Salama, bonjour and hello,
This is the first of many updates/stories/tales/adventures from Honko Mangrove Conservation and Education; an NGO based in the south-west of Madagascar, in the small rural village of Ambondrolava, 12 km north of the city of Tulear, working with local communities to implement real solutions to protect and maintain the important mangrove ecosystem.
The NGO was started by Benjamin de Ridder and Carola Zardo in 2008 and since then much has changed; trees have been planted, bags have been woven, a management association has been formed, a board-walk has been built and importantly conservation has occurred!
Honko not only works closely with the community to develop local scale initiatives and alternatives to income or resources (such as Tilapia fish farming), it also strives to introduce the incredible world of the mangrove to those people who do not know it; as many people live nowhere near mangroves and do not get to experience them first hand. With this in mind a 1 km board-walk was created that meanders it way from the Honko centre through the forest to a 4 metre tall viewpoint, with various informative panels and a local ecological guide to take you on a tour through the wonders of the mangrove.
This introduction to the mangrove is taken further through Honko acting as a research site for both national and international students who come to study this diverse ecosystem; from assessing the success of plantations to the social importance of the mangrove to measuring biodiversity of the forest and to fiddler crab behaviour studies. This wide range of primary research allows Honko to better understand the ecosystem that it works to conserve.
So that is a little bit about Honko, we look forward to delivering more updates in the future. For more information please visit our website www.honko.org or like us on facebook at ‘Honko Mangrove Conservation and Education’.
Until the next time.
Veloma, au revoir and goodbye.
P.S. If you find yourself in south-west Madagascar come and visit our mangrove site and see for yourself the many unique animals and trees that call it their home.