Seheno Andriantsaralaza: "Increasing local community engagement and its expertise to protect lemurs and their habitats in Madagascar"

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Primate Conversations with Seheno Andriantsaralaza - 24th Nov 2020

Talk abstract: Lemurs are among animals that make Madagascar a unique island, one of the biodiversity hot-spot in the world. Lemurs are also the world’s most endangered group of mammals which 31 % of them are critically endangered according to the last IUCN red list update. Indeed, lemurs are losing their critical habitats due to deforestation and unsustainable agricultural activities. However, lemur conservation needs to be considered with complexities, including social, economic, and human well-being aspects. Madagascar homes around 27 million people which 80% of them rely on natural resources within lemur's habitats to survive. Therefore, many conservation organizations take responsibility to support local people’s livelihoods. Moreover, during this pandemic crisis, stakeholders living surrounding the lemur's habitats are struggling with not only the protection and management of forests but also the sudden decrease in income activities. This pandemic crisis reinforces the need to consider the local communities at the heart of lemur conservation management. To do so, any conservation organizations should prioritize the support of local communities through training, transfer of knowledge, and empowerment to ensure their involvement in conservation. This approach would make them have a place in decision-making to protect lemurs and their habitats.

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