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Conservation Fusion Partners with Schools in Kianjavato

In September, I visited the small town of Kianjavato in eastern Madagascar to meet with LCN members Conservation Fusion and Madagascar Biodiversity Partnership to learn about their work first hand. Both Conservation Fusion and MBP work closely with the villages in this area to build a strong foundation for continued conservation of the eleven lemur species in the nearby forests. Madagascar Biodiversity Partnership has worked in this region since 2009, and Conservation Fusion began their education programming here in 2010 to help teach the local children about […]

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Madagascar Wildlife Conservation (MWC)

What We Do

At Madagascar Wildlife Conservation (MWC) we work exclusively in the region surrounding Lac Alaotra, near Andreba, Madagascar (commune of Ambatosoratra) in the special conservation zone of the Alaotra New Protected Area. In this region, MWC protects the critically endangered Alaotra Gentle Lemur. This is the only place in the world where this lemur exists in the wild.
Work by MWC to conserve the lemur is heavily focused on working with and benefiting the local community.

How We Protect Lemurs And Other Wildlife

Scientific name Hapalemur alaotrensis, Vernacular name Malagasy: Bandro

Lac Alaotra Gentle Lemur; Scientific name: Hapalemur alaotrensis; Malagasy: Bandro

We focus on protecting the Critically Endangered Alaotra Gentle Lemur through education, ecotourism, and elternative livelihoods in the Lac Alaotra region

MWC promotes long-term initiatives in this region that integrate biodiversity conservation, environmental education, and rural development using a scientific approach. Our three programs on education, ecotourism, and alternative livelihoods are ongoing and will be continued in the next years.

Our current focus is on Alaotra Gentle Lemur habitat restoration to reconnect isolated and fragmented subpopulations of lemurs.

What Lemur Species We Protect

Alaotra Gentle Lemur (Hapalemur alaotrensis) or Bandro in Malagasy. The population of the Alaotra Gentle Lemur has dropped from 11,000 individuals in 1990 to about 3,000. This species could be extinct in less than 40 years. The destruction of freshwater marsh habitat through slash and burn agriculture techniques, and poaching are the main causes. MWC works with the local community in the region surrounding Lac Alaotra to mitigate these threats and protect this lemur species from extinction.

Environmental education with the use of the comic book "Harovy fa harena"

Environmental education with the use of the comic book “Harovy fa harena”

How We Support Local Communities

Education

Since 2006, MWC has been encouraging local communities to learn about, take interest in, and ultimately understand and value their environment. Education is one of the most important requisites for a better living standard as well as for sustainable conservation.

We’ve implemented environmental education in the public primary schools (EPP) of the Alaotra region by distributing a comic book in Malagasy language “AROVY FA HARENA” which translates to “protect, because it is richness”. The goal is to raise public sensitivity and appreciation for the importance of an intact lake and preserved marshes. An evaluation conducted in 2011 and 2012 showed a significant increase in environmental knowledge of students receiving environmental education compared to controls.

Ecotourism

MWC also promotes sustainable ecotourism in the Alaotra region. Camp Bandro is a tourist facility close to the village Andreba and the special conservation zone Park Bandro. Trained guides take tourists on a discovery tour in a pirogue. On the lake and in the reed and papyrus marshes in Bandro Park, they can observe the rich variety of birds and the highly endangered Alaotra Gentle Lemurs themselves.

The management of this facility is a community-based project which serves as a source of further income for the villagers and generates income to finance micro projects for the community, like wells and market stands.

Income generating activity: use of water hyacinth as raw material in basketry

Income generating activity: use of water hyacinth as raw material in basketry

Alternative Livelihoods for the Community

In addition, at MWC we support the creation of alternative revenue sources to develop sustainable local microprojects. The aim is to elicit local competence in sustainable resource management, which respects the needs of the villagers and encourages new perspectives. This approach is the background of a project which encourages the villagers to use the invasive water hyacinth as an alternative revenue source.

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