January 2012

Conservation benefit: Support of a 4,819-acre rainforest reserve for 30 years

Community benefit: Construction of a footbridge and primary school classrooms

Madagascar is one of the world’s top five biodiversity hotspots, but it faces the ongoing loss of forest habitats. In the northeast, illegal logging of rosewood and ebony trees has hit Marojejy National Park and Masoala National Park especially hard. These two UNESCO World Heritage Sites are categorized as “in danger.”

Marojejy National Park has over 550 square kilometers of mountainous primary rainforest. It is home to 11 species of lemurs, including the critically endangered silky sifaka. Fewer than 2,000 silky sifaka lemurs remain in the wild; none has ever survived in captivity. Most of the remaining animals live in Marojejy. One of the largest concentrations of silky sifakas lives near the northwestern boundary of the reserve, near the remote rural community of Antsahaberaoka. Because this village is pressed against the national park boundary, community members struggle to find land to farm. Sometimes, they grow crops inside the reserve.

The people of Antsahaberaoka report that poor schools are their biggest problem. Their primary school is a deteriorating, parasite-ridden small bamboo and wood building. They also need a footbridge, because during the rainy season, many children (and adults) are unable to cross a large river to get to the school. Seacology is providing funding for a new school, restroom block, and 40-meter footbridge. In exchange, the community, working with the Lemur Conservation Foundation, has agreed to stop all habitat disturbance for 30 years in 4,819 acres (1950 hectares) of Marojejy National Park next to the village.

Full or partial funding for this project provided by
Project Updates
December 2017
Our partners report that the new, reinforced bridge has been completed. Children on the other side of the river again have access to the village's school. Read More
November 2017
The bridge repairs are going well and should be finished within the next month.
August 2017
Seacology has made a grant to the Antsahaberaoka community, so they can replace the footbridge destroyed by cyclone Enawo a few months ago.
June 2017
Intense tropical cyclone Enawo hit Madagascar in March of 2017, causing widespread damage and killing almost 100 people. One unfortunate consequence of the storm was the destruction of the...
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July 2015
Our Madagascar field representative, Erik Patel, reports good news: The government has permanently stationed two salaried teachers at the village school. Like many very rural communities,...
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June 2014
This project is now complete. Some repairs to the bridge were made in December 2013. The classrooms and footbridge remain well-utilized, and the conservation area is being respected.
February 2014
Madagascar Field Representative Erik Patel submitted this update in November 2013: “I am very pleased to report that the school is finished, and not only that the painting is done, the toilets...
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June 2013
According to Field Representative Erik Patel, “The Antsahaberaoka school will be finished soon. Completion of the Seacology funded foot-bridge (with guard rails) has speeded up the work there...
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