A Future for Lemurs: A Contribution for the Construction of the New Research Center

Project location: Madagascar, Valbio
Project start date: February 2001 - Project end date: This project covers various years
Project number: 2000-01
Beneficiary: Institute for the Conservation of Tropical Environments


A Future for Lemurs (II)

Project Timeline: from February 2003 to February 2004


In the second year of this project, ICTE (a university-based institute dedicated to research, training and conservation in tropical areas, with a special focus in Madagascar) will continue following the multidisciplinary approach of the first phase, in order to "ensure a future for lemurs and children" of Madagascar.
Environmental education program for school children will continue, to increase the dissemination on the ongoing conservation work, to raise the environmental awareness in the country, to continue research on populations of lemurs and to continue planting and further develop the ValBio Centre.
During the first year (2001) a team of local members was created, who directed and carried out activities and developed a partnership with a U.S. NGO specialized in the field of environmental education in Madagascar named Aiza Biby, which develops reforestation programs. Also in the first year ICTE worked with the staff of MICET with good results.
During the second year of project, the main activities will be:

1. Construction Works of the new ValBio Centre
It  the bridge between the center and the opposite bank of the River Namorona will be built. The building dedicated to classrooms and administration will be completed and a new laboratory will be built. The projects for the future foresee also the construction of a dormitory space for long term students and researchers.
Following the inauguration of the Centre in September / October 2002, the NPF donation will be mainly used for activities in the Centre. A computer and a software necessary for the research work will be purchased.

2. Environmental education
The work of environmental education in schools of the Fiarantsoa region will continue, around Rafanomana National Park, especially in rural areas, very poor, which receive little money from the government. Environmental education programs will be held, administered by the Museum of Rafanomana, about the history of the park, the study of lemurs and birds, medicinal plants, tourism in the park as a source of livelihood, the importance of research and monitoring of animal species and plant. Reforestation activities will also be undertaken in collaboration with schools in the village.
The Christmas event will be repeated as last year, with a competition on environment and distribution of educational materials.

3. Public awareness on the environment
It is planned to keep on disseminating information about the value of rainforest and lemurs through the major national media, trying to raise awareness about the importance of their protection.

4. Preservation of lemurs
Research for the long-term conservation of Bamboo Lemurs and of Milne Edwards Sifaka will continue. A census of the unexplored part of the forest in the south of the park will be made, to estimate the total population of lemurs and locate all populations at risk of extinction. The resulting data will give information about the "genetic health" of populations. Through innovative non-invasive methods, it will be collected the DNA of the specimens without capturing them.

5. Reforestation
ICTE will fund the reforestation team that will include school children and adults from local villages, which will be employed to control the monthly growth of trees born from the seeds collected and planted during the previous year. The Malagasy staff that will carry on these activities will be funded by NPF, whereas materials will be purchased with Aiza Biby's funds.

Institute for the Conservation of Tropical Environments (ICTE)
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