Junior Ecoguards

Junior Ecoguards

Youth Leaders in Environmental Conservation

An impactful programme formalised by the Ministry of Education.

With 54% of the population under the age of 20 and population growth of 18% in just the past 6 years, the youth of Madagascar are arguably the most important and influential cohort of the population that should be engaged now in terms of achieving sustainable development and biodiversity protection.

C3’s immensely successful Junior Ecoguards programme was born in 2009 from a collaboration with the Scout group of Antsiranana. The idea was to engage youth in outreach about environmental threats, challenges and solutions in remote communities of the north. This programme has now gone viral with the financial support of Tusk Trust and has grown into a formalised programme with the Ministry of Education. It has impacted 70 schools, 20,000 students, 150 school teachers, 100 NGO staff, across 4 provinces.

We’re rolling out the programme across the entire coastal region of Madagascar over the coming years. Schools are provided with training and resource toolkits with IEC materials including films, storybooks, art materials, posters, ID guides, and a range of practical outdoor activities that teachers can engage their students in to aspire them in environmental leadership.

The Junior Ecoguards have won Wildlife Film awards, UN youth awards, and more recently, have been finalists in the Zayed Sustainability Award.

Their potential is limitless and we’re looking for new partners to help accelerate our scaling up of this programme from 2019-2022. Our Junior Ecoguard programme has actually increased the retention of secondary school students through to their final years and enabled students to go on to university study, with at least 50% girls benefitting from the transferable communication, leadership and organisational skills that the training imparts.

Schools are severely under-resourced, often with no toilet facilities, leaking roofs, one classroom for all school years, no furniture and schoolteachers going unpaid for up to six months. The school term was suspended due to political protests for almost half a year in 2018. C3’s programme therefore provides much appreciated continual support to students and teachers and keeps them motivated to keep studying and aspire to go on to further studies and careers.

For this programme, we partner with Tusk Trust, the Ministry of Education, and various NGOs in the north of Madagascar.


Contact

C3 Madagascar

Lot II PA 12 Bis, Soavinimerina, Ambohimanga Rova, Antananarivo, Avaradrano

C3 Madagascar (CONSERVATION CENTREE SUR LA COMMUNAUTE C3 MADAGASCAR), in accordance with Article No. 5 of Ordinance No. 60133, is registered as a non-profit organization in Madagascar under the Direction of the Territorial Administration of Antananarivo with Registration No. 1206/14-MID/SG/DGAT/DIRAT/ANT/ASS.



Blue Carbon

Blue Carbon

Seagrass and Mangrove Research and Conservation

The importance of mangroves and seagrass ecosystems.

A heavy emphasis has been put on conserving coral reef ecosystems in the past and it has only become apparent and recognised in recent years how fundamentally significant mangrove forests, tidal wetlands and seagrass beds as a blue carbon sink. It has been discovered these underappreciated blue carbon ecosystems can store more carbon for longer (thousands of years) and at a far quicker rate than terrestrial forests. C3 has long been involved in seagrass and mangrove research and conservation and contributes to national and global knowledge about these critical systems. Mapping these ecosystems, documenting threats and establishing community monitoring programmes as well as campaigning for their inclusion in new and existing MPAs, forms a large part of the organisation’s work.

In the areas we work, these ecosystems are critical.

They are important in the sustenance of coastal livelihoods, providing nursery grounds, feeding areas and shelter for hundreds of fish and invertebrate species. Furthermore, with the escalating impacts of climate change, they provide physical protection to vulnerable coastal communities from the increasingly frequent and severe typhoons. Throughout the north, C3 is assisting communities establish native forest nurseries and replanting denuded coastal and upland forests as well as replanting mangroves and establishing MPAs focused on mangrove and seagrass ecosystems. With our hundreds of community volunteers and 1200 Reef Rangers, we have huge capacity for replanting large swathes of coastal and upland forests at low cost. We have done so with the support of our partners, Tany Meva and Graine de Vie.


Contact

C3 Madagascar

Lot II PA 12 Bis, Soavinimerina, Ambohimanga Rova, Antananarivo, Avaradrano

C3 Madagascar (CONSERVATION CENTREE SUR LA COMMUNAUTE C3 MADAGASCAR), in accordance with Article No. 5 of Ordinance No. 60133, is registered as a non-profit organization in Madagascar under the Direction of the Territorial Administration of Antananarivo with Registration No. 1206/14-MID/SG/DGAT/DIRAT/ANT/ASS.



Rural Entrepreneurs

Rural Entrepreneurs

Promoting Local Livelihoods

Tailor-made training for communities.

In order to long-term conserve coastal resources, the buy-in and motivation of local people is a fundamental factor.

C3 has conducted business feasibility studies in conjunction with household surveys and focus group interviews to determine the best livelihoods for specific communities. Livelihoods take time to develop, especially in rural communities with a local level of education and financial literacy, we find that set-up and intensive monitoring and support is required for a three-year term to ensure that businesses are financially viable and sustainable.

C3 focuses heavily on the engagement and training of women, unemployed youth and minority groups such as the LGBT community, to provide employment opportunities close to home rather to counteract the constant emigration from rural communities to urban centres and associated ‘brain drain’.

C3’s approach focuses on year-on-year technical and financial support, refresher training, monitoring and advice for people starting new livelihoods, as it is a well-known fact that most small businesses fail in the first two years.

In only the past two years C3 established 10 new rural enterprises, with at least 50% management by women and a strong emphasis on unemployed youth. These businesses are financially viable and in particular the organic honey is yielding substantial gains for the communities on a regular basis. All our businesses are locally run with monitoring by C3 local staff. Our modus operandi is free of reliance on foreign volunteers or staff to assist with managing any aspect of these projects nor do we heavily invest in tourism; this is a deliberated decision which means we are able to continuously work at our target sites regardless of political instability and epidemics, which sadly impact Madagascar on a increasingly frequent basis.

Following our successes in assisting communities with starting up duck farming and tourism enterprises, we are now working on further apiculture training, designed to create alternative livelihoods for communities who rely on charcoal production and slash-and-burn agriculture, which have led to the alarming destruction of our dry forests in the far north. Apiculture, encouraged by the Malagasy government, has been feasibly identified as an ideal option for these communities. Already, there are women and youth associations, basic governance structures, and high levels of motivation for the project. With investment from partners and donors, C3 aims to provide the training and support for this new enterprise.


Contact

C3 Madagascar

Lot II PA 12 Bis, Soavinimerina, Ambohimanga Rova, Antananarivo, Avaradrano

C3 Madagascar (CONSERVATION CENTREE SUR LA COMMUNAUTE C3 MADAGASCAR), in accordance with Article No. 5 of Ordinance No. 60133, is registered as a non-profit organization in Madagascar under the Direction of the Territorial Administration of Antananarivo with Registration No. 1206/14-MID/SG/DGAT/DIRAT/ANT/ASS.



Endangered Species

Endangered Marine Species

Dugong and Sea Turtle Conservation

The sole NGO focused on sea turtle and dugong conservation in Madagascar.

The iconic yet extremely rare Dugong or sea cow and Green and Hawksbill sea turtles and sharks are key flagship species for C3’s conservation campaigns. C3 is the sole NGO focused on conserving these species in Madagascar and has been doing so for 10 years. These species have sadly been overexploited by communities for food and have succumbed as bycatch in gillnets. C3 is the primary partner in Madagascar for several Indian Ocean assessments of megafauna mortality as bycatch in artisanal fisheries and results of studies have advanced global knowledge about this issue.

Communities are engaged in outreach and monitoring programmes and C3 successfully worked with traditional leaders to ensure zero take of dugongs and sea turtles in Nosy Hara Marine Park. We work with international research teams on better understanding the status of sharks and rays at our sites and are contributing to development of a National Strategy for their conservation.

C3 has gathered traditional ecological knowledge and documented customs surrounding endangered flagship species, ensuring our integration of these aspects into contemporary conservation campaigns and materials.

We continue to monitor these populations and protect sea turtle nesting beaches across the remote north in conjunction with community volunteers and our Junior Ecoguards. Although rare, we are happy to note that dugongs are still reproducing in the north and have been spotted in aerial surveys, whereas they have become extinct from most other regions of the country. We have also identified hotspots where they regularly visit seagrass beds to feed and these have been highlighted for careful protection and monitoring.

To conserve dugongs, we work with the UNEP Global Environment Facility, Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund and other donors. We work with Newcastle University, and Western Indian Ocean Marine Science Association to implement fisheries research and management.


Contact

C3 Madagascar

Lot II PA 12 Bis, Soavinimerina, Ambohimanga Rova, Antananarivo, Avaradrano

C3 Madagascar (CONSERVATION CENTREE SUR LA COMMUNAUTE C3 MADAGASCAR), in accordance with Article No. 5 of Ordinance No. 60133, is registered as a non-profit organization in Madagascar under the Direction of the Territorial Administration of Antananarivo with Registration No. 1206/14-MID/SG/DGAT/DIRAT/ANT/ASS.



Marine Protected Areas

Marine Protected Areas

Sustainable Marine Protected Area Management

Environmental management in the remote north.

In 2014 the Malagasy government committed to tripling the area of coast covered by MPAs within 10 years. C3 works with the government’s Ministry of Environment, Madagascar National Parks and communities in order to realise this vision across the remote northern region of Madagascar from Nosy Be to Vohemar. However, we are also concerned about long-term sustainability of marine protected area management. So many MPAs are merely ‘paper parks’ and no positive impacts are being delivered on the ground in terms of fisheries management, habitat replenishment and conservation and community engagement in monitoring and management. Madagascar is so vast and with poor physical and communication infrastructure that NGOs and government cannot possibly aspire to manage coastal areas. Local communities are at the forefront of managing their own coastal areas but sadly lack the capacity, infrastructure, and basic services to get engaged in such a task. This is where NGOs like C3 are essential; spending time in the communities, getting to know people personally and helping build their own capacity to set up management infrastructure and lead their own monitoring and decision-making. This process takes years, there is no quick fix, but once a successful model is proven, with the injection of funds and personnel, it can be replicated across vast areas as proven in the case of Nosy Hara Marine Park.

Historically donors have invested heavily in the south west of Madagascar, being an extension of some of the first terrestrial-based foreign-led conservation interventions. However, the remote northern region is recognised by all international NGOs and the Malagasy government as the last frontier of coastal biodiversity and is yet still severely underfunded. C3 works in partnership with Conservation International at ‘orphan sites’ in key biodiversity areas; places where there has been no NGO interest historically due to their inaccessibility, yet which have been proven to be the key places to invest in, due to their natural propensity for climate change resilience.

A holistic stewardship model.

C3’s innovative and successful environmental stewardship model focuses on assessing the current functioning of MPAs in a holistic manner (traditional knowledge and tabus, governance, socio-economic and biodiversity assessments, financial sustainability) and then developing community capacity for governance and implementation of management plans.

C3’s programme is the only one to ensure delivery of key community services including diversified income generation, improvements in health (e.g WASH programme) and education services, is key to ensuring MPAs benefit local populations and reducing unsustainable practices.

Sustained, intensive outreach in the communities about fisheries regulations, climate change, species and habitats is a key focal area because only by fully understanding the purpose and objectives of MPAs can the community be fully motivated and mobilised to sustain them.

One of our key successes is reducing dependence of communities solely on fishing as a source of income. Building resilience to climate change is so essential in these communities who are at the forefront of environmental disturbances such as widescale coral bleaching, severe coastal erosion, and more frequent and devastating cyclones.

C3 has now established 10 community enterprises across 5 communities and recruited and trained 30 Conservation Ambassadors, who are volunteers in their communities in charge of training and educating others in sustainable development and environmental protection. Furthermore the immensely popular youth environmental leadership programme, the Junior Ecoguards, has a cohort of more than 1500 members across 70 schools in Sava, Diana, Boeny and Sofia regions. Junior Ecoguards educate their own communities about key conservation issues and assist with practical activities such as beach clean-ups, seagrass monitoring and mangrove reforestation.

C3 assisted with provision of new and improved water pumps and water storage facilities in drought-prone areas. In conjunction, a WASH programme ensured that people were aware about correct water conservation, handling and hygiene to help prevent water-borne diseases. We also work with USAID, GIZ, UNDP and Finistere to implement our sustainable development programme.

MPAs cannot be managed in isolation of terrestrial impacts, especially in C3 Madagascar is unique in applying the Ridge to Reef approach and works with communities upstream to replant riparian vegetation and native montane forests. We partner with Conservation International, Graine de Vie, Ministry of Fisheries, Ministry of Environmen and Ministry of Agriculture. We also coordinate and advise the MIHARI network in terms of providing appropriate outreach materials on endangered marine species and habitats and assisting with human resource management support.


Contact

C3 Madagascar

Lot II PA 12 Bis, Soavinimerina, Ambohimanga Rova, Antananarivo, Avaradrano

C3 Madagascar (CONSERVATION CENTREE SUR LA COMMUNAUTE C3 MADAGASCAR), in accordance with Article No. 5 of Ordinance No. 60133, is registered as a non-profit organization in Madagascar under the Direction of the Territorial Administration of Antananarivo with Registration No. 1206/14-MID/SG/DGAT/DIRAT/ANT/ASS.