November 2012: Start of "AMBio MADAGASCAR - strategies for the conservation of biodiversity in Madagascar using the example of Lake Alaotra"
This research project addresses the complex ecological and sociological situation around Lake Alaotra in a interdisciplinary approach by three complementary sub-projects : (I) research on the ecological relationships of the disturbed lake ecosystem, (II) development of culturally adapted forms of environmental education in schools and for local stakeholders and (III) the development of appropriate alternative uses of the natural resources, especially the invasive plant Eichhornia crassipes. The project is conducted in cooperation with Stiftung Universität Hildesheim and will run over three years. Here the presentation of the three PhD students and their work:
March 2012: Completion of the Environmental Education Poster
The new Environmental Education Poster is completed! It was developed between October 2010 and December 2011 as a cooperation project of Madagascar Wildlife Conservation and the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust, the Ako Project and the McCrae Conservation and Education Fund. It will be distributed in all primary schools, MHRN is working with. In the long term all schools around the lake should have environmental posters. In addition to the schools the school and environmental authorities, the tourism organizations, hotels and the village and fishing communities are supplied with posters in order to reach a large audience around the Lake Alaotra.
February 2011: Emmanuelle Tanaïs Aupest draws educative materials as addition to the MHRN comic
The goal of MHRN’s environmental education is to interest school children in their environment through diverse learning offers and to introduce them to different methods of conservation. The artist Emmanuelle Tanaïs Aupests educational material is designed to be used interactively in class and therefore forms a perfect addition to MHRN’s program.
The material consists of three habitat images and a page with animals from the region Alaotra. Scissors and glue will be handed to the children in the classroom, in order for them to cut out the animals and paste them into the right environment. By doing so children should notice that the gorilla has sneaked onto the animal page but does not live in their environment. A second way to use the materials is by doing a multiple choice exercise where the children have to connect short descriptions to the right animals.
Homepage of the artist: www.tanais-aupest.com
January 2011: Film about the Bandro and the Project Alaotra
In 2010 a team of two journalists and filmmakers visited Camp Bandro to shoot a short movie about the Bandro and the projects of MHRN. The film is now finished and has recently been published on the website of “The Guardian”. MHRN is very grateful to Richard Sprenger und Emily Payne for her excellent work documenting the rare Bandro, the life in the village of Andreba and the conservation activities of MHRN.
November 2010: EAZA again supports MHRN’s environmental education program
In the second round of its Madagascar campaign the European Association of Zoos and Aquarias (EAZA) considered the environmental education program of MHRN with a donation of 8,900 EUR.
With this contribution MHRN aims at developing a scientific tool to evaluate the comic book´s impact on the pupil´s environmental knowledge and awareness. Surveys and questionnaires will be used to explore possible drivers and barriers impeding or increasing environmental learning. This data will then be implemented to advance and improve the project’s educational effect.
During the evaluation phase an annual teacher’s workshop will be organized offering the chance to exchange experiences and knowledge on environmental education. Additionally a travelling exhibition is planned for 2012 that will move from school to school offering interactive activities about environmental issues (e.g. draw pictures, play theatre or environmental games, create clay animals, see documentary movies about the nature in other countries etc..) for the school children.
October 2010: "McCrae Conservation and Education Fund" finances a learning poster about Lake Alaotra
Janet McCrae is a dedicated English conservationist, who has supported conservation and environmental education in different places of Madagascar for a long time. Her "McCrea conservation and Education Fund" has already financed the drawing of five learning posters of different Malagasy habitats by an English artist. In 2011 the artist will now draw another poster about Lake Alaotra that can be integrated in the environmental education of primary schools.
Antje Rendigs from MHRN Germany has met Janet McCrea in October 2010 in Madagascar and visited with her one of the primary schools near the Lake. The teachers of the school were very interested and a lively discussion on design and content of the new poster emerged.