Start of a new community protocol process in Boeny, Madagascar

7 December 2015
boeny

Cinnamosma fragrans From 25-27 November 2015, representatives of the local communities of the municipality of Mariarano, Madagascar, came together to discuss their aspirations and challenges regarding the valorization of Cinnamosma fragrans, and to exc …

Cinnamosma fragrans
From 25-27 November 2015, representatives of the local communities of the municipality of Mariarano, Madagascar, came together to discuss their aspirations and challenges regarding the valorization of Cinnamosma fragrans, and to exchange views with other actors involved in the value chain. The communities explored the advantages and possible elements of a Community Protocol to clarify conditions for access to their resources and benefit sharing, and to facilitate dialogue with commercial users, researchers and government authorities. The meetings took place in Mahajanga and were organized by the GIZ “Programme d’Appui à laGestion de l’Environnement” (PAGE) with input from Natural Justice. 
Madagascar is currently developing its national framework to implement the Nagoya Protocol on Access to genetic resources and Benefit Sharing (ABS). Cinnamosma fragrans, locally known as “Mandravasarotra” or “Motrobe”, is one of the most sought after medicinal plants in the region of Boeny, in North-West Madagascar. It is used traditionally to treat a number of diseases and sold on the national and international market as an essential oil. 
Community representatives discuss the issues
to share with other actors of the Motrobe value chain
In a first internal meeting, the community representatives shared their aspirations and the challenges they are facing with the valorization of Motrobe. The issues include a lack of transparency in the issuing and enforcement of collection permits, the challenge for the communities to negotiate better prices with private operators, and inadequate sharing of benefits for example from collection fees. PAGE introduced ABS and the Nagoya Protocol, and Natural Justice shared information on the development and use of Community Protocols and examples from other communities in the region.
In the second meeting, participants from the local communities, the private sector and government administration exchanged their views on the challenges and possible improvements around the Motrobe value chain. Finally, the community representatives came back together to discuss the way forward. They decided to create a new Union to improve their coordination, agreed on the usefulness of developing a Community Protocol as the basis for their interactions with other actors, and discussed the main elements of such a protocol. Natural Justice and PAGE will be assisting them in 2016 to facilitate the process.
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