People from the community in Manombo have historically depended on the forest for some of their needs. A high level of active threats cause problems for the forest and the species living there. Main threats are hunting, fire, and illegal logging. All of these have direct negative effects on lemurs, as fire and illegal logging destroy food sources and hunting leads to reduced population.
This project aims to improve the well-being of both the forest and the community by encouraging an attitude of environmental stewardship among the community and promoting conservational interaction between people and the forest. The project will also carry out extensive scientific research on the target species in order to update information that can be used in conservation planning and implementation. At the same time, the project will improve the community’s economic well-being and food security as we work closely with community members on income generating activities and agriculture.
Over the two year timespan of this project, GERP expects to see 1,000 community members directly participate in hands-on conservation efforts, 120 families benefit from a new income source or higher food security, and 20,000 native tree seedlings planted on the edge of the Reserve. Community participation in conservation will be promoted through education, outreach, and reforestation and tree planting. Community families will participate in training and implementation of vegetable farming, fruit tree production, beekeeping, and hand-made craft production. One of the cornerstones of the project will be the forest restoration through planting of native tree seedlings. Finally, professional scientific research on the four target species will increase in scope.