The Madagascar Biodiversity Partnership seeks to utilize conservation research, community-based conservation, education & outreach in order to: Partner with the local community in preserving and sustainably developing the environment. Serve as a catalyst in promoting local understanding of conservation needs while improving the standard of education. To create empowerment opportunities for the local community around Kianjavato in southeast Madagascar.
Dr. Edward Louis Jr., Director of the Conservation Genetics Department at Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium (OHDZA), has been working in Madagascar since 1998. The country is home to unique biodiversity found nowhere else on earth, yet logging, mining, and slash-and-burn agriculture have destroyed over 90% of Madagascar's original forests. This deforestation has severely limited the habitat for many rare animals, especially lemurs. The focus of Dr. Louis’ research program has been to develop baseline molecular genetics and distribution data on Malagasy flora and fauna with an emphasis on lemur species. Since the onset of OHDZA’s involvement in Madagascar, this conservation research effort has produced over 100 scientific publications including manuscripts describing more than 20 new species of lemur and elevating many others to species level.
In 2010, Dr. Louis established the Madagascar Biodiversity Partnership (MBP), a Malagasy non-governmental organization, as an extension of the innovative conservation projects throughout the country. Together, OHDZA and MBP strive to protect local forests for the lemurs while sustainably raising the standard of living for thousands of people who are equally reliant upon the natural resources. Believing that everything is connected, or "Mampifandray ny tontolo", this award-winning program incorporates research, education and community involvement to achieve sustainability.
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