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Madagascar

Mangoro Region

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Conservation benefit: Protection of ten Madagascar flying fox roosts totaling 321 acres

Community benefit: Repair to primary schools and municipal offices

Date Approved: 07.2005

Forest

This project protects forest, preventing the release of greenhouse gases and reducing erosion that damages coastal and ocean ecosystems.

Madagascar’s fruit bats, commonly known as flying foxes, are important pollinators. But because of hunting for bushmeat, uncontrolled fires, and logging, many of their roosts of have disappeared. In Madagascar’s Mangoro Region, a close network of 12 small forest fragments holds up to 4,000 of these bats. Seven nearby communities are working with local organizations Arongam-panihy – Culture, Communication and Environment, and Lamin’asa Fiarovana Ramanavy sy Fanigy to implement a dina, or social contract, to protect the roosts.

In exchange for this agreement, Seacology agreed to provide funding for badly needed repairs to each of the seven community municipal offices and 20 primary schools near the roosts. Later, the number of schools was reduced to 11 to better provide for the schools with the most need.

Project Updates

January 2009

Repairs to all eleven schools were completed, and the project was finalized in August 2008.

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October 2007

Eight schools are nearing completion and two more are scheduled to be completed by the end of November. An education component of the project involving a school flying fox conservation art competition is scheduled to begin in early 2008, with a winning piece being presented by members of the Seacology 2008 expedition.

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June 2007

As of March 2007, six schools have been completed and the remaining five schools are under construction.

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January 2007

Eleven schools were selected instead of 20 to better serve those schools most in need. Construction began in August 2006. In November, a dedication ceremony was held for the completed Antanambony and Sakalava schools. Six other schools are in the process of being repaired. Three schools are behind schedule due to land use disputes and preparation of materials, but are expected to begin construction in early 2007.

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June 2006

The coordinating NGOs, ACCE and CISCO, have identified the schools most in need and have submitted budgets for repairs, and construction will commence in mid-2006.

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January 2006

Through a series of local meetings with the representatives of seven communities and local governments, the dinas (social contracts) to protect the bats and forests have been developed, discussed and signed. The documents have been endorsed by local legal authories and field trips are being made to the communities to announce the new dinas. After meeting with CISCO (the local education authority), it has been decided to reduce the total number of schools to support in accordance with local priorities. Each community is required, by Malagasy tradition, to also contribute resources (e.g. people or bricks) to the project, and CISCO has pledged sacks of cement. The coordinating NGOs ACCE and CISCO are currently identifying schools most in need and preparing budgets for repairs, with construction to take place in early 2006.

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