Makay Conservation Project, Madagascar
Until recently unexplored, the 4,000km2 Makay massif in Madagascar with high plateaus, inaccessible mountains and deep, hidden canyons has played host to three scientific expeditions which have discovered over 2,000 endemic animal and plant species, several endangered species and Magagascar’s only known cave paintings. Most of these unique natural habitats are imminently under threat due to uncontrolled forest clearing for example. An official protection status and urgent sustainable conservation measures are required. As well as reforestation, scientific and educational programs, this organization, which work for the conservation of the area, aims to implement a regulated adventure and naturalist ecotourism in the area in order to bring in local income and jobs, as well as ensuring any developments are carried out in the most sensitive manner. This project intends to develop eco lodges, campsites, guiding offices, wildlife observation platforms, as well as to inform the local guides. The project also aims to make sure all tourism operators and their clients abide by a code of conduct to ensure minimal impact. Finally, the organisation is working to obtain national protected status for the region and UNESCO World Heritage site recognition.