dedicated to creating sustainable forest communities in madagascar – Mamy Razafitsalama
Mamy Razafitsalama was born in a small village on the east coast of Madagascar, and developed his love of the wild from a young age. Now an award-winning conservationist, Mamy has become a guardian for the endangered species that populate his homeland. He has dedicated his career to protecting the wildlife of Madagascar and empowering the local communities who play a vital role in safeguarding the country's natural treasures. He has also worked as a consultant in a malaria program at Population Services International.
Mamy’s passion for the unique wildlife of Madagascar took him to university, where his research on the impact of habituation in breastfeeding Coquerel’s sifakas earned him a degree in Primatology. Lemurs have remained central to his career in conservation, and the primates also feature prominently in the programmes organised by Planet Madagascar, where Mamy serves as a valuable member of the team. This conservation, education and community-development organisation works closely with communities in order to improve the lives of Madagascar’s inhabitants, as well as conserve the island’s lemurs and their habitat. Mamy leads and oversees all of Planet Madagascar’s programmes in the country.
Despite its location a few hundred miles off the southeast coast of Africa, Madagascar's provenance actually lies further afield. The island separated from the Indian peninsula around 88 million years ago, allowing a remarkably diverse array of endemic flora and fauna to evolve in relative isolation. The country remains a haven for biodiversity, but climate change and deforestation – driven by illegal logging and unchecked slash-and-burn agriculture – threaten Madagascar’s wildlife and its people alike. Mamy knows that a holistic approach that factors in the welfare of both the human world and the natural world is the only way to secure Madagascar's future, and he and his team work tirelessly to provide sustainable solutions for the problems facing the country.