Centre ValBio has a longstanding tradition of partnering with and empowering the communities that surround Ranomafana National Park. CVB’s outreach programs are broken into three groups.
Two of the outreach groups (Conservation and Reforestation) focus on the direct relationship between the people and the rainforest, while the third group (Health and Hygiene) focuses on their health and living conditions. Despite a close proximity to the rainforest, most Malagasy know little about the ecological wonder at their back door. The Conservation Education group leads outreach and public awareness programs that highlight the unique biodiversity of Madagascar. The Reforestation program teaches about the value of trees, not just for the animals, but for clean water and erosion control as well.
Finally, the Health and Hygiene group works to improve the local communities’ nutritional conditions through education, implementation of infrastructure, and follow-up on improved sanitary practices.
In addition to community outreach, CVB is strengthening the community by providing a variety of income opportunities for the local villagers. At this time CVB employs full-time more than 70 Malagasy citizens, ranging from community outreach coordinators and field guides to kitchen and maintenance staff. In addition, CVB has supported the creation of a women’s weavers group, which markets handmade silk scarves, as well as a men’s medicinal plants group that markets local medicinal plants and partners with the Brode Institute to look for applications of the plants to Western medicine. Learn more »