Over 90% of the wildlife found in Madagascar occurs nowhere else yet, only 2% of its original old-growth forest remains intact. The unique species found there are endangered due to overhunting, habitat loss, the illegal pet trade, and overpopulation issues. Sustainability is critical to conservation, and local villages that achieve balance with the resources they use are the key to protecting the biodiversity of Madagascar.
The Indigenous Forest Research Organization for Global Sustainability (i.F.r.o.g.s.) is an international group of scientists and students who work with local communities to protect their forests. Founders Valerie Clark, Ph.D. and Professor Pat Wright have worked for over 10 and 25 years in Madagascar, respectively. Madagascar is Earth’s oldest island and over 90% of its plants and animals are found nowhere else on Earth. To protect its unique biodiversity, Dr. Wright founded partner non-profit NGO ICTE-MICET (Madagascar Institute for the Conservation of Tropical Environments) and has steadily worked within the framework of the local communities, the national government and University systems of Madagascar to protect a 41,600 hectare tract (161 square miles) of rainforest now called Ranomafana National Park. To add to this stronghold of protected biodiversity, Dr. Clark has assembled a team to revisit villages that border Lokobe Reserve in Nosy Be, NW Madagascar, where she has studied biodiversity leading to international press and awareness, and a personal commitment to the local people to return and help them protect their forests.
Dr. Clark’s field team includes contemporary Hery A. Rakotodravony Ph.D., a knowledgeable biologist from and based in Madagascar, as well as volunteers including but not limited to Clayton L. Ferrara, B.A. who represents the non-profit IDEAS For Us focused on environmental sustainability. The proposed i.F.r.o.g.s. February 2013 Expedition led by Drs. Rakotodravony and Clark, assisted by Mr. Ferrara and others, seeks to:
(1) deliver specific goods to the villages of Ampasipohy and Antafondro;
(2) document via video the condition of the villages, surrounding forests, and recommendations from the village elders for follow-up conservation action;
(3) establish the foundation for further studies to develop new models of sustainable community-based conservation for biodiversity-rich areas throughout Earth. Sustainable outcomes will be spread via our international advisory committee as funds allow.
What We Need & What You Get
- We need 18K to get started with infrastructure and a one month visit to Madagascar. This breaks down to $1,500 for deliverables to villages including mosquito nets, linens, soccer balls, and educational posters, books, and school supplies; $500 for overweight/excess baggage to transport such deliverables to Madagascar; $500 for i.F.r.o.g.s. non-profit filing fees and $300 for website expenses; $7,500 international airfare, $1,200 airfare for four within Madagascar; $1,000 for vaccinations and travel medicine; $1,500 for i.F.r.o.g.s. equipment; $3,000 for room and board for four in Madagascar for one month; and $1,000 for boat and taxi travel within Madagascar.
- What you get: Donations > $25 will give you a one year membership to i.F.r.o.g.s. For donations > $50, Dr. Clark, who has appeared on National Geographic television, in their magazine, on radio and more, will sign an original frog photo to thank you for your support. If you donate over 5K, you have the option of having her visit to deliver a ribbeting lecture about rainforests, frogs, Madagascar, and how to explore your world more! Our non-profit i.F.r.o.g.s. will continuously update you with environmental news, exclusive photos, and original video at www.iFrogs.net !