“Against Poverty, for Nature”
What is the purpose of Ny Tanintsika?
Ny Tanintsika works to empower communities to conserve lemurs through a multifaceted approach that builds local capacity, addresses livelihoods concerns and promotes stakeholder collaboration and communication.
Lemurs are crucial to Madagascar’s rich and thriving biodiversity. The decline in lemur populations and the rapid extinction of a number of species, due to habitat loss and hunting, is jeopardising this biodiversity.
Currently, a number of forest communities hunt and eat lemurs as a primary source of protein in their diet, or keep them as pets. Although protection legislation exists, it is not widely known, understood nor enforced. Habitat loss due to forest in-migration for ‘slash and burn’ agriculture, deforestation and logging is an equally crucial factor in this Project.
Which lemur species does Ny Tanintsika work with?
The Project targets lemur taxa that are categorized as being Critically Endangered, and in a listed action plan locality site – the COFAV. The Lemur Conservation Strategy lists the COFAV as being home to 21 lemur taxa of which 6 are critically endangered, 7 endangered, 4 vulnerable, 1 near threatened and 3 data deficient.
COFAV has the highest number of lemur species of any protected area in Madagascar – of which a disproportionate number are in elevated threat categories. However, scientific research on biodiversity has largely been limited to national parks.
Threatened Species Targeted:
- Golden Bamboo Lemur (Hapalemur aureus): Critically Endangered C2a(i)
Other threatened species benefitting from the project:
- Southern Ruffed Lemur (Varecia variegata ssp. editorum): Critically Endangered A2cd
- Milne-Edward’s Sifaka (Propithecus edwardsi): Endangered A2cd+3cd+4cd
- Gilbert’s Lesser Bamboo Lemur (Hapalemur griseus ssp. gilberti): Endangered B1ab(i,iii)
Where does Ny Tanintsika work?
The project area comprises 32,000 ha of the COFAV (which totals 314,186 ha) and includes the rainforest of 4 municipalities:
- To the east: Ambolomadinika, Antodinga and Ankarimbelo (Ikongo district, Vatovavy Fitovinany region)
- To the west: Ambohimahamasina (Ambalavao district, Haute Matsiatra region)
- It focuses on the areas around the 3 main footpaths crossing the rainforest corridor east-west.
Furthest point north: 21°54’23.60″S, 47°14’30.48″E, south: 22° 5’46.19″S, 47°10’57.89″E
Furthest point east: 21°56’32.78″S, 47°20’48.98″E, west: 22° 4’37.24″S, 47° 9’42.82″E
How does Ny Tanintsika work for lemur conservation?
Ny Tanintsika empowers COFAV communities to conserve lemurs through a multifaceted approach: building local capacity, addressing livelihoods concerns, and promoting stakeholder collaboration and communication.
Empowering Local Communities through Data Collection and Lemur Monitoring
Whilst focusing on Hapalemur Aureus species, it will enable the gathering of data on all primates in the previously unresearched forests of Ambohimahamasina and three neighbouring areas. Data collection on lemurs will be conducted by local stakeholders, and forest inhabitants will become lemur monitors to ensure project sustainability.
Additionally, 12 signs encouraging lemur conservation will be erected along Ambohimahamasina’s 3 main forest footpaths crossing to the eastern side of the forest ‘corridor’.
Sustainable Agriculture and Reforestation
Support will be given to forest inhabitants to make their lifestyles more sustainable. Agricultural production on deforested land will be boosted through training on improved techniques, with 6 community tree nurseries operational to provide saplings for agroforestry, reforestation and forest restoration to meet both human and lemur needs. Numerous awareness-raising initiatives will be combined with promotion of alternative sources of income and protein, including small-scale fish-farming and chicken-rearing, and the capacity-building of Community Forest Management associations to reduce lemur poaching and habitat loss.
By the end of the project:
- 50% of forest dwellers will have lemur-friendly income generation activities and alternative sources of protein.
- 60% reduction in Lemur hunting in target area of COFAV.
- 45,000 endemic trees planted to meet lemur and human needs.
- 10% boost in agricultural production on deforested land in the target area of COFAV.
- 90% of people living in villages bordering the rainforest project area are aware of the uniqueness of local biodiversity and report an increased appreciation of lemurs by the end of the project.
- 20% increase in secondary school enrollment for the northern project area zone for improved level of education for children who live in and near the rainforest.
- No new human migration into the rainforest target zone, with the stabilisation of forest cover in the target area.
- The capacity of 9 Community Forest Management associations is strengthened in management and governance, and particularly legislation.
- Knowledge of lemurs in the project area covering 32,000 ha is improved.
- Stakeholder collaboration and communication is improved through the piloting of a new approach and new technology to monitor forest cover in the Ambohimahamasina municipality.
- Communities are empowered to take action toward securing land tenure around the target area.