SCGIS Scholars

The board

Zo Andriamahenina Tsino Heritiana

2015 Program

  • Antananarivo, Madagascar

  • Blue Ventures is a science-led social enterprise that has been working with coastal communities in Madagascar to develop transformative approaches for nurturing and sustaining locally led marine conservation for over 10 years. We work in places where the ocean is vital to local people, cultures and economies, and where there is a fundamental need to support human development. I work specifically for the Blue Forests project, which has a diverse array of activities ongoing in six different regions of west coastal Madagascar (i.e., Ambaro/Ambanja Bays; Mahajamba Bays; Melaky Region; Belo sur Mer; Velondriake; Ambondrolava). All activities are community centered initiatives which aim to harness the conservation, restoration and reduced-impact use of mangroves and related resources to secure existing livelihoods, explore alternative livelihoods, and safeguard biodiversity. The Blue Forests project, and all Blue Ventures efforts, involves close collaboration with community members, other NGOs, Malagasy and foreign Universities, and all levels of government in Madagascar.

    I have been employed by Blue Ventures since December, 2011. Originally hired as a field technician, my roles and responsibilities are mow much more diverse, and revolve around helping to plan and conduct field measurement and mapping missions, create and maintain data-bases, and make results available for additional analysis and dissemination (e.g., in multiple data-formats; maps). This includes growing contributions to:

    • Field surveys to estimate above- and below-ground mangrove carbon stocks
    • Establishing mangrove management zones (i.e., conservation, restoration and extraction) to facilitate short- to long-term planning and help secure legal management rights
    • Participatory mapping to understand past, current and future coastal resource use and help secure traditional user rights
    • Ground truthing surveys to validate land-cover and participatory resource-use maps
    • Establishing community resource-use management plans

    Lastly, my involvement in our carbon stock and ecological characterization surveys, and ground truthing expeditions, has involved a decision making process and managing a team of colleagues to decide where and when we go to certain areas. As the navigator, I use multiple criteria (e.g., tides, access) to determine when and where we go. I also keep track of where we have been and help plan where to go next.