Report on the activities that AEECL and its partners have undertaken during the fourth quarter of this year, from October to December 2012.
An AEECL representative reports on a 5-day mission accompanying a team of seven people including two police officers and and government representatives to investigate reports on bushfire and slash-and-burn. Seven men have been taken in for questioning, some of whom have confessed and three more have been summoned to the police station. This has been a real problem over recent years due to the political unrest and our ranger programme has helped highlight the problems and provided information and leads for the investigating team.
Report on the activities that AEECL and its partners have undertaken during the third quarter of this year, from July to September 2012.
Report on the activities that AEECL and its partners have undertaken during the second quarter of this year, from April to June 2012.
Click on the thumbnails to view photos of the Lampogno Festival, a yearly 4-day event in Antsohihy, the capital of the Sofia region in north-west Madagascar. The festival attracts thousands of visitors of all ages, who are there to enjoy cultural shows, games; food stalls and bars; live concerts; and of course our stand for public awareness raising on the importance of nature conservation.
The festival starts with a 'carnival', a procession of over 30 regional associations. After the opening ceremony, the music starts and the party begins! Malagasy like festivals like Lampogno, and they stir the dust until 5 am.
Like last year, AEECL shared a stand with other organisations working in nature conservation: the regional environment and forestry ministry; Madagascar National Parks; Durrell Wildlife Conservation Fund; The Peregrine Fund; Asity Madagascar. The AEECL-trained tour guides (Sofia Guides Touristiques) volunteered to give explanations to the public. AEECL exhibited pictures of various themes: the severe consequences of slash-and-burn and the importance to save the remaining forests; life at the AEECL research station at the Ankarafa Forest: and plenty of pictures of the Critically Endangered blue-eyed black lemur (Akomba mangamaso in Malagasy). Of course we inform the public about the many AEECL projects in the Sahamalaza peninsula, where our core activities take place.
Besides that, we held on-stage presentations and we showed a film on the dangers of the slash-and-burn practice. A highlight for the children is a quiz called 'radio crochet', where every right answer on questions about the environment is rewarded with a gift.
The whole team of the stand 'Madagascar Ile Verte' thoroughly enjoyed the festival, as we are all very dedicated to awareness raising and the festival provides a great ambiance. Tired as we were after 4 long days, we are already looking forward to next years' episode!
Jolijn Geels AEECL Ecotourism Consultant
Report on the activities that AEECL and its partners have undertaken during the first quarter of this year, from January to March 2012.
AEECL and MNP organised a three day training session in Antisohihy to strengthen the capacity of the rangers (known as PLC, Park Local Community from now on) and to standardise the data collection. At the end of the training, AEECL distributed some pocket identification guides for both diurnal and nocturnal lemurs. The PLCs will also have identity badges. The PLCs are operational and monitor the forest.
Click here [PDF 0.5MB] for Tanteley's preliminary report estimating the density of Lepilemur mittermeieri in the Ampasindava region (in French) and click here [PDF 30KB] for the financial breakdown of the studies.
The research camp in Ankarafa is modest. When there are a large number of researchers and also during the rainy season, it becomes difficult to work there. Therefore, six tent shelters are being built to enable us to have researchers present and to make their stay better. The rooves of these tent shelters will be made with corrugated iron (so they last longer) and the floors will be made of branches of raffia locally called "ketikety". Ten corrugated iron rooves and 25 "ketikety" have now been gathered. We are still looking for some woods for pillars.
To improve the results of forest restoration, two students from the Ecole Supérieure Scientifique Agronomique (ESSA - Agricultural University) (forestry department) received funding from AEECL to carry out research on the forest restoration. We (AEECL) have developed a simple collaboration with the department. One of the students is about to finish writing up his dissertation and the AEECL representative, who is required to work closely with the student for the dissertation, is invited to be part of the examiner committee.
Almost every year fires occur in and around the forest of Ankarafa and often this causes substantial damage to vital habitat for the lemurs. The establishment and maintenance of a fire break is one of the methods AEECL uses to stop and control these fires. With its partners (MNP - Madagascar National Parks, CSC and the villagers) the AEECL carries out a fire break session in the Ankarafa forest. It is a large job and requires everyone to pull together to make a difference. Please click here for the full report from this year's efforts.