In 1997, most of the Masoala peninsula in Madagascar was declared a strictly protected national park. The Masoala National Park has swallowed up some of the land that local communities are using to grow food or were intending to pass on to their children for them to grow food. This reduction of cultivable land is a big problem for many farming families rendering them even poorer than they were before.
Moreover, in several areas the park management has in the past years advanced the park’s de facto boundary so that the park now incorporates even more land than at first. In one community where this has happened – in violation of a written contract between the park management and the local population – the latter have written a letter of complaint asking for the park’s agreed boundary to be respected. This was in August 2014. The letter has remained unanswered and without effect.
We have therefore launched this petition giving support to this community’s struggle for the basic human right to have enough land to grow food on.
For more information about the situation of the population in Masoala, visit our website at:
To the Deputy of Maroantsetra,
To the Director of the Masoala National Park,
To whom it may concern,
We are aware:
• of the written contract (Dina) with the population of the Zone d’occupation contrôlée of Marofototra (Commune Ambanizana on the Masoala peninsula);
• that the contract was signed on 24 September 2002 by the then director of the Masoala National Park, several government representatives as well as the head of the court of justice in Maroantsetra;
• that the contract states that whatever will happen in the future, the boundary between the Masoala National Park and the Zone d’occupation contrôlée of Marofototra cannot be changed (paragraph 4 of the Dina).
We are concerned:
• that in violation of the contract the boundary between the Masoala National Park and the Zone d’occupation contrôlée of Marofototra has been changed twice since 2002, the last time in 2013;
• that the post-2002 changes have led to a substantial diminishment of the surface area that the local population is allowed to use for their subsistence needs;
• that the remaining cultivable land does not allow the population of Marofototra to produce enough food.
We are furthermore aware:
• of the letter of 14 September 2014 written by representatives of the population of Marofototra and addressed to the Deputy of Maroantsetra, and that this letter has up to date not been answered;
• that the population demands the park management to respect the contract and to reverse the boundary of the park to the status of 2002 which is the only legally valid boundary.
We therefore request:
• that the letter by the population of Marofototra is answered;
• that it is acknowledged that the boundary as of 2002 between the Masoala National Park and the Zone d’occupation contrôlée of Marofototra is the only legally valid boundary;
• that the park management respects the contract with the population of Marofototra;
• that the boundary between the Masoala National Park and the Zone d’occupation contrôlée of Marofototra is reversed to the status of 2002.