MADAGASCAR, Mangoro Region - July 2005
Repair to 20 primary schools and seven municipal offices in exchange for the protection of ten Madagascar Flying Fox roosts totaling 321 acres
Because of hunting for bushmeat, uncontrolled fires and logging, many roosts of the Madagascar Flying Fox, which are important pollinators, have disappeared. In Madagascar's Mangoro Region, a close network of 12 small forest fragments holds up to 4,000 of these bats. Seven nearby communities are working with local organizations Arongam-panihy - Culture, Communication and Environment (ACCE), and Lamin'asa Fiarovana Ramanavy sy Fanigy to implement a dina, or social contract, to protect the roosts. In exchange for this agreement, Seacology will provide funding for badly-needed repairs to each of the seven community municipal offices and 20 primary schools near the roosts. *
UPDATE January 2006 - Through a series of local meetings with the representatives of seven communities and local governments, the dinas (social contracts) to protect the bats and forests have been developed, discussed and signed. The documents have been endorsed by local legal authories and field trips are being made to the communities to announce the new dinas. After meeting with CISCO (the local education authority), it has been decided to reduce the total number of schools to support in accordance with local priorities. Each community is required, by Malagasy tradition, to also contribute resources (e.g. people or bricks) to the project, and CISCO has pledged sacks of cement. The coordinating NGOs ACCE and CISCO are currently identifying schools most in need and preparing budgets for repairs, with construction to take place in early 2006.
UPDATE June 2006 - The coordinating NGOs, ACCE and CISCO, have identified the schools most in need and have submitted budgets for repairs, and construction will commence in mid-2006.
UPDATE January 2007 - Eleven schools were selected instead of 20 to better serve those schools most in need. Construction began in August 2006. In November, a dedication ceremony was held for the completed Antanambony and Sakalava schools. Six other schools are in the process of being repaired. Three schools are behind schedule due to land use disputes and preparation of materials, but are expected to begin construction in early 2007.
UPDATE June 2007 - As of March 2007, six schools have been completed and the remaining five schools are under construction.
UPDATE October 2007 - 8 schools are nearing completion and 2 more are scheduled to be completed by the end of November. An education component of the project involving a school flying fox conservation art competition is scheduled to begin in early 2008, with a winning piece being presented by members of the Seacology 2008 expedition.
UPDATE January 2009 - The project began in early 2006. Repairs to all eleven schools were completed and the project was finalized in August 2008.