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Andranohobaka Village


Conservation benefit: Protection of 2,686 acres of forest and 5.6-mile firebreak for 20 years

Community benefit: New primary school building and furnishings

Date Approved: 09.2021


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

This community is protecting thousands of acres of threatened forest and maintaining firebreaks, helping to conserve Madagascar’s unique biodiversity.

Most of Madagascar’s plants and animal species exist nowhere else on earth, and many of them are in danger of extinction. Lemurs—primates unique to the island—are the world’s most endangered animal group. An alarming 98 percent of lemur species and subspecies are threatened. Extinction threatens more than half of Madagascar’s endemic tree species.

Madagascar is also one of the poorest countries in the world. Millions of people struggle to feed their families, putting intense pressure on scant natural resources.

Andranohobaka Village is in Ankarafantsika National Park, which contains one of the country’s five largest remaining fragments of dry deciduous primary forest. There are eight species of lemurs, 850 plant species, including the iconic baobab tree, and more than 140 bird species. The park is the only protected area where critically endangered mongoose lemurs are found. It is home to other endangered animals as well, including the Madagascar fish eagle, one of the rarest raptors in the world, and the fossa, Madagascar’s largest native carnivore.

People cut trees in the park to make charcoal or to clear land for slash-and-burn agriculture, and graze livestock there. But the greatest damage comes from uncontrolled wildfires. In just two months in 2019, 3,200 acres of forest inside the park burned.

Village residents are protecting a large area of the forest, close to the village, with weekly patrols. They also maintain miles of firebreaks each year, which keeps fires in savannah areas from spreading into the forest. Our project partner, Planet Madagascar, has worked with the community for several years on fire prevention and monitoring, reforestation, and conservation education.

Most community members are small-scale farmers who cannot read or write. They are using a Seacology grant to build a new primary school, replacing the village’s crowded, flimsy one-room school building. Only one out of three children in Madagascar finishes primary school; these parents, like families everywhere, want a better future for their children.

Project Updates

February 2023

Community members have planted 15,000 seedlings to prevent and reduce the impact of erosion. They have also cleared two kilometers of firebreak, and they conduct two patrols of the forest every month.

The construction part of this project was completed after a delay that is not atypical in Madagascar: Cyclones brought heavy rains that made the road to the village impassible for months. They finished building the new school and restroom block and inaugurated them last December.

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June 2022

Our project partners have started building the restroom block and school, but the contractor had to stop work in February because the rainy season and damage from cyclones (plural) made the roads impassable. In April, the community and team members from our partner Planet Madagascar repaired the road. As the wet season ends, they will be able to move materials from the main road into the village and finish the construction.

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February 2022

Our project partners ran up against the problems that are plaguing building projects all over the world: higher costs and slower deliveries. But by the end of November, they had some materials at the site. They have now built some of the restroom block and school.

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