Parco Natura Viva and the Department of Life Sciences and Systems Biology of the University of Turin, in collaboration with GERP (a malagasy’s association dedicated to the study of the island’s primates) and other institutions, built the Maromizaha Multipurpose Centre in 2009, with the aim of protecting the primary rainforest, important link to the remaining forest areas of the north and south of the red island. The project is focused not only on the valorisation of the biodiversity but also on the development of initiatives that allow local communities to take a leading role in the protection of the forest. Work was carried out to create positive and sustainable attitudes of the communities towards wildlife, through the institution of small infrastructures, the implementation of capacity building activities and the creation of education programmes for schools. In December 2009, 10 years are celebrated from the creation of the centre and over the years more than 50 tourist and research guides, 15 patrollers and dissemination agents, 200 villagers and 700 school students of three different elementary schools have been trained. Furthermore, the Park and the University of Turin have promoted the work of 10 PhD students and over 50 graduate students that led to more than 30 scientific and educational publications.
One of the most important results obtained by this project was achieved in December 2015 when the Madagascar’s Ministry of Environment declared Maromizaha forest a National Protected Area (NAP).
Parco Natura Viva receives the EAZA Education Award for the realization of the children book “A lemur to save” in support to EAZA’s Madagascar Campaign 2006/7. The story was written by Park’s Education Department in collaboration with malagasy’s schools, and the money raised from the sale to the Park’s visitors allowed the purchase of school material for the children in Madagascar and the construction of school classes.