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Money for Madagascar

What We Do

At Money for Madagascar (MfM) our mission is to enable Malagasy people to reduce poverty and protect their unique environment through sustainable, community-led initiatives.

Having long recognised the interdependence of people and their environment, MfM supports local solutions that enable Malagasy people to take charge of their own livelihoods and future. Through education, training, and practical support, we enable farmers and forest dwellers to provide for their families, whilst protecting and restoring their fragile environment and rich biodiversity.

How We Protect Lemurs And Other Wildlife

Reforestation around Andasibe and Torotorofotsy with Association Mitsinjo


Since 2015, MfM has been working in partnership with Association Mitsinjo to gradually increase the area of restored forest around Andasibe at a rate of about 10ha per year. This has restored vital habitat for the forest’s wildlife.

In the areas already planted, reforestation has brought immediate benefits to the land in terms of erosion prevention and water absorption. In the longer term, Mitsinjo’s painstaking restoration technique provides the best conditions for the natural forest to regenerate. By using a mix of up to 60 carefully selected indigenous tree species, the Mitsinjo team harness the power of nature to complete the restoration process! By including a range of fast growing fruit trees, attractive to seed dispersers such as birds, fruit bats and lemurs, the Mitsinjo reforestation team ensure that wildlife is drawn to the replanted areas, bringing in seeds from other plants in their faeces and facilitating the return of the natural forest. Restoration of natural forest is not a fast process but replanted areas have seen the return of key indicator species such as the Blue Coua and brown lemurs.

What Lemur Species We Protect

By planting corridors to join isolated fragments of primary forest, the reforestation project around Andasibe and Torotorofotsy is extending the habitat for many endangered species such as the Indri (Indri indri) lemur.

How We Support Local Communities

Reforestation work has provided vital employment opportunities for local people and environmental education has helped to raise awareness of the value of the forests.

MfM’s reforestation work with Mitsinjo has always considered the needs of the local population and has emphasised ensuring local employment in reforestation, protection and ecotourism. Funds in 2020 made it possible to embark on sustainable livelihoods development in the hamlets of Sahatay and Sahakoa, in the Torotorofotsy buffer zone.

Supporting the development of sustainable livelihoods in these isolated communities is vital for the long-term success of Mitsinjo’s conservation and restoration efforts. 90% of the population living around the Torotorofotsy Protected Area are extremely poor and heavily dependent on the forest and wetland to meet their basic needs. Away from the eco-tourism hub of Andasibe village, they see less of the obvious benefits of keeping the forest intact. However, without their support for forest restoration and conservation, unsustainable subsistence agriculture, wildlife poaching and illegal logging will continue unabated, transforming this unique ecosystem into rice fields and destroying its rich biodiversity.

We urgently want to scale up the pace of this important work and to increase investment in both reforestation and strengthening livelihoods as a long-term strategy to restore and protect the forest.

Betampona Reserve Livelihoods Project

In Betampona we are working with our partner SAF to offer people living around the Special Rainforest Reserve practical alternatives to deforestation and wildlife poaching. By providing training, tools and long term technical support, we enable local families to improve food security and increase income whilst protecting precious wildlife habitats.

MfM takes a long-term approach to supporting families living around the Betampona special rainforest reserve. For over 30 years, MfM has focused on helping people to overcome their problems, to value and protect the land and to live off it in a sustainable way.

The project, which began in 5 communities surrounding the reserve, has now spread to 100 communities covering over 600km2.Thousands of subsistence farming families have been able to sustainably improve their lives and build a better future for their children, which is a key factor in keeping the Betampona rainforest in tact.

One of the secrets of the Betampona project’s success is the long term, people-centered approach taken by SAF’s committed team of technicians and community workers. The dedicated staff team has established deep respect and trust with the villagers. Their long-term commitment and support mean that benefits are durable and far-reaching. Instead of cutting down new forest every year to try to meet their basic needs, forest communities invest in infrastructures such as rice fields, dams, ponds and animal pens, to get more out of their existing land. Instead of poaching lemurs, farmers are able to improve their diets with fish and poultry. By planting productive trees farmers gain a stake in the forest and are motivated to value and protect it.

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Aspinall Foundation

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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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SEED Madagascar

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SEED Madagascar

What We Do

SEED Madagascar's Conservation Programme team.

SEED Madagascar’s Conservation Programme team.

The work we do is focused on conservation research and social development. Our mission is to alleviate poverty and conserve the unique, biologically rich, and greatly endangered forest environments in southeast Madagascar. We help to empower the region’s poorest people to establish sustainable livelihoods for themselves and improve their well being.

SEED Madagascar’s Conservation Program implements a broad range of lemur projects that conserve the lemurs of Sainte Luce and ensure their long-term survival within their natural habitat.

How We Protect Lemurs And Other Wildlife

Conducting Research to Preserve Sainte Luce Habitat

The littoral forests of Sainte Luce have been declared a conservation priority within a globally recognized biodiversity hotspot, making conservation here essential. Additionally, this habitat has been earmarked for future mining projects which may threaten the lemur populations, as well as other unique wildlife in the region. SEED Madagascar has been researching the lemurs, bats, amphibians and reptiles, as well as plants, restricted to the littoral forest fragments of Sainte Luce.

Our research estimates the population densities of the impacted species and calculates whether remaining habitats will be enough to support these populations. SEED Madagascar publishes research which directly contributes to wildlife conservation projects in the area.

Nocturnal Lemur Research

Our current focus is monitoring the population size and distribution of the three nocturnal lemur species found in Sainte Luce, Microcebus tanosi (Anosy mouse lemur), Cheirogaleus medius (Fat-tailed dwarf lemur) and Avahi meridionalis (Southern woolly lemur). All three species are now classified as Endangered by the IUCN, and as such more research is urgently needed. The SEED Conservation Research Programme is also working with the Project Ala team which has been set up to establish biodiversity corridors between the forest fragments of Sainte Luce, and which will help to protect these species from further decline.

What Lemur Species We Protect

SEED Madagascar’s research programs protect several lemur species found in the region:
Collared brown lemur (Eulemur collaris).

  • Collared brown lemur (Eulemur collaris)
  • Anosy mouse lemur (Microcebus tanosi)
  • Fat-tailed Dwarf Lemur (Cheirogaleus medius)
  • Southern woolly lemur (Avahi meridionalis)

How We Support Local Communities

Conservation education with children.The work we do involves communities at every stage of project development, implementation, and evaluation. This makes projects more sustainable and promotes local ownership.

The SEED Madagascar Conservation Programme has had a permanent base in the community of Sainte Luce (southeast Madagascar) for more than five years. Through this relationship, SEED Madagascar draws on the knowledge of the community and uses guides trained by the forest management committee. In return, the programme provides training in ecology, conservation and the English language for local Malagasy, and runs a highly successful Saturday conservation club. Additionally, this volunteer program brings tourists (and the associated income and awareness) to the village.

Sustainable Livelihoods

We believe that conservation and supporting the local livelihoods of the communities of southeast Madagascar must go hand in hand. Many people in this region depend on natural resources from the forests and seas. We are working to support the transition to sustainable income sources through the following projects:

Project Mahampy – Helps women who work as traditional weavers to increase their income, and contributes scientific studies to enable the management of healthy Mahampy reedbeds for long term income generation.

Stitch Sainte Luce – Helps women who work in embroidery to run a sustainable co-operative, providing business training, and marketing and international sales support.

Oratsimba – Works to strengthen community-based, sustainable fisheries management and the economic resilience of fishing households in southeast Madagascar.

Renitantely – Works to improve the sustainability and viability of beekeeping as a livelihood amongst rural communities in the Anosy region.

Community Health

For over 15 years, SEED Madagascar has been working the improve public health in southeast Madagascar. Our current projects aim to:

  • Improve sanitation in Sainte Luce, including the WASH programs in local schools
  • Increase maternal and child health
  • Support water security and livelihoods programs
  • Increase awareness of sexual health and access to family planning materials

Education

Conservation education with children.

Conservation education with children.

In the Anosy region half of all children have never been to primary school, due to a lack of educational infrastructure and teachers. Our education projects help to tackle the shortfall by building new schools, repairing existing buildings, providing furniture and facilities to schools which don’t have enough, and supporting teachers to teach.

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Bristol Zoological Society

BZS logo

What We Do

Bristol Zoological Society Pierre Lepi 1Bristol Zoological Society saves wildlife through conservation action and engaging people with the natural world. We currently focus efforts on the Sahamalaza peninsula of northwestern Madagascar. We are working together with other European zoos to protect the last remaining populations of two critically endangered lemur species, the blue-eyed black lemur (Eulemur flavifrons) and the Sahamalaza sportive lemur (Lepilemur sahamalazensis).

How We Protect Lemurs And Other Wildlife

We raise awareness of the threats facing lemurs at the regional, national, and international level. For example, the zoological society worked with the government to create the Sahamalza Iles Radama National Park. In addition, the BZS Director of Conservation, Dr. Christoph Schwitzer, is the editor of Lemur News, an online and publicly available newsletter that connects the research and conservation community. In addition, the BZS has led the publication of several highly-visible articles, which effectively called attention to the plight of lemurs in Madagascar.

Some of these publications include:

Schwitzer et al. (2014) Protecting lemurs – response. Science. 344: 358
Schwitzer et al. (2014) Averting lemur extinctions amid Madagascar’s political crisis. Science. 343: 842-843

What Lemur Species We Protect

  • Blue-eyed black lemur (Eulemur flavifrons)
  • Sahamalaza sportive lemur (Lepilemur sahamalazensis)
  • Sambirano mouse lemur (Microcebus sambiranensis)
  • Northern giant mouse lemur (Mirza zaza)

How We Support Local Communities

Bristol Zoological Society Felicia inspecting Lepilemur pooThe Bristol Zoological Society actively engages with the public and scientific community, sharing knowledge, eliciting support, and guiding behavior change. We apply specialist skills to investigate conservation problems and to guide and support local communities in tackling environmental issues.

We work to improve the conservation status of target lemur species both through direct research and by supporting local NGOs in the region. As one of the core partners in the AEECL (Association Europeenne pour l’Etude et la Conservation des Lemuriens), we contribute to education in local communities by helping to employ 60 teachers in 37 villages and providing conservation education teaching materials.

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