Centre ValBio is the backbone and driving force behind a 26-year-long conservation project of nearly unparalleled importance in tropical rainforest ecosystems.
The unique relationship of conservation to cutting-edge research and community outreach make it a model for integrated research in remote settings.
Inaugurated in July of 2012, NamanaBe Hall (which translates to Friendship Hall) significantly transforms both research and outreach capabilities of Centre ValBio.
The new 15,000-square-foot building sits just a few feet away from the boundary of Ranomafana National Park.
With an environmentally friendly design including a green roof, solar panels, and local materials such as bricks and granite, the new building reflects Centre ValBio’s mission to promote world-class research while respecting the rainforest in which it is located. Built along a hillside, the five-story building is accessed by a bridge from the main CVB entrance.
The entrance floor contains a computer lab as well as a large conference room and veranda to be used for lectures, symposia, and education/ outreach programs.
Two floors of bedrooms will accommodate long-term stays for 52 researchers. The entire ground floor of NamanaBe Hall is devoted to research, with 3 modern laboratories including the only bio-safety level 2 lab outside of the capital city.
There is little precedent anywhere in the world for research facilities this sophisticated in such a remote, scientifically rich location.
The addition of NamanaBe Hall transforms CVB's capabilities on every front on which it operates.
- New labs equipped with fume hoods, deep freezers (-80C and -25C), spectrophotometer, microscopes, will expand biodiversity research
- The new bio-safety level 2 lab enables infectious disease research
- A molecular biology lab facilitates research at a new level
- Micro CTscanner provides new dimensions to morphology
- High-speed internet connection will enable real-time information transfer between scientists on site and the rest of the world
- Increased meeting and classroom space will allow CVB to expand education initiatives including the US Embassy Artists & the Environment program and national and international conservation workshops
- NamanaBe Hall will facilitate on-site health and hygiene education programs as well as host visiting medical professionals
- The facilities at CVB will be used as a hub for nation-wide youth education programs such as UNICEF's Connecting Classrooms