascar – combating timber smuggling

The second prize-winner comes from Madagascar.