Congratuations to Rabary Desiré, 2010 Seacology Prize Winner!
With his knowledge of his native flora and fauna, Desiré has become a highly sought-after research and ecotourism guide in northeastern Madagascar. Using the money he earned, he purchased land on a former coffee plantation. After successfully reforesting the land, Desiré established a private conservation area, the Antanetiambo Nature Reserve, which provides critical habitat for silky sifaka (see photo, below) and other rare Malagasy species.
Photo Credit: Jeff Gibbs
For his conservation achievements, Desiré received $10,000 from Seacology, which he will use for reforestation, tourism infrastructure, and the purchasing of additional land for the Antanetiambo reserve. In his acceptance speech, Desiré listed some of the solutions to the problems of deforestation and bushmeat hunting that plague Madagascar: encouraging sustainable agriculture rather than hunting and gathering as the primary source of food; educating youth about the importance of conservation; addressing local poverty; and ending government corruption. He ended with a traditional Malagasy saying: hazo tokana tsy mba ala, or "One tree is not a forest, so let us work together."
If you missed the ceremony, you can learn more about Desiré's amazing story in the 2010 Seacology Prize video.
Thanks to all who attended the Seacology Prize Ceremony to help honor Rabary Desiré!