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Madagascar Oasis

Madagascar Oasis Logo

What We Do

Madagascar Oasis Photo1At Madagascar Oasis we work with Madagascar’s national and largest zoo: Tsimbazaza Zoo, to increase the effectiveness of its captive lemur outreach. A major portion of our activities involve refurbishing and updating the zoo, which houses several species of lemur and is often the only way in which urban Malagasy citizens are able to interact with their country’s most famous animals.

Our work also focuses on increasing urban well-being by creating green spaces (parks with trees, flowers, and other vegetation) throughout the capital city of Madagascar, which is home to over 2 million people. We help improve the environment here for better health of residents and to educate children to appreciate nature from an early age.

How We Protect Lemurs And Other Wildlife

Madagascar Oasis Photo5

One our larger projects at Madagascar Oasis involves the renovation of the Tsimbazaza Zoo, which accommodates over 400,000 visitors per year. The zoo, which is one of the only ways that the capital city’s 2 million residents can see lemurs, is key to many in-country outreach programs. In fact, schools from a 200 kilometer radius make sure to send their students on class trips to the zoo on a yearly basis. Given the zoo’s high visibility and importance to lemur conservation, Madagascar Oasis aims to transform the zoo into a showcase where citizens and tourists will be able to appreciate Madagascar’s biodiversity. As such, we are refurbishing the zoo’s basic infrastructure, including rebuilding pathways and providing lemurs with newer and more spacious enclosures. We have been working on this project since May 2013, and will also work to ensure that plant and animal descriptions across the zoo are updated, uniform, and informative. We hope that this important work will increase visitation by 15% which amounts to an extra 5,000 visitors per month!


What Lemur Species We Protect

Our work with Tsimbazaza Zoo helps protect the lemur species it houses, including:

  • Ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta)
  • Brown lemur (Eulemur fulvus)
  • Black-and-white ruffed lemur (Varecia variegata)
  • Red-bellied lemur (Eulemur rubriventer)

How We Support Local Communities

Madagascar Oasis Photo4Our philosophy at Madagascar Oasis is to only initiate projects that fulfill a need in the local community and require minimum maintenance once they are complete. We make sure to always involve the local community throughout the projects we undertake, including prioritizing projects, gaining approval from decision-makers, implementation, and handing the project over to a local entity.

We ensure that programs set up by us continue, following the hand-over to a local organization. This involves providing technical training where necessary and discussing ideas with local communities of how revenue could be generated to ensure program continuity.

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University of Torino, Italy

University of torino

University of Torino, Italy

About the Babako Team in the Department of Life Sciences and Systems Biology (DBIOS)

Starting in 2002, DBIOS promoted research projects on biodiversity and capacity building in Madagascar and Comoros, at the individual, institutional and social levels (see www.mad.unito.it).

Our projects center on increasing awareness of biodiversity and developing initiatives that empower communities to increase control over their lives and take a leading role in conservation of local biodiversity.

In terms of our academic research, we focus primarily on improving our understanding of primate phonation and vocal abilities. In these efforts, we focus on the vocal communications of indris (Indri indri) and other diurnal prosimians.

Working with the Community

Understanding that conservation must have the participation and support of local people to be effective, we have worked on increasing community involvement and awareness, general education outreach, and enhancing the capacity of local conservation managers and guides.

Since 2008 our activities have focused on the primary forest of Maromizaha or “rainforest of the Dragon trees” (150 km east of Antananarivo and 6.5 km from the Analamazaotra Reserve). This forest is now managed by GERP (Groupe d’Etude et de Recherche sur les Primates de Madagascar) and we aim to increase effective management of this area, by cultivating positive and sustainable societal attitudes towards wildlife in the local communities.

We undertake this work both by establishing small programs and by implementing capacity-building activities. For example — and in order to increase awareness and develop education outreach programs in communities close to the forest — a multi-purpose centre was built that is just 40 minutes walking distance from the major highway that links Antananarivo to Toamasina.

Partnerships

The project reflects a strong international partnership led by the DBIOS in collaboration with the Department of Arboriculture and Pomology, both at the University of Torino, Italy, the University of Antananarivo (ESSA), GERP, the University of Toamasina (Gestion des Ressources Naturelles et Environnement – GRENE), the University of Comoros, and the Zoological Society of San Diego.

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Ho Avy

Ho Avy

Ho Avy uses reforestation and alternative livelihoods to protect biodiversity in southwest Madagascar.

Note that Ho Avy is not currently operating. There is a good possibility that this organization will begin work again in 2024. Please check back.

Supporting lemur conservation through habitat protection and outreach

Ho Avy NL_logo_whiteHo Avy is a grassroots project in the arid spiny forest of southwestern Madagascar. Based on field research initiated in 2007, Ho Avy has designed and developed a unique long-term approach promoting environmental stewardship through alternative and sustainable livelihoods. The organization is a collaborative effort between the Ho Avy association in Madagascar and New Latitude, a US-based non-profit. Since 2007, rural farming and costal community association’s have been collaborating with Ho Avy to propagate tree seedlings as part of an ongoing ecological reforestation model, adapted specifically to southwestern Madagascar’s endemic arid forest.

In parallel with Ho Avy’s forestry, the NGO has initiated development projects ranging from water infrastructure to local communities, a field/tourism station, and community environmental initiatives including a biogas system, university teaching, advising masters students, primary school gardens, ecological research and conservation.

How is Ho Avy protecting habitat for lemur conservation?

Ho Avy DSC_0099

Achieving high germination rates and survival of saplings (which is critical to achieving rapid reforestation) has been challenging due to southern Madagascar’ arid climate. However, trial and error has made it possible to overcome these hurdles.

Ho Avy works in the Southern Mikea forest region which has the highest diversity of lemurs and vertebrates in the expansive 6.6 million hectare ‘spiny forest region’. However the current local situation is that humans need a growing amount of resources from the land and sea which until recent times have been seemingly inexhaustible. Therefore, innovative and applied approaches, like ecological forest restoration, are needed to identify practical strategies that mitigate the current trend of extensive habitat loss in the spiny forest.

The Ho Avy project originated out of an international collaborative research initiative that aimed to assess:

1) the ‘spontaneous regeneration’ of spiny forest plant species after logging, and

2) to see if reforestation would be possible with local communities.

Reforestation Projects

One thousand trees were planted in the first year. Since then, the NGO has incrementally grown a network dozens of local collaborators at four nursery sites resulting in the growth of more than 100,000 tree seedlings of more than 100 species. Transplanted seedlings have reforested more than 10 hectares of degraded forest edges with Ho Avy being the only project in the southwest region with a track record of successful ecological reforestation on both upland dry and riparian spiny forest habitats. These habitats are the most critical in the regions for the eight species of lemur. Ho Avy has been undertaking research – in partnership with Malagasy students from the University of Toliara – to help increase the effectiveness of its reforestation efforts.

However, habitat conservation is easier said than done in southwest Madagascar where only 2% of the forest is formally protected, and around 1% is deforested every year, the fastest rate of deforestation anywhere on Madagascar. Even though the spiny forest is Madagascar most continuous forest and more than 98% of plant and 90% of animal’s species are endemic to this ecosystem, if comprehensive reform is not enacted quickly, many of these one-of-a-kind-species are threatened by extinction due to habitat loss.

Partnering with local communities

Ho Avy HoAvy-1359

Further research is critical to achieving lasting solutions that mitigate habitat loss and extinction of biodiversity in southwest Madagascar.

Ho Avy means ‘the future’ in the Malagasy language, and as the name of the project suggests, in Malagasy, the mission of the project is to work towards approaches that adapt to local realities and work in real time to maximize synergies between conservation and peoples well being.

Ho Avy has been working towards sustainable and participatory development through a framework named ‘Interactive Restoration’. This means partnering with communities, identifying and protecting terrestrial and marine natural resources, and building logistical and human capacity to promote alternative livelihoods that are ecologically sustainable.

In addition Ho Avy is in the process of developing ecotourism and research infrastructure in the spiny forest to help expand awareness, and further opportunities and results for lemur habitat conservation. Ho Avy has a detailed plan how this initial infrastructure has enormous potential to catalyze future conservation efforts for lemur’s and countless other endangered species endemic to the spiny forest.

Given Ho Avy’s collaborative nature and framework for action, it has established deep relations with the broader community in southwestern Madagascar and will be focusing on three main general themes with local communities: research, environmental awareness/capacity building application and the creation of sustainable alternative livelihoods.

 Ho Avy Ranobe_Mar13a-062In the next year(s) the NGO seeks to scale-up it’s current pilot efforts by establishing a formal Ecological Farm & Forest Regeneration Training Program, adapted to southwest Madagascar. Ho Avy is collaborating with Michigan State University to exact the pilot model, diversity research possibilities, and ultimately to make a broader positive impact on the lives of people and biodiversity in need in the Toliara region.

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Centre ValBio & the Institute for the Conservation of Tropical Environments

What We Do

Centre Valbio Ewing People Outside (1)

The Centre ValBio – a cutting-edge research station in Madagascar.

The Institute for the Conservation of Tropical Environments (ICTE) was established by Dr. Patricia Wright in 1991 to encourage and promote scientific research, training and conservation in the tropics. We (together with Stony Brook University) maintain a state-of-the-art research station, Centre ValBio, adjacent to Ranomafana National Park in eastern Madagascar. This research station hosts hundreds of researchers, students, and eco-tourists each year; it is truly the only facility of its kind in the country.

Centre ValBio (CVB) was founded in 2003 and helps both indigenous people and the international community better understand the value of conservation in Madagascar and around the world.

Centre Valbio has three main objectives:

  1. To promote world-class research in one of the world’s most biologically diverse and unique ecosystems
  2. To encourage environmental conservation by developing ecologically sustainable economic development programs with local villages
  3. To provide the local villagers with the knowledge and tools to improve their quality of life through projects focused on sanitation, diet, and education, and ultimately reduce poverty in the area

How We Protect Lemurs And Other Wildlife

Centre valbio wildlife

Wildlife in the Ranomafana National Park.

The Ranomafana National Park – which protects 41,500 hectares of rainforest – was created with the help of Dr. Patricia Wright, the founder of ICTE and Centre Valbio. Since the creation of this park, the organization has continued to help bring attention to the plight of lemurs and biodiversity in Madagascar at the regional, national, and international level.

Long-term research programs are a big priority for ICTE. We train scientists at all levels through field-based courses, collaborations, and academic exchanges. More than 400 scientific publications have directly resulted from work conducted in partnership with the Centre ValBio. In addition, we also conduct biodiversity research and ecological assessments of tropical ecosystems, and coordinate and catalog the work of over 800 natural and social scientists!

Successes at Centre ValBio include the translocation of three Greater bamboo lemur from a forest fragment to the national park, as well as the discovery of a thriving group in a nearby region!

What Lemur Species We Protect

The work of ICTE/Centre Valbio places particular emphasis on the region surrounding the Ranomafana National Park, in eastern Madagascar. This park is host to several lemur species, including:

  • Aye aye (Daubentonia madagascariensis)
  • Brown mouse lemur (Microcebus rufus)
  • Eastern wooly lemur (Avahi laniger)
  • Golden bamboo lemur (Hapalemur aureus)
  • Greater bamboo lemur (Prolemur simus)
  • Milne-Edwards’ sifaka (Propithecus edwardsi)

How We Support Local Communities

Centre Valbio conservation programs

Centre ValBio’s conservation programs have also included reforestation and education initiatives.

One of the central missions of ICTE/Centre Valbio has been collaboration and partnerships with the local Malagasy community. We employ over 80 local Malagasy as guides and staff for the research station, and opened up opportunities for work in the park and surrounding areas. In addition to providing sustainable employment, Centre Valbio organizes multiple outreach programs in the fields of education, the arts, sustainable agriculture, and reforestation.

Conservation outreach

Centre ValBio leads outreach and public awareness programs that highlight the unique biodiversity of Madagascar; most of this is achieved through 15 conservation clubs spread across 22 villages that contain almost 500 members. Audiovisual and hands-on demonstrations are also used to deliver education on biodiversity and reforestation in 19 local schools. Centre ValBio and ICTE also support a range of education initiatives in the Ranomafana region.

Centre ValBio donates food to local community

Centre ValBio donates food to local community thanks to the help of an emergency fund.

Reforestation program

Centre ValBio undertakes educational outreach aimed at teaching the value of trees, not just for animals, but for clean water and erosion control as well. Reforestation initiatives have also targeted schools through their “from schools to the communities programs”, which has worked with 22 villages and 15 clubs on reforestation initiatives.

Health and hygiene

At Centre Valbio we work to improve the local communities’ nutritional conditions through education, implementation of infrastructure, and follow-up on improved sanitary practices. For example, we provide seeds and training for vegetable gardens to improve nutritional conditions in impoverished rural communities.

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Duke Lemur Center

Duke Lemur Center logo.

What We Do

Founded in 1966, the Duke Lemur Center (DLC) at Duke University (Durham, North Carolina, USA) is an internationally acclaimed non-invasive research center housing over 200 lemurs across 14 species: the most diverse population of lemurs on Earth, outside their native Madagascar.

Because all of our research is non-invasive, the DLC is open to the public and educates more than 35,000 visitors annually. DLC’s highly successful conservation breeding program seeks to preserve vanishing species such as the aye-aye, Coquerel’s sifaka, and blue-eyed black lemur. Our Madagascar Conservation Programs study and protect lemurs (the most endangered mammals on Earth) in their native habitat. The Division of Fossil Primates examines primate extinction and evolution over time and houses over 35,000 fossils, including extinct giant lemurs and one of the world’s largest and most important collections of early anthropoid primates.

How We Protect Lemurs And Other Wildlife

DLC’s SAVA Conservation project is dedicated to preserving the natural biodiversity of Madagascar, especially its charismatic lemurs, by empowering local communities to be conservation leaders.

Collaboration with National Parks

Clear delineation of the park boundaries is essential to maintaining and monitoring the forest.

We’ve helped increase protection and monitoring of parks in Madagascar. For example at Marojejy, we have continued to sponsor clearing the park limits, painting trees, and hanging new signs for boundary demarcation, and a road-block barrier to prevent trucks from transporting precious wood out of the forest. We also help support monitoring work undertaken by village guards and park staff.

Manantenina near the Marojejy National Park lacks reliable sources of clean water because local sources are often contaminated with disease-causing microbes. We created a partnership agreement with the community to install a deep-water well that will maintain safe water even during the dry season.

Research

CURSA researchers and local forest managers in the COMATSA protected area of the SAVA region.

In collaboration with the local university (CURSA), we study lemur viability in protected areas in SAVA.

We have partnered with Malagasy PhD and Masters students on their thesis projects on the ecology and conservation of lemurs in the COMATSA, a corridor between Marojejy, Anjanaharibe-Sud, and Tsaratanana.

In addition to research in the forest on lemurs, the team conducts socio-ecological research with the communities. Through focus groups, key-informant interviews, and lemur awareness campaigns, the team is learning about how people use forest resources, especially the level of hunting.In collaboration with CURSA, we are studying the links between socioeconomics, agriculture, nutrition, and health.

Conservation Breeding Program

We maintain the world’s largest “genetic safety net” for endangered lemurs. At the Duke Lemur Center in Durham, North Carolina, USA we’re proud to have celebrated more than 3,405 births through our conservation breeding program since our founding in 1966.

What Lemur Species We Protect

At Duke Lemur Center we house the following lemur species for breeding and non-invasive research:

  • Aye-aye (Daubentonia madagascariensis)
  • Black and White Ruffed Lemur (Varecia variegata variegata)
  • Blue-eyed Black lemur (Eulemur flavifrons)
  • Collared Lemur (Eulemur collaris)
  • Coquerel’s Sifaka (Propithecus coquereli)
  • Crowned Lemur (Eulemur coronatus)
  • Eastern Lesser Bamboo Lemur (Hapalemur griseus)
  • Fat-tailed Dwarf Lemur (Cheirogaleus medius)
  • Grey Mouse Lemur (Microcebus murinus)
  • Mongoose Lemur (Eulemur mongoz)
  • Red-bellied Lemur (Eulemur rubriventer)
  • Red-fronted Lemur (Eulemur rufifrons)
  • Red Ruffed Lemur (Varecia rubra)
  • Ring-tailed Lemur (Lemur catta)

We also support research focusing on the Silky Sifaka (Propithecus candidus) a highly endangered lemur found in the north east of Madagascar.

How We Support Local Communities

Our goals are preserving natural environments as well as increasing sustainability and resilience. We achieve these goals through activities centered on education, reforestation, sustainable agriculture, fuel-efficient stoves, women’s health, and much more.

Environmental education (EE)

Fostering a generation of environmental stewards begins in the school classroom with Madagascar’s youth, and incorporating the environment into daily classroom instruction can lead to a generation of Malagasy people interested in and equipped to protect their natural heritage.

Children proudly display their Lemur Appreciation certificates after a school visit in Manantenina

We introduced an environmental education training manual originally developed by the Madagascar Flora and Fauna Group and the Ministry of Education. In partnership with skilled Malagasy educators, the DLC has introduced and trained school officials on the implementation of the educational curriculum into daily lesson plans. This approach ensures that the environmental education program is widely adopted from all levels of the education system. We want to ensure that the information is presented in a standardized and culturally sensitive manner, and therefore more readily adopted by the teachers on a daily basis. In collaboration with the school districts of Sambava and Andapa, we’ve conducted workshops with over 2,000 teachers to train them to incorporate environmental education into daily lessons.

Landscape Restoration

DLC sponsored tree nursery with the local school at Belaoka-Marovato, Andapa district.

We maintain tree nurseries with communities to supply high quality seedlings of diverse trees including over a dozen native species, cash crops like coffee, cloves, and cacao, and over a dozen fruit species. As of the writing of this article, we partner with five communities to maintain tree nurseries and support their reforestation efforts. Each nursery produces approximately 25,000 seedlings per year, which are distributed to the community members to plant on their lands and during group planting events. Our staff provide consultation on proper planting techniques and follow up evaluations to determine seedling survival.

We are partnered with local collaborators to maintain and monitor 4 reforestation plantations throughout the SAVA region, with over 59,000 trees planted on 20 hectares in 2021.

CURSA Director, Dr. MANJARIBE Christophe (left) demonstrates proper tree planting techniques with staff and students at their demonstration agroforestry field station.

Information campaign and distribution of fuel-efficient ‘rocket’ stoves

More than 80% of people in Madagascar use firewood or charcoal to cook. We partner with the Swiss organization ADES, which produces fuel-efficient stoves in Madagascar that burn 1/3 the biomass of firewood or charcoal compared to traditional stoves. Between 2020 and 2021 alone, over 500 households received training and subsidized stoves. Stoves are sold during demonstrations, and through local entrepreneurs serving as distributors. We are evaluating participants, and found 100% of users are satisfied and save 25-50kg of charcoal on average per month.

Women’s reproductive health

We maintain collaboration with British NGO Marie Stopes International, to support nurses visiting remote villages and providing consultation and services on women’s health and reproduction.

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Sadabe

Sadabe logo.

Sadabe

What We Do

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAt Sadabe we seek to develop novel and innovative ways to promote the coexistence of people and wildlife in Tsinjoarivo (central Madagascar), and elsewhere where humans and wildlife come into conflict. Sadabe, is the local name for the diademed sifaka, and it literally means “multicolored” and “big”. The organisation is as colorful as the lemur after which is it named.

Registered in 2009 as a Malagasy nonprofit, we were founded with several unique but synergistic guiding activities (research, education, conservation, and development). Nowadays, we are continuing to grow and work on the principle that conservation only works if you include the will and needs of local people, and deeply understand the ecosystem that you are trying to protect.

How We Protect Lemurs And Other Wildlife

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFunded by Funded by Conservation International, we founded the Mahatsinjo Reforestation Initiative starting in 2005. In collaboration with local government agencies and communities, we identified 12 areas that would be suitable for reforestation efforts. As a result of this project, over 55,000 trees were planted, more than 40 individuals were given part-time employment, and 7 habitat corridors were created which aimed to connect different forest patches with each other. These corridors now help lemurs and other animals to travel between the forest patches and increase their ability to resist the negative impacts of local agriculture and other threats.

IMG_0930What Lemur Species We Protect

We’ve been undertaking extensive research programming since 2000 in the Mahatsinjo region on the following species:

  • Diademed sifaka (Propithecus diadema)
  • Mouse lemurs (Microcebus rufus)
  • Dwarf lemurs (Cheirogaleus sp.)

How We Support Local Communities

Throughout our research and programming, we have aimed to solve problems by consensus, with strong voices from Malagasy scientists, government officials, our employees, and community members at many levels.

For example, we work in concert with local communities in central Madagascar (Tsinjoarivo) and also partners with two local organizations: Maitsoanala (a research and tourism guides’ association) and Taratra Reny sy Zaza (an association of midwives and women focusing on women’s and children’s health). Sustainability is a key pillar of all past and planned activities.

DSC02632Social development

As part of Sadabe’s ongoing commitment to social development, we have worked on both education and healthcare programming. We facilitated the donation and staffing of an elementary school near our study site (in Mahatsinjo); this school was the first public school in the area and increased the likelihood that students would be able to receive a minimum level of education. The organization continues to undertake several outreach and educational activities in this and other communities that have reached thousands of individuals, including an English-language program and t-shirt giveaways. Some of Sadabe’s education programming was conducted in partnership with the Madagascar Ankizy Fund.

In regards to healthcare development, Sadabe facilitated (in partnership with the Madagascar Ankizy Fund) the provision of dental care services to hundreds of individuals. Without these services, these communities would have had to travel over 75 kilometers just to visit a dentist.

Capacity Building

We provide training for both foreign and Malagasy university students. This helps build capacity in the next generation of scientists, and allows them to get an up-close and in-person look at what is takes to research and conserve endangered lemur species. In addition, we have worked with local communities to teach them English and French and help them learn how to become tourism guides.

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Aspinall Foundation

Aspinall Foundation Logo

What We Do

Aspinall Foundation working with local community associations.

Aspinall Foundation working with local community associations.

In Madagascar, the Aspinall Foundation implements effective, targeted conservation programs to protect a small number of high priority lemur species, including Greater Bamboo lemurs, Black-and-white Ruffed lemurs and Indri. We partner with local communities to address the conservation of both the species themselves and their habitat. The Aspinall Foundation has worked in both the eastern rainforests and the western dry forests of Madagascar.

How We Protect Lemurs And Other Wildlife

Our work has been key to helping save several Critically Endangered lemur species from extinction, by using effective, targeted conservation actions on a small number of high priority lemur species.

Habitat protection is key to the foundation’s work, and is integrated into many of our programs through our innovative partnerships with local community organizations.

Additionally, data collected by the Aspinall Foundation helps guide environmental policy. This has ensured that Black-and-white ruffed lemurs are now recognized as a priority species by Malagasy authorities. The information collected has shown how endangered these target species are. If we hadn’t collected this data it would be hard to get an accurate estimate of population sizes and threats against the species.

What Lemur Species We Protect

The programs implemented by The Aspinall Foundation have been helping to protect the following species:

An Indri (Indri indri), copyright Tony King Aspinall Foundation

  • Black-and-white ruffed lemurs (Varecia variegata)
  • Crowned sifaka (Propithecus coronatus)
  • Diademed sifaka (Propithecus diadema)
  • Mongoose lemur (Eulemur mongoz)
  • Greater bamboo lemurs (Prolemur simus)
  • Indri (Indri indri)

Greater Bamboo Lemurs (Prolemur simus)

Since 2008, the Aspinall Foundation has been working in eastern Madagascar to save greater bamboo lemurs, one of the rarest primates in the world. Thanks to their work, they have been able to discover new populations of this species, implement community-based conservation projects at ten new sites, and create the first-ever, community-managed site designed specifically to protect greater bamboo lemurs. At this community-managed site, they monitor over 30 lemur groups and 500 individuals on a weekly basis, which have helped remove greater bamboo lemurs from the 25-most-endangered primates list!

Black-and-White Ruffed Lemurs (Varecia variegata)

Since 2013, the Aspinall Foundation has been working in eastern Madagascar with conservation programming targeted at saving black-and-white ruffed lemurs. Thanks to their efforts, three new populations of the species have been discovered! Two populations of black-and-white ruffed lemurs are now protected and monitored annually.

The Aspinall Foundation plans to continue working to protect this species throughout its range and to develop conservation programs that help ensure its long-term survival.

How We Support Local Communities

Reforestation project.

One of the reforestation projects managed by The Aspinall Foundation.

Partnering with local communities

The Aspinall Foundation has a long-term commitment to the community. All of Aspinall’s projects are community-based and support the local community associations that conserve the local forest habitats identified as priority sites for target lemur species. Our work builds the capacity of these communities so that they can conserve their forests and local lemur populations for many years to come.

The Aspinall Foundation partners with local communities at every project site.

  • We partnered with six local community associations and one private land-owner in eastern Madagascar to save the greater bamboo lemur
  • Since 2010, we supported three local community associations in eastern Madagascar (Andriantantely) and hired over 15 rangers to monitor and protect lemurs and their habitats
  • In Andriantantely, our work is supported by a community-based management agreement that sets the foundation for local communities to manage their own forests sustainably
Lemur notebook distribution by Lucien Randrianarimanana.

Lemur notebook distribution by Lucien Randrianarimanana.

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Eden Reforestation Projects

Eden Reforestation Projects logo.

Eden Reforestation Projects

What We Do

Eden Reforestation Projects’ mission is to alleviate extreme poverty through environmental stewardship. Every year Eden Reforestation Projects employs thousands of villagers in Madagascar, Ethiopia, Haiti, and Nepal to plant millions of native tree species resulting in the alleviation of extreme poverty and the restoration of healthy forest systems.

Eden Reforestation Projects has been working in Madagascar since 2007, and our efforts have resulted in the planting of over 77 million dry deciduous and mangrove trees in Madagascar alone. Eden Reforestation Projects is the largest reforestation group in Madagascar, and we aim to plant billions, yes billions, of trees in Madagascar in the next decade.

How We Protect Lemurs And Other Wildlife

common brown lemur

A common brown lemur.

Habitat destruction is one of the main threats to lemurs in Madagascar; some studies estimate that over 80% of vegetation in the country has been degraded or destroyed. At Eden Reforestation Projects we’re working to combat this: 77 million trees were planted across Madagascar between 2007 and 2014. The organization is focusing its reforestation efforts in Madagascar around eight western Malagasy villages. In addition, we partner with one national park (Ankarafantsika), one university (Mahajanga), and one hotel resort with a private forest reserve (Antsanitia).

Mangroves

At Eden we’ve been working to rehabilitate mangrove estuaries in Madagascar since 2007. These habitats are critical to overall ecosystem health (combating erosion and improving ocean health) and also provide habitat for several mouse lemur species. In addition, healthy mangrove forests are green pathways for larger lemur species to cross from one patch of dry deciduous forest to another. Through our clearance, propagule collecting and planting work Mahajanga now has a healthy mangrove forest.

Dry Deciduous Reforestation Projects

IMG_6940In 2012, we expanded our reforestation work to dry deciduous forests. The overwhelming majority of the tree species grown here are endemic to Madagascar’s western regions, and virtually all of the species grown are native and essential to lemur species that inhabit these forests. Our main lemur habitat partner is Ankarafantsika National Park, which has a full nursery operating within the confines of the National Park and is home to eight endangered lemur species.

Fire prevention

Fire is the primary threat to all reforestation efforts in Madagascar, so we protect our reforestation sites by surrounding them with fire breaks and by hiring emergency fire prevention crews.

What Lemur Species We Protect

With the dry deciduous reforestation project our work is helping protect species present at Ankarafantsika National Park, including:

  • Coquerel’s sifaka (Propithecus coquereli)
  • Mongoose lemur (Eulemur mongoz)
  • Brown lemur (Eulemur fulvus)
  • Grey mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus)
  • Golden-brown mouse lemur (Microcebus ravelobensis)
  • Fat-tailed dwarf lemur (Cheirogaleus medius)
  • Western woolly lemur (Avahi occidentalis)
  • Milne-Edwards’s sportive lemur (Lepilemur edwardsi)

How We Support Local Communities

IMG_6949Eden Reforestation Projects believes in holistic community development, including assisting with the construction of schools, fresh water wells, and some medical services. In addition, Eden Reforestation Projects partners with local communities to provide employment opportunities as tree planters and forest guards. These partnerships initially began with the “Employ to Plant” approach to habitat restoration, which pays thousands of people across multiple developing countries, including Madagascar, to plant trees.

Sustainability of programming

NCS_8591At Eden we take a diverse approach to sustainability, which begins with the establishment of legal agreements with the local, regional, and national government agencies that authorize the reforestation efforts and include preserving the restored forests in perpetuity. Further, Eden is partnered with Mahajanga University and has an agreement with the Ankarafantsika National Park, where we seek to educate the communities with the goal of preserving the forests and local lemur populations.

Fruit orchards and fuel-efficient stoves

We know that reforestation projects are only impactful if other programs are instituted to help the local communities refrain from cutting those new forests back down. Therefore, we have also planted fruit trees as well as trees that can be used in construction. These are beneficial to the local villagers and ensure that their physical and financial needs are accounted for. In addition, in each of the villages, fuel-efficient stoves and/or solar-stoves have been provided, which have largely led to a significant decrease in charcoal production and use in the areas Eden serves.

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