Madagascar is one of the Earth’s most special places. It has so much to offer – unique wildlife found no-where else on Earth, last tracks of splendid rainforest, innumerable islands and beaches which are some of the most exquisite on Earth and a melee of fascinating people. But boy, oh boy, does it have its challenges. Of course, the biggest is an exploding population, all below the poverty line. And with that comes the headache for us, as conservationists. What can we do? We have to protect what is left, yet making sure that the people around the natural and protected areas also benefit.

There are many NGOs that do stellar work in Madagascar such as WWF and Conservation International, but I feel that the moneys spent are ‘too far from the ground’. After much research, both on the ground and by chatting to role players in various sectors, Starry Starry Nights is proud to have reached a tentative agreement in supporting one of the most roots-centered NGOs in Madagascar, Fanamby.

We will be supporting reforestation programmes in the Andasibe region, one of the ultimate biodiversity hotspots. Through the years, the Andasibe – Mantadia – Anjazorobe region has suffered hugely with slash-and-burn agriculture and so the forest has become fragmented. We, through Fanamby, will help to reverse this by sponsoring the planting of seedlings in corridors between the various pockets of rainforest as well as sponsoring of nurseries in the region planting indigenous plants. This is hugely exciting for us at Starry Starry Nights. For more information see fanamby . More of this story later in the year and on the ground from Madagascar.