This project is run by a registered UK charity and Malagasy NGO that has been working on environmental, humanitarian and sustainable development projects in southeast Madagascar since 1995.
The project integrates research on endangered flora and fauna with community initiatives such as reforestation and environmental education. Combining direct conservation, working in and supporting local management of two legally-protected forest fragments with a number of other complimentary initiatives, (such as tree planting to provide rapid growth of farmed trees for firewood) – this project holistically approaches the conservation of biodiversity.
Where possible and practical, we use only locally owned and operated suppliers and employ local people as guides to lead our groups of volunteers. Our local guides and staff are in full time employment with contracts, are treated as equals, paid a fair wage and not given an unreasonable workload.
We plan volunteer programs in a way which maximizes the opportunity to meet and work alongside local people, learn about the local culture and experience the local way of life. We teach our volunteers to speak the local dialect of the Malagasy language and provide orientation to present a balanced view of the country, the people, our work and local culture and traditions, religion, body language and eating habits before any volunteer visits the field.
We endeavour to minimize this impact and engage in projects that not only make the environment sustainable but contribute to improving it. When visiting villages, group sizes are determined by what is appropriate to the area we are visiting and the job that we are doing. Use of motorised transport is kept to a minimum. We ask volunteers to use water sparingly and respect the needs of local people at water collection points. We ensure animals are never fed or touched unless to do so is part of an organised visit to a park or other managed environment. We provide water to refill plastic bottles and we separate our waste for re-use or composting.