The plantation area

Madagascar is one of the poorest
countries worldwide!

At the same time it is one of the richest parts in this world, because no other country has such a great biodiversity of endemic animals and plants. This unique plant and animal kingdom is threatened by poverty and traditional farming. Owing to the scouting for new agricultural areas, combustible material and the activities of the international timber mafia large areas of rain forests are cut down. Meanwhile 90% of all forest areas have disappeared.

Masoala National Park is located on the Northeast Peninsula of Madagascar.

Masoala means “the eye of the forest”.

This national park protects the largest continuous rain forest on Madagascar. Coastal forests, mangrove swamps and the underwater world are also part of the park. The offshore coral reef in the Indian Ocean is also included.

The rain forest is a home for many animals and plants which are endemic on Madagascar. We also find ten different species of lemurs, among them the very rare aye-aye. Other animal species are 7 species of carnivorous animals, 9 rodent species, 500 insect species, 135 butterfly species, 23 species of fresh water fish, raptorial birds, humpback whales (between July and September), frogs, 60 reptiles and amphibians and 90 birds living on land.

The marine fauna includes 164 different species of corals, 49 shells, 4 species of turtles, 27 sea cucumber, 97 species of coral fish, 2 species of whales, and dugongs. The flora of the park holds approximately 2.400 different species of plants.

On the rim of the national park there is some kind of buffer zone which the local people may use in a sustainable way. Reforestation protects the national park furthermore und offers a bigger living environment to the animals. It also serves as a basis of existence for the local population.

This leads to another problem: ground erosion. Madagascar loses approximately 23 billion tons of rich soil per year. Where there has been rain forest before, only grassland and thorny savannahs are left. The ground-water level has dropped dramatically. The eroded soil is washed into the sea. There the covered corals will soon perish and may no longer be the nursery for new generations of fish.

The desertification of the Madagascan territory is a phenomenon which needs prompt attention to preserve the richness of the soil and the biodiversity of the country. Planting trees is a good option to restore the soil, provide living environment for animals and regular income and food supply for the population.

The village

Ampohibe (Ampojibe) is a village in the north of Madagascar (30 kms south of Antalaha, Sava region). (Geo-data: 15° 2’ 0“ S, 50° 18’ 0“ E). The majority of the population is farmers (99,9%) and the main products are vanilla, coffee and rice.

The reforestation area declared by the community of Ampohibe has a capacity of 10 million trees and is located near the Masaola National Park, which is another advantage – the total natural zone is even larger.

Our Tree nursery

Work at our tree nursery only local people. But the whole village and its population are somehow involved - directly or indirectly. For example the seeds for the seedling are purchased from the local population. By integrating them (plants, nursery, guarding and harvesting) the project has gained a great acceptance. The Collection of the seeds in the woods and the propagation by seed is happening all year round, the planting out is mainly done between March and September.

The Madagascan forest systems have to be preserved and re-established again. But the local population certainly needs combustion material, construction material, forage, medicine and fruit trees to meet their daily and long-term requirements. Therefore we make sure that most of the trees are planted for their current and future needs (agroforestry).

The protection zone helps to curb erosion, improves the micro climate and a shelter for animals and plants can come into existence. With this project village communities will be integrated into a sustainable forestry commitment. The forest work will be monitored by us, but done by the local villagers. We do not use machines for the cultivation. The work is only done by hand. This will protect the soil and provides more work for everyone. This integrative approach has a positive effect on the region and the population.