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L’Homme et l’Environnement | On the field
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On the field

Man and the Environment has created several protected areas that used to be unprotected despite their exceptional abundance of endemic species.


The NGO took a particular approach by targeting local populations and basic needs in order to involve them in long-term programs.
Several projects are transferred to local actors. This shows more than ever the importance of the biodiversity/economic/empowerment approach by Man and the Environment.


Vohimana is a unique forest, which could have disappeared if 15 years ago Man and the Environment had not intervened to protect this fabulous heritage.


Area size : 2082 hectares
Natural forest : 750 hectares
Reforested area : 391 hectares


The experimental protected area of Vohimana is home for 13 species of lemurs, including indri and syfaka. It is also the site with the most endemic frogs, counting more than 70 species, and more than 160 medicinal plants


In 2001, the scientist Denis Vallon forecasted than regarding the situation, the forest would disappear 2 years later because of slash-and-burn agriculture, the only local resource.


15 years later, analysis on national forest zones show that, thanks to the actions led by Man and the Environment, the forest was better protected than some natural parks.


There are still many challenges left to do to fill local development differences, but many local associations (ecotourism, essential oils production, nurseries, handcraft, health) tend to take the lead to make permanent the conservation engagements they now feel compatible with their development.


Social groups involved
Management comity of vohimana
Fivoarana (Education)
Vohimana Salama (practitioners)
Manarapenitra (Essential Oils)
Kanto (Handcraft)
MERCIE Vohimana (Tourism)


Behind the littoral forest of east Madagascar with its unique species, the Vohibola forest could be durably protected, whereas it used to be on the edge of disappearing.


Site size : 2344 hectares
Natural forest : 800 hectares
Reforested zone : 70 hectares


Vohibola shelters a tree species that has probably only 30 specimens left in the world (Humbertiodendron saboureaui). In 2009, a new species of chameleon was found. Scientists named it after the forest name: Calumma vohibola.


Man and the Environment wanted to prove that by adopting holistic approaches including human development and environment, it is possible to inverse the actual tendencies of destroying the environment.


To bring the idea of protecting the forest, involving villagers was one of the greatest challenges. There is still much to do, but 15 years later, the forest is still here.


Pressures against the forest stay strong, due to the increasing demand for wood by the big city of Tamatave, reachable by boat.


Nevertheless, ecotourism potentials are undeniably stronger, and a local association, Vohibola Zanatany, should resume the forest conservation with the existing initiatives and local associations.


Social groups involved
Management comity of Vohibola
Miaradia (Education)
Vohibola Mandroso (Practitioners)
Vonona (Essential oils)
Miara Mirindra (Handcraft)
Nofiniala (Tourism)


Ambohidravy, a sacred forest for its local populations, under extremely strong exterior pressure, has now a status of conservation.


Zone size : 2292 hectares
Natural forest : 1370 hectares
Reforested forest : 13,8 hectares


The Ambohidravy Forest is a representative forest from the dramatically destroyed North West zone. It still shelters Asteropeia amblyocrapa, the thin-flowers tree under extinction risk and the Madagascar Pygargue, also at risk of extinction.


The original forest of this region survived on the Ambohidravy hill because it was seen as sacred by the populations. Very poor, they lack sustainable ways to protect their traditional rights against foreign forest and plant loggers.


By helping them to formalize a juridical status of conservation for the site, Man and the Environment was able to initiate support for the local population to fight for their traditions and this site.


Nevertheless, exterior damages are still an issue, and conservation stays fragile.


Social groups involved
VOI Antafiambotra
Women Group (Handcraft)


Passot hill and its crater lakes are on the right track to be preserved from a deterioration that would dramatic for animals as well as humans.


Zone size : 1 466 hectares
Natural forest : 68 hectares
Reforested forest : 12hectares


Passot hill, at the top of the Nosy Be island on the north west of Madagascar, is a very special ecosystem with crater lakes so isolated they saw a unique species evolution : the Paretropus kineri. Grey occidental Hapalemurs can also be found on the forests, although the species is endangered.


Deforestation and very erosive cultures on the edge of the lakes dramatically decrease water quality of the lakes. Populations remain very poor and therefore the solution has to be economical.


Man and the Environment helped the local population to get involved in the field of ylang ylang essential oils by helping them to plant productive trees and by improving the health conditions of the area.


Local associations, formalized with the help of the NGO, could now pursue the work, especially now that the regional authorities became aware of the importance of this natural water reservoir for the island, and thus got involved for the zone conservation.


Social groups involved
VOI Avotra Bemapaza
VOI Maromaniry


It was urgent to save the Harlequin frog, extremely appealing for traffickers, whom territory shrank to become the equivalent of a few football stadiums in the whole planet.


Site size : 70 hectares
Natural forest : 0,1 hectares
Reforested zone : 9,6 hectares


Fohisokina shelters on an extremely reduced zone a little frog unique in the world: the Harlequin frog.


In 1988, Olivier Behra, founder of Man and the Environment, warned the Malagasy authorities and the international community to forbid international trade of this beautiful frog, otherwise it would have gone extinct.


But in Madagascar, fires on high lands are recurrent, and we must act to preserve natural habitats. Man and the Environment raised the first funds needed to convince the regional and national authorities, and especially the locals, to define a perimeter of preserved habitat for this unique amphibian.


Due to the severe poverty of the region, even raising awareness among men and women against brush fires is part of the challenge. Basic education and health infrastructures are required.


With the involvement of several organizations and associations, we can only hope for the pursuing of those great actions.


Social groups involved
VOI Fomisame (Fohisokina Miaro ny Sahona Mena – reforesting, fish farming…)