June 2013

Conservation benefit: Protection for 20 years of 4,448 acres of threatened southwestern dry spiny forest

Community benefit: Construction of an ecotourist welcome center, restrooms, guardian hut, cooking hut, and signage

Madagascar, the fourth largest island in the world, is one of the world’s top five biodiversity hotspots. Eighty percent of Madagascar’s plants and animals are endemic–that is, they occur nowhere else in the world. Unfortunately, more than 90 percent of Madagascar’s original forest cover has been lost since humans arrived, only 2,300 years ago.

The south of Madagascar is one of the poorest regions. Droughts, wildfires, and locust invasions frequently lead to malnutrition and hunger. The dry deciduous forest there is the easiest to clear and suffers the highest deforestation rate of any forest type. Charcoal production is infamously intense in the south as well, and is a major driver of deforestation, in addition to slash-and-burn maize cultivation.

PK32-Ranobe is a new protected area that has long been recognized as a conservation priority. It is located in southwestern Madagascar, approximately 25 miles north of the coastal city of Tulear. The reserve contains eight lemur species, four of which are vulnerable and threatened by hunting, and numerous other endemic, threatened or endangered plants and animals. Ho Avy (“future” in Malagasy) is an official Malagasy Association established in 2007 and is one of the few grassroots projects engaged in community conservation and sustainable development in southwest Madagascar.

The people of Ranobe have expressed interest in a visitors center for many years, as their village is the gateway to this protected area. Seacology is funding construction of an ecotourism center. In return, the community will cease all habitat disturbance within a 1,800-hectare (4,448-acre) area of PK32-Ranobe near their village for 20 years. The community will also participate in all environmental protection activities that Ho Avy initiates.

Project Updates
May 2016
The ecotourism center at Ankilibe, in southern Madagascar, is now complete and ready to welcome visitors. It includes a small tree nursery, which will aid in replanting a nearby acre of forest,...
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January 2016
The building at Ankilibe is almost complete; doors and windows were recently installed.
May 2015
Considerable progress is being made at both sites, after an issue with the building contractor was resolved. The final installment of Seacology funds was recently sent. Construction is...
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January 2015
Two welcome and ecotourism centers (at the northern Ambalaboy site and southern Ankilibe site) are being built, and tremendous and rapid progress has been made over the last four months....
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February 2014
Construction is underway; stone columns have been constructed for the raised floor, solar equipment has been procured, and wood and doors are currently being milled and will be delivered by the...
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