Durrell Madagascar

Project LocationAlaotra, Menabe, Nosivolo, Ambondrobe regions, Madagascar
Project TypeWildlife and habitat conservation, Community conservation initiatives, Endangered species protection, Environmental education

Durrell Madagascar

Mission

Durrell Madagascar works to save species from extinction and encourage local communities to manage Madagascar's natural resources sustainably.

About

Durrell Conservation Wildlife Trust has worked for people and wildlife in Madagascar for over 25 years and the island has become the core of their Conservation Programme.
Durrell focuses on the most threatened species and habitats (dry forests and wetlands) and have developed a special model for the integration of local communities into the management and protection of highly threatened species and habitats.

Projects

With so many species found nowhere else, Madagascar is one of the global icons for biological diversity. Unfortunately it is also one of the world’s least developed countries and its rich natural resources are being placed under severe pressure.

Madagascar is Durrell’s largest programme country where they implement the following long term field programmes in key locations around the island:

• Community landscape management for people and wildlife in  the Comoros
• Project Fotsimaso: saving the Madagascar pochard
• Project Angonoka: saving the world's most threatened tortoise.
• Aloatra: maintaining a sustainable wetlands for people and wildlife
• Restoring Madagascar's only endemic freshwater turtle
• Providing locals with knowledge and skills for conservation in Madagscar
• Building capacity for amphibian conservation in Madagascar
• Nosivolo: protecting Madagascar's most important river for endemic fish
• Menabe-Melaky: promoting community-led conservation in western Madagscar
• Manombo: protecting and restoring the unique Manombo coastal rainforest complex

The Durrell Madagascar team seeks to provide a major step forward in the development of effective community-led management and protection for these important wetlands sites, and also act as a case study that could be readily applied at the national level.

Tusk Award

In 2014, Durrell's Ecological Monitoring Coordinator, Herizo Andrianandrasana, was the winner of the Tusk Award for Conservation in Africa.  This award recognises emerging leaders in conservation and Herzio was the chosen by the judges for the remarkble role he plays in integrating local people in conservation management and monitoring in Madagascar.

Herizo started with Durrell as a student in 1998. Since 2001 he has been their Ecological Monitoring Coordinator, responsible for GIS mapping, ecological monitoring, and also the development of protected areas. Herizo received training at the ITC in 2004, and completed his MSc. with the University of Antananrivo in 2009. He was then chosen to attend Conservation Practices course led by the Wildlife Conservation Research Unit at Oxford University and is now completing a PhD there looking into measuring the impacts of Durrell's conservation projects in Madagascar.

Tusk Support

Tusk first supported Durrell's work in Madagascar in 2006 with a grant to develop the capacity for community co-management of the new Lake Alaotra protected area.  In 2007, Tusk funding was given to help develop a sustainable fishery-monitoring scheme.  In the same year, Tusk also supported Durrell's efforts to protect endangered lemur species in the Manombo lowland rainforest.
For 2011 and 2012 Tusk increased its level of funding to assist the Durrell team in their project to delimitate and reinforce Lake Alaotra as a protected area. 
In 2014 Tusk granted Durrell funds to help support locals, through community based conservation and partcipatory ecological monitoring approaches, to be prepared for the management of new protected areas, including areas such as Lake Alaotra, Nosivolo River, and Menabe dry forest.
In 2015, Tusk has mantained the level of funding to enable Durrell to enhance the engagement of local communities in the management of four new protected areas in Madagascar. These most recent funds will support 96 local monitors in Alaotra, 96 in Menabe, 105 in Nosivolo, and 12 in Ambondrobe in their work to mitigate illegal activities in the strict conservation areas and no fishing zones.

Notes from the field
Durrell has used the community based conservation approach since around 1996 which coincided with the promulgation of the government law that allow local people to manage a piece of forest or wetland. Community based conservation projects involve frequent open village meetings to discuss not only wildlife conservation and illegal activities, but also support to education, public health and social cohesion.
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