Why Madagascar and who is the Madagascar Biodiversity Partnership?
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Why Work in Madagascar?
Madagascar is a wondrous, yet impoverished, island nation off the east coast of Africa.
Tremendous species diversity
There are more endemic plants and animals, like lemurs, found in Madagascar than anywhere else in the world!
Less than 10% of original forest cover remains.
Madagascar is on the list of the world's 25 hotspots.
Hotspots are key areas of biodiversity that are under threat.
Why is Madagascar in trouble?Large human population
- The island has a population of more than 20 million people.
- 60% are under the age of 20.
- Nearly 45% of the population is under the age of 14.
- Madagascar is considered one of the poorest countries in the world.
- About 50% of Madagascar’s population is well below the world poverty line.
- 70% are surviving on less than a dollar a day.
- Water problems affect half of the world's humanity.
- 80% of the world's diseases can be linked to unsafe water and lack of sanitation.
- In developing countries 1.1 billion people have inadequate access to water.
- 2.6 billion lack basic sanitation.
- 25% of the human population live without electricity.
Little money available for education
- Only 20% of the national budget goes towards education.
- 95% of this goes towards salaries.
- Basic needs are met by relying on the forests.
- Fuel for cooking and heat.
Madagascar Biodiversity Partnership is a Malagasy non-governmental organization. We started our work in Madagascar back in 1998, when the Conservation Genetics department of Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo began a biodiversity survey, collecting samples and distribution data from the plants & animals of the island. We were interested in looking for differences in distribution in speciation. Our surveys were conducted to identify key habitats with unique species diversity in order to help agencies & organizations to maximize the impact of their conservation efforts. This research is important because we need to know what is there before we can manage and protect species. Our research has led to the discovery of over 20 new lemur species!
BUT science alone cannot be the only component to conservation of the island's biodiversity. So in collaboration with our education partner, Conservation Fusion, a U.S. nonprofit organization, we have expanded our efforts to include community-based conservation, education and outreach.
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