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Madagascar

Sainte Luce

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Conservation benefit: Protection of 1,730 acres of forest

Community benefit: Construction of four forest stations

Date Approved: 07.2004

Forest

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

The Manafiafy Forest, in Southeast Madagascar’s Sainte Luce area, is one of the last remaining stands of littoral forest in the country. It is home to critically endangered palms, birds, and the rare collared brown lemur. Villagers in the Sainte Luce area asked Azafady, an organization based in the U.K., to help transfer control of the 1,730-acre forest to them. The community wants to ban all commercial exploitation in the forest.

Some members of the community patrol the area and act as guides. But because they do not have a base from which to coordinate their activities, they must  spend up to six hours a day getting to and from the forest. Seacology is working with Azafady (now called SEED Madagascar) to build four forest stations in the protected area.

Project Updates

July 2005

Azafady, the local NGO running the program, reports that all four forest stations have been constructed and are being used by volunteers and staff to camp and work to collect native plant seeds, propagate trees and maintain the tree nurseries. This project has resulted in the first legal permits to collect seeds from the critically endangered palm, Dypsis saintelucei, which have only 70 adult individuals remaining in existence. 2,884 seedlings of this species are currently growing in the nurseries, and Azafady is carefully monitoring current proposals from a large mining project in the area before determining where to plant the seedlings. Azafady intends to continue the seed propagation portion of the project for several more years and will plant seedlings in the best areas possible for long-term reforestation.

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January 2005

Materials for the stations have been delivered to the four sites. The construction of the first station was scheduled to be completed by mid-December 2004. The remaining three stations are scheduled to be completed by April 2005. Meanwhile, activities related to the native plant nurseries have commenced and many collected seeds have already been planted.

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