Madagascar Conservation Programme : Lemurs, Biodiversity and Community
Join Azafady, a conservation and development charity and Malagasy NGO to work in the coastal region of Sainte Luce in southeast Madagascar. Integrating conservation research on critically endangered flora and fauna with community initiatives, volunteers can get involved in various aspects of on-going conservation work.
Saint Luce is surrounded by extremely rare fragments of littoral (coastal) rainforest, which represent only 10% of the original littoral forest cover, as a result of deforestation. The fragments are home to multiple endangered and endemic species of flora and fauna; a staggering 96% of all tree species here are endemic. As such, the fragments are one of Madagascar’s most threatened habitats and a huge global conservation priority. The project seeks to alleviate the problem of deforestation, and aims to protect these fragile forest fragments in a sustainable manner. It combines practical, hands-on conservation research on endangered flora and fauna – in particular lemurs, reptiles and amphibians – with community initiatives and environmental education, building the community’s understanding of the complex habitats of which they are the stewards. Working alongside International and Malagasy specialists as well as the local community, successful applicants will gain field skills and experience in conservation projects on-the-ground in a developing country.
The volunteer scheme is designed as a 10-week programme starting at the beginning of January, April, July and October each year, but is split into two-week modules; allowing those of you with time constraints still to visit Madagascar and make a valuable contribution to our long-term conservation work. Volunteers can join the programme for 2, 4, 6, 8 or 10 weeks. However, the work in each two-week block is varied and the programme is designed to combine modules allowing individuals to gain a more in-depth understanding of our integrated approach to conservation. Consequently, volunteers usually stay for longer periods of time ranging from one month to the full ten weeks.
Volunteers will gain practical skills and vocational experience which are invaluable for anyone studying biology or conservation or looking to pursue a career in these areas, or anyone looking for a change of pace as part of a sabbatical, career break, or gap year.
1. Lemur & Biodiversity Research
This module investigates the impact of forest fragmentation on lemur, reptile and amphibian populations by collecting data in the littoral forests in Sainte Luce. Research has shown that many of the large animal species of the littoral forests have been lost and those remaining may not be able to maintain viable populations beyond 2020-2040. Volunteers will be part of a long-term project to provide not only an individual account of species and forest vulnerability but also an overall perspective of issues facing biodiversity across the region. The data collected is hugely important and used nationally and internationally to highlight the plight of the fauna and flora in Sainte Luce.
2. Community Conservation
This module encompasses the human dimension of conservation in the Sainte Luce region. For conservation of natural resources to be sustainable, it is important to take into consideration the human dimension, in particular the relationship between local livelihoods and the littoral forests. People living in Sainte Luce are highly dependent on the environment, from biotic factors (flora and fauna) to abiotic factors (for example, rainfall and soil conditions required for growing crops). Tasks involve environmental education of children in local villages, building fuel-efficient stoves and planting and monitoring the critically endangered palm, Dypsis saintelucei.
Volunteers camp for the duration of the scheme in some of the most beautiful campsites in the world. Food is simple but tasty and nutritionally balanced. Whilst working in the more remote villages, expect 'long drop' toilets and bucket showers, while at the Azafady campsite in Fort Dauphin conditions are less basic and electricity is available. Volunteers should be prepared for physical work, adventurous road journeys, and sometimes long walks to reach remote project sites. The work and lifestyle is challenging but incomparably rewarding. You will be both part of a team and fully engaged with the local community, and its fascinating culture and customs.
The Madagascar Conservation Programme offers a fantastic opportunity to help conserve Madagascar’s unique and endangered environment. The sites selected for the Conservation Program will give you a real insight into the amazing diversity of Malagasy landscape, from the dry spiny desert in the south, to the wet coastal forests of the littoral forest zone.
For further details please visit this link: http://www.azafady.org/get-involved/conservation-programme.htm
No special skills are required, however, practical and research experience is always welcomed.
Students from related courses may, through arrangement with their academic institutions, be able to gain academic credits through partaking in this program.
Each applicant must generate a donation to be given to Azafady UK (registered charity number 1079121). This is done with close support and resources from the London office. The donations are as follows: £600 for one two-week module, £550 for the second two-week module and £500 for all subsequent modules.
Please Note: Applicants from outside the UK must raise a donation equivalent to the UK Sterling amount based on current exchange rates.
Don't let this required donation put you off! Azafady UK is there to support volunteers in raising this donation, with a wealth of fundraising experience and resources available to volunteers.
provided for internship/volunteer positions (travel, meals, lodging):
The donation covers volunteers for all in-country travel costs (excluding flights), project costs, training, meals and plenty of safe water, use of campsite facilities, orientation and language classes upon arrival. A dedicated team is there to guide you in Madagascar as well as a full-time London-based staff member to answer all your pre-project questions and help with fundraising.
Not included: Flights, medical and travel insurance, personal kit, spending money (for personal purchases and post expedition travel).
Term of Appointment:
2013: July – September. 5 July - 18 July 19 July - 1 August 2 August - 15 August 16 August - 29 August 30 August - 12 September April - June October - December 5 April - 18 April 19 April - 2 May 3 May - 16 May 17 May - 30 May 31 May - 13 June 4 October - 17 October 18 October - 31 October 1 November - 14 November 15 November - 28 November 29 November - 12 December
Interested candidates should apply using the online form found on our website: http://www.madagascar.co.uk/getinvolved/conservation.htm
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