Target: Susie McGuire and Dr. Edward Louis Jr., Madagascar Biodiversity Partnership
Goal: Offer valuable rewards and useful items to locals in exchange for reforestation efforts
Deforestation is a major problem in Madagascar, the only region where numerous species of lemurs originate from and thrive. Two conservationists, Susie McGuire and Dr. Edward Louis Jr., started an organization called the Madagascar Biodiversity Partnership (MBP), which channels the help of local residents in reforestation efforts in Madagascar. Their plan is to rebuild forests by collecting seeds from the excrement of lemurs and replanting them systematically. With the help of local residents to manage and monitor the new trees, forests can begin to flourish again. In return for their help, MBP will give the conservation-minded locals credits that can be exchanged for valuable rewards and useful items.
“These credits are linked to their reforestation profile,” explained McGuire. “As they accumulate credits they can redeem them for items such as fuel-efficient rocket stoves and solar light kits.” MBP has even developed an app to track individual contributions. This exchange program has inspired local entrepreneurs to join forces and plant trees to earn essential items for their businesses. For example, one group of women planted trees to earn a sewing machine for their business, and an association of honey collectors participated to earn a honey collector.
Through the team’s Education Promoting Reforestation Program reforestation program over 180,000 trees have been planted—even local school children are contributing to the effort. Additionally, MBP has developed four permanent field sites in the country to educate and train researchers, conversationalists, and scientists.
Sign the below petition to urge MBP to expand its reforestation rewards program throughout Madagascar and reach out to nonprofits in other countries plagued by deforestation to expand efforts even more.
Dear Ms. McGuire and Dr. Lewis,
Deforestation in Madagascar is an issue that needs creative and innovative solutions. Your reforestation rewards program has struck a chord with local residents and entrepreneurs who have difficulty affording essential items to develop their businesses and enrich their lives.
I am urging you to expand your outreach efforts to enlist the help of more schools, faith groups, community organizations, and entrepreneurs. Please continue to refine your app to meet the needs of all users and effectively track and attribute points to the appropriate tree planters. Your idea holds great potential for fighting back against deforestation around the world, so hopefully other deforested countries and regions can follow your inspiring lead.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Olly Boyo via Flickr