Madagascar: Biodiversity and Natural Resource Management
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Please note that in order to take advantage of dynamic learning opportunities, program excursions may occasionally vary.
Discover the challenges of promoting conservation alongside sustainable development in diverse ecosystems throughout Madagascar.
Gain direct knowledge of specialized ecological zones, rural conservation, and development issues.
Fort Dauphin Region
Field excursions in the home base region focus on interviews with fishing peoples in Evatraha, a stakeholder analysis and an overview of QMM mining operations and conservation activities at Mandena, botanical studies in the littoral forest of Sainte Luce, and lemur ecology in Ifotaka.
During the program’s major excursion, the group travels to Tuléar, where students begin the marine studies and protected areas units. Students engage with traditional and industrial fishing practices; visit sacred areas protected by local customs; visit newly protected areas and NGOs working on coastal resource management; and explore key ecosystems, including spiny forests, calcareous plateaus, mangroves, and coral reefs of one of the world’s largest barrier reefs, the Great Barrier Reef of Tuléar.
Faux Cap Region
Students spend a week in a rural village with Malagasy counterparts from the Libanona Ecology Center learning about rural life, resource use, and social aspects of conservation and development needs in the context of southern Madagascar. The rural stay is typically in the Faux Cap region.
National Parks and Community-Managed Protected Areas
From Tuléar, the group travels north through various protected areas, including spectacular national parks and community-managed reserves at Isalo, Anja, Andringitra, Ranomafana, and Andasibe. Students see a great range of vegetation types, including spiny forest, savannah, transitional forest, alpine, and rainforest, while the geology changes from oceanic sandstone and limestone to continental sandstone and granite monoliths.
Antananarivo (Madagascar’s capital)
The major excursion ends in the capital city of Antananarivo, commonly referred to as Tana. There, students hone in further on human adaptations and impacts on the various ecosystems visited, integrating ideas on how to preserve Malagasy cultural practices and the biodiversity on which they depend, while putting the finishing touches on their plans for independent study.
Duration: 15 weeks
Program Base: Fort Dauphin (Tolagnaro)
Language Study: French, Malagasy
Prerequisites: Coursework in environmental studies, ecology, biology, or related fields; 3 semesters college-level French Read more...
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