Annual reports are available for download on our reports page, however, this is a short summary of our work.
Sainte Luce Reserve
The reserve is part of and an integral link between fragments of a rare ebony forest growing on white sand, where the littoral forest literally meets the sea. We have exclusively managed this reserve since 2010. We have a permanent team of staff based at our small camp in the reserve, where we patrol the forest, maintain paths, and engage in ecological restoration of the river mangroves, and parts of the forest that were either damaged prior to our tenure, or, are damaged by stochastic events such as cyclones. Our management of the reserve has been described by visitors as almost miraculous. We have worked for over ten years to instil a sense of importance in the local community with regard to the conservation of this unique ecosystem and for many years now, there has been no damage caused by humans in the forest. The forest is considered by many locals nowadays as almost sacred. Observing the increase in the density of local wildlife has been our greatest reward.
The Fruit Tree Project
FILANA has partnered with a local agribusiness to introduce productive varieties of fruit trees to local farmers in exchange for conservation efforts. Our goal is better productivity for farmers, on the same land. Our aim is to achieve no new tavy (slash and burn agriculture) by the farmers with whom we work. Increasing productivity assists local farmers to understand that there are innovative ways to maintain / improve family income, without the constant and critically dangerous cycle of clearing new land for agriculture. Barren land is abundant, and we are providing the varieties of fruit-bearing trees that will abundantly provide food and cash-crops from that land. The trees that we propagate from are imported stock plants so the process is not inexpensive, however, these varieties are proven to give bigger yields over a longer season. Our nursery (in partnership with Agrimanga) now has adequate mother plants to graft from, so, we are now able to produce our own plants here in our local area and shipping in plants is no longer required and in future years, costs will be significantly reduced.
How we interact with local people is an ethic, not a project. We have three main aims with regard to local people.
We encourage innovative green-economy actions, strengthening livelihood strategies while doing no damage to the environment
We incubate & initiate innovative ways to engage local people with sustainable tourism in a positive way, as a way for local people to directly earn from conservation, always with the protection of local people at the forefront of our ethics.
We teach and encourage environmental stewardship amongst the local population, as "leaders by example" in everything that we do.
We channel donated funds & aid to where they are needed most, with the minimum possible administrative expense, with a focus on women, girls and the disabled. We are currently managing a small donor-driven fund supplying direct food assistance to mothers of disabled children.
The Amboasary Extension
In 2022 we are starting to incubate some projects to the south of Fort Dauphin which is a dry and difficult area in which to farm, and which has, in recent years, been plagued by food shortages and food insecurity, described by some as famine. We are supplying trees to partner organisations working on reforestation in that area, and, we aim to have established a pilot village for our Dragon Fruit Project by the end of 2022. Again, this is an area where unsustainable agriculture has seriously impacted the environment, causing desertification in many areas. Again, we aim to restrict further forest removal by offering farmers innovative alternative crops that can be planted on already deforested land. We have trialled various imported and improved varieties of a plant that is familiar to local people, the Dragon Fruit, and we are working with Agrimanga to increase stocks by thousands of plants each year.