Association Tantelygasy uses innovative development and reforestation programs to protect lemur habitat and help conserve lemurs in central Madagascar.
Supporting lemur conservation through habitat protection, reforestation, and local community programming
Association Tantelygasy supports the protection and reforestation of the natural forest in the central Madagascar highlands near Ambositra. A relatively young organization, Association Tantelygasy is developing ways for the local community to create income, which decreases pressure on the nearby forests. Their innovative programming includes eco-tourism, beekeeping, and promoting the development of local handicrafts. They also raise awareness among local Malagasy about the importance of these forests and the need to protect them.
How does Association Tantelygasy protect lemur habitat?
One of Association Tantelygasy’s larger objectives is to work with local communities to ensure the ongoing health of the forest. Their reforestation efforts just launched in 2014, planting over 1,300 trees in just six months! Moving forward, the Association plans to continue their reforestation work through tree planting and creating tree nurseries.
Partnering with local communities
Association Tantelygasy works in partnership with village leaders and with local village associations to build capacity in the community and ensure the sustainability of the organization’s programming. In addition, Association Tantelygasy conducts a wide range of pro-environment programs in Ambositra to incentivize communities to protect remaining the forest and gain income from non-forest sources.
Eco-tourism in the Ankazomivady forest
Association Tantelygasy has been developing eco-tourism at their project site since 2012 and launched their latest program in 2014. They aim to attract at least 6,000 visitors per year to the area. In the first six months of this eco-tourism program, they built its foundation, attracted 45 visitors, and planted 1,300 trees!
Moving forward, Association Tantelygasy seeks funds to continue building up the community’s ability to accommodate and manage a tourist economy. This will include:
- 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 (which is somewhat distant from 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 local plants in their traditional healing practices.
Development of a local 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 their sales abroad and raising the larger funds needed to advance these community associations.
Farming and beekeeping
As Associaation Tantelygasy progresses, it aims to implement farming and beekeeping programs to alleviate the need for local communities to rely on the forest for income and food. They are currently raising funds to create model gardens where they 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.