Changing Planet

Fisheries Management and Food Security in Madagascar

National Geographic Explorer Dr. Christopher Golden and his team of Harvard Planetary Health Scholars spent six weeks in Madagascar to better understand the human health impacts of environmental change. This series of stories will document this journey across Madagascar through their personal experiences.

In the face of climate change and dwindling fish populations due to unsustainable fishing practices, seafood-dependent populations in northeastern Madagascar have hope in recovering their fisheries through improved management decisions and stewardship practices. In this way, marine conservation and fisheries management efforts can be seen as a public health intervention to support the nutrition and food security of these malnourished populations. Please watch this beautifully developed film shot and directed by Geoffrey Gaspard and written and produced by Christopher Golden.

 

 

Dr. Christopher Golden is an ecologist and epidemiologist at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and an explorer at National Geographic. His research investigates the nexus of trends in global environmental change and human health. He received his BA from Harvard College where he created his own curriculum integrating courses in ecology, medical anthropology and development studies. He then received two graduate degrees from UC Berkeley: an MPH in Epidemiology with a focus in Nutrition, and a PhD in Environmental Science, Policy and Management focusing his studies in wildlife ecology and ecosystem services. Since 1999, Dr. Golden has been conducting environmental and public health research in Madagascar where he created a local research organization called MAHERY (Madagascar Health and Environmental Research). In the local language, “mahery” means strength and this organization has been the sole research organization operating in Madagascar’s largest remaining tract of rainforest. This group supports 20 field staff and he has trained nearly 25 Malagasy university students in field research methods. Dr. Golden is now the Associate Director of the Planetary Health Alliance, working to create a community of practice for those interested in the human health impacts of environmental change. Over the past several years, he has served as lead investigator on several research efforts: 1) the investigation of terrestrial wildlife declines in Madagascar on food security and human nutrition; 2) the investigation of marine fishery collapses in Madagascar (and across the globe) on food security and human nutrition; and 3) intervention analyses to determine solutions to wildlife harvest unsustainability and local health crises.

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