Madagascar is more than just an island from an animated movie. It’s a nation with over 200,000 species of plants and animals that don’t exist anywhere else in the world. But more than 90% of Madagascar’s original forests have been destroyed, displacing entire animal species and taking away the Malagasy’s ability to farm and live on the land.
Entire mangrove estuaries are gone, leaving the bare earth to wash away into the sea. And now the Malagasy people have no choice but to go into debt or sell themselves and their families into slavery just to survive.
The Eden Projects began planting in Madagascar since 2007. The mangrove project is replenishing the enormous Malagasy mangrove forests at a rate of approx 1.4 Million trees/month.
The Mangrove tree grows in saline coastal habitats in the tropics and subtropics. It has huge root systems that enable it to not only withstand the changing of high and low tides, but also to hold the ground from washing away with the changing of tides.
Dry deciduous reforestation in Madagascar is the planting of endemic trees of the west coast of the island which have uniquely adapted to thrive in this harsh environment. Sadly, the forests have not survived the slash and burn practices of the Malagasy. Therefore, it is important that the remnant pockets of truly endemic forests be protected not only to study the ancient forests, but also to provide valuable seed sources. These seeds are then propagated in nurseries by the tens of thousands and cared for by local Malagasy. When ready they are planted in devastated landscapes with the hope of restoring the dry deciduous forests that provide abundantly to all who live within them.
Sarobidy Maternity Center
The Sarobidy Maternity Center provides compassionate and competent free prenatal care and education throughout the duration of pregnancy. Women enrolled in the program experience a safe and nurturing environment to deliver their babies with the support of trained midwives and a skilled physician. After the birth, the maternity center continues to provide free postpartum care and education for the women and their babies for 6 months. This year long program approach empowers women with truth, education, and compassionate medical care during pregnancy, labor and delivery and the newborn period.
This is also the site for our hands in the dirt training program where we teach future leaders the skills they’ll need to be nursery workers and managers. This year, we have 5 on site nurseries starting as a result of this training.