Madagascar Biodiversity Partnership
Madagascar Biodiversity Partnership is a Malagasy NGO founded in 2010 that is working alongside local
communities to help restore and protect Madagascar’s forests and diverse wildlife.
The Madagascar Biodiversity Partnership team includes more than 170 people, most hired from villages around its four field stations. Each field station is established in a different habitat from moist evergreen forest to dry spiny thicket. Lemur and tortoise monitoring programs are implemented along with reforestation initiatives, which are tailored to the local climate, that expand wildlife habitat and provide resources to local people. As a testament to protecting biodiversity, more than 4,500 volunteers from villages around the field stations have worked with Madagascar Biodiversity Partnership to plant 4 million trees and counting.
For more than a decade, Madagascar Biodiversity Partnership has focused on building relationships with local leaders and community members. Together, they created an expansive reforestation network with 23 nurseries and are working on linking forests to recreate lemur migration corridors. Additionally, through community engagement, the reforestation project provides an economic stimulus through the incorporation of valuable tree crops and reduces pressure on remaining forests by providing fuelwood.
More than 20 women’s associations are active collaborators in this project. To ensure that reforestation efforts are suitable for wildlife, seeds of more than 100 native tree species are collected from lemur feces and used to generate seedlings that are planted during village-wide events. More than 90,000 trees can be planted in a month!
Dr. Edward (Ed) E. Louis Jr. is the founder and director of the Madagascar Biodiversity Partnership and has been working in Madagascar since 1998. Over the years, his program vastly expanded from expeditions and genetics research to working with communities to establish four field stations where teams dedicate their efforts to conservation, reforestation, and community development. In addition to more than 170 full-time staff, the Madagascar Biodiversity Partnership works with regional authorities, five VOIs (community-based organizations that manage local resources), more than 200 women’s association members, and village elders.