Since 2000 Parco Natura Viva collaborates with the Department of Life Sciences and Systems Biology of the University of Turin in Madagascar carrying out initiatives dedicated both to the protection of malagasy’s biodiversity, and to the improvement of local communities’ education. The projects in which the two institutions are involved, in collaboration with partners that got engaged throughout the years, allow to improve the available knowledge on malagasy’s natural heritage, and contribute to the definition of conservation strategies such as:
- preserving Madagascar’s endemic species by participating to European programmes for the ex-situ conservation;
- implementing in-situ activities to increase knowledge on endangered species, and to preserve parts of the forest and their biodiversity;
- raising awareness and educating local communities by providing them with information on the local biodiversity and by directly involving them in the activities;
- using Parco Natura Viva as a partner in carrying out ethological research studies complementary to those implemented in the tropical areas;
- raising public awareness on biodiversity conservation, seeking to obtain the support of qualified partners;developing and promoting sustainable tourism in Madagascar, suitable with the natural environment, in order to improve the knowledge of the rainforest and the traditional culture.
Ten years ago, a Multipurpose Centre was built in the forest of Maromizaha, also known as the Forest of the Dragon Tree. Located in the green corridor of Ankeniheny Zahamena, Maromizaha covers 1,600 hectares, of which 820 are unharmed primary forest. The Centre acts as a research station where students and research gather every year to carry out scientific research studies on Madagascar’s wildlife and plant species; in particular this brought to an improvement of the knowledge on the different species of lemur, endemic primates of Madagascar. The centre is also cultural spot where educational activities are carried out, thanks to which it has been possible to help the local communities and to more actively involve them in the conservation project and in the management of the centre itself.