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We have one clear conservation goal: to ensure the protection of this last piece of coastal forest including our lemurs and all of our wildlife. We also have one clear method: to engage with local people, stakeholders and volunteers in sustainable economic activities to fund the research, management and local engagement necessary to ensure protection.
We a small group working in Madagascar that is made up of local conservation and development specialists and local community representatives. We are called Association FILANA. Filana, in the Malagasy language, means "need". We are a registered non-profit association and our organization is interested equally in the conservation and protection of biodiversity and the development and well-being of local people. In fact, we believe the two are connected and both must be addressed for either to be sustainable. We manage a protected forest in a beautiful and unique part of this unique country, the south east corner, at Sainte Luce. Sainte Luce was the site of the first ever French colony in Madagascar which lasted from 1642 to 1644. It is a seaside village perched right on the edge of the Indian Ocean, where local people make a living from fishing and (in the past) from forest resources. The Sainte Luce Reserve is a part of a much larger beachfront forest, in fact it is the last forest that meets the sea in the whole south east of Madagascar, and because the forests of Madagascar are so high in local endemics (species only found locally, sometimes only found in one small forest fragment) our reserve is unique on earth.
It is our vision to develop conservation as an economic motor to help local communities, to engage with local people, and to illustrate that conservation is a force for good and a force for community development.
To achieve our goals, we have developed a series of small projects that eventually we hope will fit together as a larger community conservation and development project, however, we are starting small and all of our projects have been designed to stand alone and work even if no other part of the plan is funded. Our main needs now are to properly guard the reserve, improve our research camp so it is useful to researchers from all over the world, promote sustainable tourism to the reserve to create employment for local villagers, and develop project ideas with the local village.
If you are interested in knowing more about our projects and the work that we hope to achieve in our corner of Madagascar, please read more of our site and contact us.
- Brett Massoud
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