Protecting wetlands, protecting our future

The World Wetland Day was celebrated on 2 January 2023. In Madagascar, the national event took place in the Torotorofotsy Ramsar site in Andasibe. It was also the day for the official opening of the annual reforestation campaign in the Alaotra-Mangoro region. Thus, there were participants even from other parts of the country, invited by Asity, the manager of the Ramsar site. Representatives of associations and organisations working in the environmental sector had come to Torotorofotsy to do their share. In addition to Mrs Marie-Orléa VINA, Minister of Environment and Sustainable Development, many officials of the Ministry and of all other sectors of administration from national to local level were present, the Governor of the Alaotra-Mangoro region and the Member of Parliament of the Moramanga district included. Naturally, local inhabitants arrived in great numbers to participate in the planting, too.


At the request of the Ministry, Mitsinjo helped in the arrangements of the day. Our contribution was essential. Our Tontolo maitso project provided the 4000 seedlings planted during the event.

Moreover, our environmental education team had prepared program with a group of children from the public primary school of Menalamba. They presented sketches and poems about environmental issues. They also gave a theatre performance on deforestation and climate change. As usual, there were competitions especially for children and youth.

IMG_20230202_122949The text in the T-shirts declares: “For every child, a healthy environment”.

After the event in Torotorofotsy was over, there was a luncheon at Mitsinjo’s premises in Ankaizinina, Andasibe. 150 guests (representatives of organisations and administration) enjoyed the meal offered by the Ministry.

Photos: Iréne Toutoune RAMANANTENASOA, responsible for environmental education/Mitsinjo


It’s donation time

The World Lemur Day and the World Lemur Festival 2022 were celebrated during the past month of October in Madagascar and in many other countries. Various events to highlight the importance of protecting lemurs will also be organised in the weeks to come.

In support of the work done by their Malagasy partners, Conservation Allies are matching donations up to $10.000 each for Association Mitsinjo and 12 other member organisations of the Lemur Conservation Network through the end of the year.

In addition to 10 other lemur species, indris, diademed sifakas, black-and-white ruffed lemurs, greater bamboo lemurs – all four of them critically endangered species- are still living in and around Andasibe. It is thanks to the research done by our team that the greater bamboo lemur was rediscovered in 2007 in Torotorofotsy where it was thought extinct before.

Association Mitsinjo has always aimed at restoring and preserving the forests where it works, not only by patrolling but also by doing environmental education and implementing sustainable development projects. We are now continuing the monitoring of the greater bamboo lemur (Prolemur simus) and the black-and-white ruffed lemur (Varecia variegata) in Torotorofotsy and in Ihofa, a wide forest north-east of the Ramsar site. The objective is that after four years of regular survey the number of all groups and individuals of the two species will be known. Monitoring will be done to keep track of the annual growth of the number of individuals and their behaviour will be observed. The habitat of the animals will also be monitored to see its quality and development.

Greater Bamboo Lemur

Greater bamboo lemur

Donate here

Conservation Allies charges no overhead fees or administration costs
All donations made from the United states are fully tax-deductible

Thank you for the support!

Sharing know-how – Mitsinjo has published a guidebook on environmental education


Praises were heard at Mitsinjo’s office in last January. Invited by the association, the representatives of the school authorities and local primary schools had arrived to listen to the presentation of the new manual.


The event was opened by Mitsinjo’s president Christin NASOAVINA
and Irène Toutoune RAMANANTENASOA, our environmental education manager

After the speeches of the hosts, the floor was given to the guests. Their general opinion was very positive. They said that environmental education has had a great impact on children who have attended the classes. A year after, in the 5th grade, these children are more knowledgeable than their classmates in certain subjects such as natural science, geography and civic education. This has helped teachers in implementing the curriculum. They have discovered new things even themselves. They also told that the classroom of the 5th grade is the cleanest. Thanks to having learnt about hygiene in environmental education, the pupils pay more attention to cleanliness than others and some children are willing to share their know-how, for example how to recycle plastic waste.


The manager of the environmental department of the Moramanga school district, his deputy and the director of the educational administration zone of Andasibe were representing the school authorities.


From primary schools, Mitsinjo had invited the school directors and the teachers of the 4th grade


Mitsinjo has been doing environmental education for a long time. At first, it consisted of raising awareness and sensitising people to environmental issues at occasional events held in Andasibe like the annual World Environment Day. There were also projects related to health, development and agriculture that included environmental education and were carried out in cooperation with different partners.

Collaboration with the educational authorities and primary schools started in 2012. Elsie Black, a Peace Corps volunteer created the program for environmental education and helped Mitsinjo to get funding for the activity. The education team estimated that the pupils of the 4th grade (CM1 in the Malagasy school system) would be the most suitable group for receiving instruction. They were old enough to understand what was being talked about, but they did not have the pressures of their schoolmates in the 5th grade (CM2) who were busy preparing for the final exam of the primary school (CEPE – Certificat d’Études Primaires et Élementaires). The first children had classes in environmental education during the school year 2012-2013.

In 2015-2020, environmental education was part of the Torotorofotsy project financed by the Finnish Association for Nature Conservation – FANC. To help schools and teachers continue the work on their own after the end of the project, Mitsinjo’s environmental education team and FANC prepared a manual. It is based on the classroom instruction given by the team, containing lessons and exercises about the meaning of the word “environment”, animals and forest, water cycle, climate change, waste management, to name a few. The book even gives instructions how to set up a school garden. During the project, our team assisted schools in creating vegetable gardens that have been tended by the children and teachers.

IMG_7755Besides guidebooks, the school representatives received tools for gardening.

The guests were very satisfied with the book. The teachers said they would need it. It will support them in their work. The book will be first put to use in the schools of the educational administration zone of Andasibe, but the environmental department of the Moramanga school district would also like to share information about the manual to the teachers of the district. The manager of the department asked, whether the school district could take copies of the book. Mitsinjo and FANC consented to the request. If copying will make the manual better known and promote its use in schools, then it is acceptable.

We also want to share the guidebook here. Naturally, it is written in Malagasy, but we hope it will still find readers.

Photos: Irène Toutoune Ramanantenasoa, Ulla Aitakangas