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Madagascar

Antanandava Village

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Conservation benefit: Propagation and planting of 5,000 trees in the community’s 988-acre protected area

Community benefit: Library for Seacology-funded primary school

Date Approved: 09.2012

Forest

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

In 2010, Seacology signed an agreement with the people of Antanandava, adjacent to the Makirovana-Tsihomanaomby Forest in northeast Madagascar. Seacology funded construction of two classrooms for the local primary school, and in return the residents of Antanandava agreed not to clear the forest for crops during the next 15 years.

The new classroom block was completed and furnished in 2011, and since then has served about 330 students daily. The demand is so great that students attend the school in two sittings, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. The Missouri Botanical Garden (MBG), which promotes the community-based conservation of Makirovana-Tsihomanaomby Forest, facilitated this agreement. MBG personnel still monitor the forest to make sure that the agreement is respected. MBG also worked with a local US Peace Corps volunteer to construct a well in the schoolyard.

Now, Seacology will provide funding to add a small library–painted with bright designs that promote enjoying books–to the school. (MBG will look to other funders for grants to buy books.) In return, the people of Antanandava proposed propagating 5,000 native tree seedlings and planting them on abandoned cropland in the protected area. MBG will ensure that the library is built and used, and that the community honors its conservation commitment.

Project Updates

March 2015

This building, next door to the Seacology-funded school, has been completed and is being used by village children. During the rainy season, at least, it will serve as a classroom for the increasing number of students attending school. The nursery for tree seedlings suffered a setback when insects infested it; production of the seedlings was moved to nearby nurseries run by our project partner, the Missouri Botanical Garden. A thousand tree seedlings have already been planted, and another 6,000 are ready and should be planted in April 2015. Since the community agreement was signed in 2012, none of the protected forest has been cleared or burned.

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January 2015

This building has been recently completed and furnished. The project was delayed partly as a result of logistical difficulties—for example, getting materials to the site was difficult because it is a several hour walk from the road, a long way to carry many heavy materials like sacks of concrete. MBG reports that the tree nursery (pépinière) was done well. Field Representative Erik Patel sent team members to the site in January; they report that the pépinière is going well but that the seedlings are still too small to plant this season.

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June 2014

Construction will be completed by the end of June 2014. Approximately 800 of the 6,000 trees in the nursery have been planted.

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February 2014

The implementation of the project has had various difficulties, including the fact that transportation of materials was delayed due to coinciding with a period of field work (maintenance and pollination of vanilla). Construction is now moving forward, and the tree nursery now has over 6,000 seedlings ready for replanting.

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