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Man and the Environment: Net Positive Impact Program

The main objective of Man and the Environment’s Net Positive Impact program is to ensure long-term forest and lemur conservation — and biodiversity conservation in general — through the involvement of local communities in management programs and economic activities in favor of the environment.

Net Positive Impact is a program of the Non-Governmental Organization Man and the Environment, a French organization that works in East and Northwest Madagascar.

What lemur species does Net Positive Impact protect?

Varecia Variegata from the Vohimana forest.

Net Positive Impact operates in three locations.

The Vohimana forest in the Mantadia – Zahamena:

  • Indri indri
  • Propithecus diadema
  • Varecia variegata
  • Hapalemur griseus
  • Eulemur rubriventer
  • Eulemur fulvus
  • Microcebus lehilahytsara
  • Avahi laniger
  • lepilemur mustelinus
  • Cheirogaleus major
  • Daubentonia madagascariensis
  • Allocebus trichotis
  • Microcebus rufus

Indri Indri from the Vohimana forest

The Tsaramandroso community forest in the buffer zone of the Ankarafantsika National Park:

  • Propithecus coquereli
  • Lepilemur edwardsi
  • Avahi occidentalis
  • Microcebus ravelobensis
  • Eulemur mongoz
  • Microcebus murinus
  • Cheirogaleus medius
  • Eulemur fulvus

The Ambalakalanoro forest in the north-west coast: 

  • Propithecus verreauxi coquereli
  • Eulemur fulvus fulvus
  • Microcebus murinus
  • Cheirogaleus medius
  • Eulemur mongoz
  • Hapalemur griseus occidentalis
  • Phaner furcifer
  • Avali occidentalis
  • Lepilemur edwarsi

How does Net Positive Impact work for lemur conservation?

Habitat protection

As lemurs cannot survive when their natural habitat is in danger, Net Positive Impact works for habitat preservation and environmental conservation in the Vohimana, in the Tsaramandroso and the Ambalakalanoro forests by developing environmental programs. Our main actions are to make these sites “protected areas” to ensure their survival. We also monitor species registration, study their long-term acclimatization and take actions to promote their development in the zone, like reforestation and agro-forestry.

Eco-tourism

An infrastructure to develop ecotourism has been constructed in the Vohimana Forest, in order to raise awareness of locals and visitors about the site’s biodiversity. Visitors are encouraged to participate in monitoring species.

Learn more about Vohimina

Environmental policy

Promote approaches targeting sustainable lemur conservation through the design of management plans including local communities’ development and private sector involvement.

Key Projects in Madagascar

The Vohimana Project

The main objective is protecting the forest and wildlife by giving local populations lasting sources of income based on a management plan ensuring sustainable agriculture and conservation areas.

Net Positive Impact believes that no sustainable and lasting wildlife-saving orientated project can be achieved if local communities remain impoverished, as practices endangering forests and wildlife are the ones that often make locals survive.

Thus, Net Positive Impact started a global program comprising forest and wildlife protection and local communities living conditions improvement.

The Vohimana protected area project started in 2002 with the signature of an agreement transferring the management responsibility of the forest from the government to the NGO Man and the Environment for a renewable period of 25 years. The first step was to define the management plan, design the area for conservation and sustainable development purposes, and organize income generating activities for local communities and social improvement.

Eulemur Rubriventer from the Vohimana forest

The Vohimana project has four principal steps:

1. Securing the Vohimana forest for long-term conservation.

In the 2000’s, the Vohimana forest almost disappeared because of fires and burn-and-slash agriculture. To preserve this fragile ecosystem, the lemurs and other species living in it, the first capital step was to secure the forest.

Notable successes:

  • Man and the Environment was able to transform the Vohimana forest into a protected area in 2002, and it slowed down these dangerous practices. Research institutions (CIRAD) showed that forest cover loss was between 2002 and 2014 less important in Vohimana than the average in the national parks.
  • A local control forest committee has been organized with the aim to prevent traffic and fires.
  • A partnership has been made between biologists and universities, which allowed the beginning of an annual presence of scientists to launch a sustainable and regularly updated species’ population follow-up.

2. Ecotourism as a conservation tool.

The objective is to raise awareness about environment protection and to create a sustainable income source for the locals working on the project. Man and the Environment constructed an eco-shelter to welcome tourists and to secure the forest. In 2017, the infrastructure had been partly destructed by a cyclone.

Notable successes:

  • A basic infrastructure has been built and welcomed visitors on site for many years. Incomes were managed by a local association ran by people from the area who are the beneficiaries as well as guides.
  • A students & volunteers program has been put in place to train students in species monitoring and agroforestry management. Their presence in remote areas of the forest discourages risks of potential trafficking.

3. Sustainable agriculture productivity improvement.

The objective is to support environment-friendly agriculture to prevent slash-and-burn farming or other practices jeopardizing biodiversity. Net positive Impact started a program of ginger cultivation with 120 villagers around the forest. Likewise, a distillery of essential oil has been constructed and is managed by local workers. Ginger seeds have been given to selected farmers but follow-up training should be carried out. Malagasy firms will buy the production.

Notable successes:

  • The former traditional practices were participating in the destruction of the forest. Slash-and-burn cultures, as well as charcoal production, are the most dangerous threats to the forest and the wildlife it shelters. Net Positive Impact managed to launch environmental-friendly agriculture practices. It is now clear that other incomes-generating activities linked to sustainable natural resources’ use could be promoted to support conservation.

4. Social support.

The incomes generated from visitors of the ecotourism infrastructure will be redistributed to the school and the health center the NGO Man and the Environment constructed in a village near Vohimana, Ambavaniasy. The objective is double. First, to contribute to improve the living conditions of the locals, enhance education access and reduce risks of disease. Second, the forest can be seen as a potential source of living conditions improvement, encouraging villagers to protect it and thus the species living in it.

Notable successes:

  • A health center has been built on site and donors found to ensure the salary of the mid wife/nurse. – A primary school has been built on site to allow local access to education. 250 children can go
    to class.
  • A local association has been supported to regroup farmers for eucalyptus firewood forest management (preventing natural forest charcoal production), forestry seedlings production, ecotourism management, forestry control organization and essential oil production.

The Ambalakalanoro project

This projects aims to secure the Ambalakalanoro forest for long term conservation, in order to prevent possible fires or cuts in the forest and allow tourists to visit the site. The Ambalakalanoro forest is now the last shelter of those animals that managed to escape the recurrent fires. Its size is reduced to only 65 hectares, and therefore can be compared more to a private park with exceptional fauna and flora than to a state protected area. The Ambalakalanoro project was launched in 2010.

Notable successes:

  • The natural circus surrounding the forest and protecting the area has been secured.
  • Rare species have been observed, including the fossa, confirming the great biological interest of this tiny remaining forest.
  • Due to the loss of its habitat, the wildlife has no choice but to find shelter in this forest. As a result, the number of lemurs has increased: 66 sifakas now live in the forest.

Propithecus verreauxi coquereli from the Tsaramandroso and Ambalakalanoro forests

The Tsaramandroso project

The forest is located near Ankarafantsika national park. It is under great pressure of deforestation, jeopardizing the wildlife it shelters. The goal of the project is to secure the forest and its wildlife by supporting local communities in preventing slash-and-burn farming or other practices jeopardizing biodiversity. The project was launched in 2015. To do so, Net Positive Impact started a program of a sustainable collection of Saro leaves on site and other aromatic plants. Net Positive Impact also constructed a distillery of essential oils, managed by local farmers.

Notable successes:

  • The distillery employs 12 people. Farmers are motivated to prevent slash-and-burn agriculture and outsiders coming into the forest to over-harvest it.

Community Partnerships and Sustainability

Net Positive Impact partners with local organizations to ensure projects’ sustainability and local involvement.

For the Vohimana project, the local partners are different local associations, Mercie Vohimana, Manarapenitra, Zanatany, each specialized in a field.

For the Ambalakalanoro project, the local partner is the local district.

For the Tsaramandroso project, the local partners are VOI Mamelonarivo and CIRAD.

Donations Are Needed to Support These Projects in Madagascar

Vohimana Project

Donations are need to secure the Vohimana forest for long-term conservation.

Transforming the 25 years management plan agreement into a purchase of a 99-year lease of the forest.
Estimated budget to buy the 560 hectares of  forest: 250 000€

Recently, the government of Madagascar decided to sell the forest and the neighboring lands. The sale will happen at the expense of the local populations, despite their involvement in developing agro-forestry cultures respecting a long-term forest conservation plan. As a result, the risk is that individuals or companies will be able to legally destroy the forest or adopt environmentally destructive activities. Moreover, farmers will lose their lands and those who until now were using sustainable agriculture methods protecting the forest will have no choice but to go back to environment-damaging methods, as slash-and-burn culture. A solution is that Man and the Environment finances the purchase of the forest by obtaining a long-term lease of 99-year between the NGO and the State of Madagascar. Thus, the NGO would ensure the protection of the forest and its species.

Equipment of the forest patrols.
Estimated budget: 5 000€
The patrols cannot be efficient in preventing fires and wood trafficking if the proper equipment is lacking.

Employing one biologist and logistician on the field to organize the stays of biologists and the lemurs, frogs, rare plants (and other species) follow-up.
Estimated budget: 10 000€
Net positive Impact organizes lemur population monitoring. The objective is to achieve a serious database on the evolution of these populations and raise awareness of visitors, who are invited to participate in the data collection.

Securing the land for sustainable agroforestry farming and ensuring training of local farmers.
Estimated budget: 100 000€
The neighboring lands will be sold by the Malagasy government. The risk is that lands may be bought by individuals or firms that do not respect the environment and endanger the wildlife. The NGO can buy the lands and redistribute them to local farmers which agreed to an environment-friendly agriculture.

Ecotourism as a conservation tool.

Improve ecotourism infrastructure.
Estimated budget: 56 000€
Due to the cyclone, the ecotourism infrastructure cannot be functional. To be able to welcome visitors again and generate income, the infrastructure needs to be rebuilt.

Sustainable agriculture productivity improvement.
Estimated budge: 8 000€
Ginger production has been promoted, offering great opportunities to local farmers. Different plants of economic interest have been identified and are now promoted. Local farmers will be trained in improved sustainable practices.

Continue production and training for essential oils.
Estimated budget: 15 000€
A first production unit of essential oil has been provided and local community trained to process local plants for which sustainable markets have been found. Leaves from the forest are being sustainably used for production. Two new stills will be added to increase the production of essential oil, following demand.

Training in sustainable agriculture.
Estimated budget: 4 000€
Training sessions have been started to promote sustainable agriculture in place of slash-and-burn agriculture and farmers started to show interest for more training. Man and the Environment technicians will provide more training sessions on sustainable agriculture.

Social support.
Estimated budget: 3000€
For the health center to become functional, a mid-wife and a nurse need to be employed full-time and health supplies need to be bought, before the added value from the essential oil production allows paying these costs.

Education.
Estimated budget: 20 000€
The villagers approved the primary school the NGO constructed, and now ask for four classrooms for kids from 11 to 15 years old.

Training in Management and Accounting.
Estimated budget: 3000€
The local association is functioning but needs to be trained in management and accounting.

Training in Medicinal Plants.
Estimated budget: 8 000€
Promotion of a proper use of safe and efficient local medicinal plants.

The Ambalakalanoro Project

Secure Forest.
Estimated budget: 70 000€
It is important to secure the forest and its surroundings to ensure conservation by obtaining a long-term lease of 99 years for the forest itself.

Research.
Estimated budget: 10 000€
Organize studies of fauna, its long-term acclimatization and understand the actions necessary to promote its development in the zone.

Raise Awareness.
Estimated budget: 5 000€
Communicate about the site in order to draw national and international interest to conservation.

Promote Ecotourism.
Estimated budget: 5 000€

Promote hotel facilities development on the surrounding areas, companies that will have long-term interest to preserve an appealing environment for patrons and to involve local population in environmental protection.

The Tsaramandroso Project

Distillery.
Estimated budget: 10 000€
Install a new professional distillery on site.

Medicine Plants.
Estimated budget: 5 000€

Identify and standardize medicinal and aromatic plants of immediate commercial interest for local populations.

Donate

  • Net Positive Impact accepts online donations on its website.
  • MATE can ensure that donations from the Lemur Conservation Network go directly to lemur and environmental programs.

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Reniala NGO and Lemur Rescue Center

Lemur Rescue CenterThe Reniala Reserve and Lemur Rescue Center

What We Do

The Reniala Reserve and Lemur Rescue Center works to rehabilitate lemurs from the illegal pet trade in southwest Madagascar. Our aims are to protect the forests of the reserve, rehabilitate lemurs from the bushmeat and pet trade at the Lemur Rescue Center, and develop alternative livelihood projects for people.

How We Protect Lemurs And Other Wildlife

We protect habitat for the conservation of lemurs and other Malagasy wildlife. We manage the Reniala reserve, a 6 km-square protected area of dry spiny forest, located 29 km north of Toliara, a larger city in southwest Madagascar.

Our other main focus is the rehabilitation of lemurs rescued from the pet and bushmeat trades. These lemurs are cared for at our Lemur Rescue Center, with the goal of rehabilitating and releasing them back into the reserve.

Rehabilitation and reintroduction of lemurs into the wild is not an easy process and we are one of few facilities in Madagascar authorized to undertake this work. Lemurs are difficult to reintroduce into the wild, therefore, animals that cannot be released, such as those that have lost the ability to forage for food, are cared for at the center for the duration of their lives.

Given the scale of the pet and bushmeat trade in Madagascar, there are always more lemurs waiting to be rehabilitated than the facility can hold. Therefore, efforts are underway to increase the capacity of the Rescue Center over the coming years.

What Lemur Species We Protect

ONG RenialaOur work helps several species of lemur including ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta).

Through our work, we facilitate research programs on ring-tailed lemurs. Research projects also include nocturnal lemur monitoring through camera traps, as well as many projects examining lemur behavior, feeding, and health.

How We Support Local Communities

Alternative livelihoods

We seek to help establish alternative livelihoods projects (such as beekeeping) so that local communities have a reliable source of income and are not reliant on forest exploitation to make a living.

Research

Our work involves researchers from the United States and from within Madagascar. We have also undertaken social science studies on the attitudes of local communities towards wildlife, which will help inform conservation efforts and how communities might live sustainably side by side with nature.

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Hazo Tokana Tsy Mba Ala

HTTMA logo

What We Do

HTTMA CIMG9906Hazo Tokana Tsy Mba Ala (HTTMA) is developing reforestation and forest management projects in northern Madagascar. The organization is registered in France but supports and facilitates actions undertaken by its sister association, which goes by the same name, in northeast Madagascar.

Our pilot study will set up a foundation for the establishment of forest management activities in their target regions using a three-pronged approach to conserve existing forest fragments:

  1. increasing ecological, zoological and botanical knowledge of the area;
  2. initiating reforestation programs; and
  3. ensuring community-based conservation programs.

How We Protect Lemurs And Other Wildlife

Together with Malagasy scientists trained at universities in Mahajanga and Antsiranana, we’re undertaking some of the first ecological assessments of two focal forests: Analalava and Ambohitrandrina. This means describing the area’s lemurs, animals, and plants, as well as the anthropogenic threats facing these ecosystems, including deforestation. The area has rarely been visited by scientists and taxonomists, and the work will help define new priority areas for conservation and reforestation.

We also aim to extend our work to other neighboring areas once we’ve established sustainable programs in the current project sites. Looking forward, we plan to set up a tree nursery, collect seeds, and grow and plant 10,000 trees; the goal for the pilot project will be to reforest 5 hectares of degraded habitat, to improve it for wildlife.

What lemur species does HTTMA protect?

HTTMA IMG_1925At the moment, the organization focuses its habitat protection efforts on areas that impact the following species:

  • Crowned lemurs (Eulemur coronatus)
  • Fork-marked lemurs (Phaner sp.)
  • Mouse lemurs (Microcebus sp.)
  • Sanford’s brown lemur (Eulemur sanfordi)
  • Sportive lemurs (Lepilemur sp.)

How We Support Local Communities

HTTMA IMG_1860Our work involves local communities in order to lay the foundation of a sustainable reforestation and forest management project in the two forests where we currently work. Specifically, we are developing activities that supplement our ecological work, including: 1) capacity building, 2) alternative livelihoods, and 3) local social development.

We’ve worked together with communities to discuss and write a conservation and reforestation road map. In addition, activities will create at least five temporary jobs (8+ months of employment each) as well as one, full-time position for a local graduate student who will act as a coordinator of the organization’s activities. The organization will also train members of the local community to enhance their knowledge in biology, ecology, and conservation, including hired guides, reforestation technicians, and students.

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Association Tantelygasy

Association Tantelygasy Logo.

Association Tantelygasy

What We Do

Association Tantelygasy uses innovative development and reforestation programs to protect lemur habitat and help conserve lemurs in central Madagascar.

How We Protect Lemurs And Other Wildlife

One of our larger objectives is to work with local communities to ensure the ongoing health of the forest, which protects and helps regenerate lemur habitat. Reforestation efforts were launched in 2014, planting over 1,300 trees in just six months! The Association continues reforestation work through tree planting and creating tree nurseries.

How We Support Local Communities

We work in partnership with village leaders and with local village associations to build capacity in the community and ensure the sustainability of our organization’s programming. In addition, we conduct a wide range of pro-environment programs in Ambositra to incentivize communities to protect remaining forest and gain income from non-forest sources.

Eco-tourism

We have been developing eco-tourism at our project site since 2012. In the first six months of this eco-tourism program, we built its foundation, attracted 45 visitors, and planted 1,300 trees!

Association Tantelygasy seeks funds to continue building up the community’s ability to accommodate and manage a tourist economy. This includes:

  • Training guides who can collaborate with tourism agencies and responsibly guide tourists through the protected forest
  • Creating and maintaining official trails through the forest to minimize human impacts on the local fauna and flora
  • Constructing a reception area at the entrance to the park
  • Constructing an area for security guards to stay overnight at the entrance of the park, so they do not have to travel a distance back to the local village
  • Conducting a comprehensive survey of the flora and fauna in the forests, with the help of specialists, who will also study how local communities use the forest’s plants in their traditional healing practices

Handicraft Association

Association Tantelygasy is working with local women’s associations to develop a local handicraft trade, including embroideries and baskets made of local products. While the local women’s associations obtain most of the financing needed for the handicrafts, Association Tantelygasy will be promoting sales abroad and raising the larger funds needed to advance these community associations.

Farming and beekeeping

As Association Tantelygasy progresses, we plan to implement farming and beekeeping programs to alleviate the need for local communities to rely on the forest for income and food. We’re currently raising funds to create model gardens where we will teach sustainable agriculture to local communities and provide the community with free and low-cost seeds and gardening equipment. In addition, Association Tantelygasy has its sights set on beekeeping, which can help both the environment, through pollination, as well as the community.

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AEECL

AAECL Logo

What We Do

A female Blue-eyed black lemur (Eulemur flavifrons).

A female Blue-eyed black lemur (Eulemur flavifrons).

AEECL focuses conservation efforts in northwest Madagascar through innovative capacity building, community outreach, and on-the-ground research programs. We have been conducting community-based conservation programs on the Sahamalaza Peninsula since 2000. We support lemur conservation by maintaining and strengthening natural habitat and improving how that habitat is used by humans. Additionally, AEECL advances the understanding and conservation of Madagascar’s lemurs through scientific research and captive breeding.

How We Protect Lemurs And Other Wildlife

Reforestation

We work with local communities to conduct community-based reforestation. AEECL’s programs planted over 111,000 trees around 14 villages in 2013 alone, involving local schools. Once the trees are planted, an association of gardeners monitors the survival of saplings and re-plants trees if necessary.

Constructing a fire break with the help of local communities.

Constructing a fire break with the help of local communities.

Patrolling Forests

We work with six local park committees to help patrol the forests in the national park. In 2013, these local park controls completed 300 patrol days.

Protecting Forests From Wildfires

Lastly, we work with local partners to organize community volunteers to build a 7 kilometer-long firebreak to protect the forest from the spread of wild fires. The community turn-out for yearly construction of the firebreak is extremely large—larger than many other community events in the region.

What Lemur Species We Protect

AEECL is heavily focused on the Sahamalaza Peninsula which is home to several lemur species, including:

  • Blue-eyed black lemur (Eulemur flavifrons)
  • Sahamalaza sportive lemur (Lepilemur sahamalazensis)

How We Support Local Communities

We see community collaboration as key to supporting and protecting the wildlife and habitat within the Sahamalaza National Park.

World Environment Day parade with local authorities.

World Environment Day parade with local authorities.

Eco-tourism

Since 2013, we’ve been working with local communities to increase local capacity to accommodate tourists by building several key facilities, including housing and solar paneling.

In addition, we train members of the local community to become tourist guides. We also created a guide association, which advocates for the guides and organizes tourist group visits. Guide training helps local community members improve their french and increase their knowledge of the local ecosystem and lemur species, thus helping them to become ambassadors for Madagascar’s environment.

Social Development

We have been working in education outreach since 2012, including much-needed school construction and renovation programs which impacted thirteen schools in the perimeter of the Sahamalaza National Park. We also subsidize the salaries of 60 school teachers, impacting over 2,000 students.

We have improved sanitation, hygiene, and health through the construction of six water wells in the surrounding communities. The construction of these wells is extremely important because water shortages have become increasingly common.

Reforestation outreach in rural Malagasy communities.

Reforestation outreach in rural Malagasy communities.

Environmental Outreach

We also work on a variety of local environmental awareness initiatives, organizing activities for World Environment Day and the World Lemur Festival. Activities are planned to increase environmental awareness, including parades, speeches, radio quizzes, sports events, and community dance events.

We help fund and organize the Lampogno Festival, a fun 4-day event about how food availability and habitat conservation are connected using films, children’s activities, speeches, and even a song contest.

 

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