Chances for Nature in Madagascar

Since 88 million years isolated from the rest of the world, Madagascar hast developed a tremendeous diversity of animals and plants that can’t be found anywhere else in the world. Slash and burn agriculture, mining, illegal hunting and logging are the most important threats this unique peace of nature. Chances for Nature is working with local communities to improve sustainable lifestyle. We educate and sensitize local people in sustainable techniques of resource use and propagate changes in behavior to conserve Madagascar’s unique ecosystems and threatened species.

News about Madagascar


Project: Mobile Environmental Cinema

Distributing new and sustainable techniques for agriculture and lifestyle as well as sensitizing local people for Madagascar’s nature and biodiversity is our aim in the Mobile Environmental Cinema- Project. How can you do that? And how can you reach a lot of people simultaneously. Right, with TV. But what if people have no access to TV and electricity. Our solution is a mobile cinema that is running only on pedal power. A bicycle cinema. Since 2014 we are distributing knowledge to local people and sensitize the population using our mobile cinema. Mostly in western Madagascar in the region of Menabe, but also in other places in Madagascar. We have reached out to about 10.000 people by now, but a lot more should still come.

We show and put across different topics e.g. ecological stoves, waste management, sustainable agricultural methods, family planning and explain ecological interrelationships.


Hazo tokana tsy mba ala! One tree is not a forest.

A environmental movie in Malagasy

With the start of the Mobile Environmental Cinema we created a film in official Malagasy language. The film shows different sustainable practices: e.g. the use  and construction of ecological stoves or the breeding of fish and rice cultivation simultaneously. All voices and techniques are presented by people from Madagascar, who use these methods already successfully. This way, Malagasy people Transfer knowledge to Malagasy people. Moreover, the film explains the importance of Madagascar’s animals and plants, the consequences of human destruction for the next generations and calls for rethinking of people’s behavior and interaction with their environment.  The film was shot in 2013. The title “Hazo tokana tsy mba ala” means literally “One tree is not a forest”. Metaphorically it means “Only together we are powerful”.

Photos of the environmental cinema

Marinette Razafindrasoa explains the difference between fuel efficient stoves (left) and traditional (right) stoves. Photo: MM

Project: Fatana Mitsitsy (Eco-stoves)

Capacity building

Sustainable practices communicated via the mobile cinema during awareness campaigns are aimed to become fixed in the local communities. To do so we organise and conduct workshops for capacity building and transfer practical knowledge into the communties. One example are ecological stoves, called Fatana Mitsitsy. Most households are still using charcoal and firewood for daily cooking. although alternative methods exist, they spread only slowly in Madagascar. You can download a summary of this project as pdf here.

What is a Fatana Mitsitsy?

Fatana Mitsitsy or ecological stoves save 60-80 % of firewood or charcoal compared to traditional stoves. Furthermore they emit much less harmful carbon monoxide, which results from incomplete combustion of charcoal and firewood in traditional stoves used for cooking in many regions of Madagascar.

Traditional stove in Madagascar

Traditional stove in Madagascar

Eco-stove (left) and traditional stoves

Eco-stove (left) and traditional stoves

They are therefore not only reducing the amount of forest consumption, but provide benefits in terms of time, money and health for their users. Lastly, their everyday use leads to fast adoption by locals. They see the benefits of using the stove within one day of cooking. The stoves are self-constructed stoves and we promote the knowledge to build them with local materials. For profit made stoves exist as well in Madagascar, but only small part of the population can afford such stoves.

Fotos Workshops Fatana Mitsitsy

Project: Fosa-Conservation

Conflict between humans and the fosa


The fosa (syn. Fossa; Cryptoprocta ferox) ist the largest carnivore of Madagascar. The animals belong to a separate group of mammals, the Eupleridae, endemic to Madagascar. Recent evidence suggests the existence of a substantial human-carnivore conflict. Ongoing and tremendous deforestation in Madagascar leads to scarcity of available habitat for the animals. Additionally, animals find easy prey in villages, because livestock protection is traditionally very low or absent, leading to losses of chicken, gooses and ducks of local communities. There is evidence that the fosa gets regularly killed and hunted by local communities in order to protect their livestock.

Together with the Fossa Fond of the Zoo Duisburg we started a project to evaluate this conflict and investigate ways to find solutions for a peaceful coexistence of humans and fosa. Furthermore, we collect population data to evaluate the IUCN status of the animals and raise awareness for one of the major tourist attraction for naturalists in the project area of Central Menabe.

Measures within this project are:

  • Population surveys (transects/camera traps)
  • Evaluation of human-fosa conflict
  • Awareness rising
  • Testing alternative systems against livestock depredation
  • Conducting improved chicken breeding workshop

Photo Fosa Project