Congratuations to Rabary Desiré, 2010 Seacology Prize Winner!

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Last Thursday, October 7, over 100 Seacology supporters joined board members and staff at the David Brower Center in Downtown Berkeley to honor Rabary Desiré of Madagascar, the 2010 recipient of the Seacology Prize. The Seacology Prize honors indigenous islanders who have dedicated their lives to preserving their environment.  At the ceremony, Desiré described his journey as a leading Malagsy environmentalist.  A self-taught expert in Madagascar's unique wildlife, Desiré shared the vocalizations of the endangered silky sifaka lemur. (If you missed the ceremony, you can hear them yourself in this video.)

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Photo Credit: Susan Racanelli, Seacology

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.

Mother with a different mother's infant and her own PHOTO CREDIT JEFF GIBBS.JPG

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!

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This page contains a single entry by Carynne McIver published on October 12, 2010 10:46 AM.

Don't Miss the 2010 Seacology Prize Ceremony! was the previous entry in this blog.

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