The island has already lost 90% of its forest cover, with 75% its 20 million inhabitants still living in rural areas and 70% surviving on less than one dollar a day. IMPACT’s approach combines ecological research, community development and environmental education to address the key drivers of biodiversity loss.
Research focuses on several species of lemur, in particular their use of fragmented forest areas, and is combined with community engagement around the study sites. Development initiatives include training on improved farming methods, to reduce the pressure of agricultural expansion, and promotion of alternative income sources. Tree-planting projects include both native species for forest restoration and fast-growing non-invasive species for local people to use as fuel. There is also a recycling initiative and an ‘Ecobrick’ project using waste plastic as a construction material.
Josia Razafindramanana, was a finalist for the Tusk Conservation Awards in 2013, receiving a donation that enabled them to continue work with communities across Madagascar. The funding helped with operational costs such as equipment, fuel and employment.
The conservation of Madagascar’s unique natural heritage is an urgent and complex challenge. Continuing IMPACT’s innovative and multi-faceted work is a vital component in meeting it.