MRCI - Madagascar Volunteer

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Erfahrung als Projekt

Madagascar Research and Conservation Institute (MRCI) undertakes environmental research and conservation in both the marine and terrestrial environments.

Madagascar Research and Conservation Institute (MRCI) undertakes environmental research and conservation in both the marine and terrestrial environments. MRCI further actively involved in community development and educational programs, as well as much needed reforestation in Madagascar.  MRCI ...


Madagascar Research and Conservation Institute (MRCI) undertakes environmental research and conservation in both the marine and terrestrial environments. MRCI further actively involved in community development and educational programs, as well as much needed reforestation in Madagascar.  MRCI educational programs include English teaching and other educational programs geared towards the implementation of conservation initiatives such as the hazards of plastic pollution and how marine species like whales, dolphins and sea turtles are adversely affected.

MRCI’s Turtle Cove research centre is located on Nosy Komba island and is the heart and home base for all MRCI programs.  Turtle Cove is nestled between a beautiful tropical forest and a pristine beach which overlooks Nosy Be and the world famous Lokobe Forest Reserve.  Volunteers have easy access to the beach and MRCI’s home coral reef that, in conjunction with the local community and national government, MRCI have had declared as a Marine Protected Area.

Through long term monitoring, MRCI conservation programs aim to actively contribute to the preservation of the unique flora and fauna of Madagascar. While the community programs are aimed at improving the lives of the Malagasy people in rural communities, the further aim is to communicate the importance of preserving the environment for future generations.

MRCI’s aims to provide the local community and schools with English conversational and English Grammar lessons.  This program not only empowers the community but further offers a platform to volunteers to communicate and collaborate on conservations topics and initiatives at grass-roots level.  Volunteers have the opportunity to teach English classes to students in small village schools on the islands of Nosy Be and Nosy Komba, alongside delivering classes to adults in the local communities as well. Volunteers will also be able to provide classes to the staff members at the Oceanographic Research Institute on Nosy Be, where they will assist in establishing a good working knowledge of English, enhancing their ability to communicate ideas and collaborate scientific research findings internationally.

MRCI’s Community Development Program works hand in hand with our conservation initiatives, goals and objectives. Each project undertaken by MRCI is carefully planned and sanction by the community leaders. The key focus of each project is the development of infrastructures where the entire community benefit as a whole.  The aim of the community development program is to not only improve the lives and living conditions of the people in our communities, but to further gain their support of our conservation initiatives.   Once the projects have been identified and approved by MRCI and the community leaders, work begins with MRCI sponsoring a portion of the funds required.  Volunteers assist not only with the physical labour required to complete the projects, but also with initiating additional fundraising campaigns. 

MRCI’s Marine Conservation Program is run in collaboration with a number of international oceanographic organisations.  The main aim of the marine program is to gather vital raw data through a variety of initiatives.

Volunteers receive comprehensive training to prepare for research-based activities at sea. Training covers species identification for marine wildlife, including turtles, fish, corals and invertebrates as well as methodology of coral baseline surveying, a key skill in marine conservation as a universal approach to monitoring the state of coral reefs.  This program has a minimum duration of 4 weeks to allow sufficient time for volunteers to be able to complete the dive and marine research training as well as to contribute towards dive surveys.

MRCI’s Sea Turtle Monitoring Program has been established to further our goals and objectives and enhance what has already been accomplished in terms of developing Safe Turtle Breeding Zones.  MRCI has very successfully, with the support of the local community, implemented a “Safe Turtle Nesting Zone” on Nosy Komba Island. As part of this initiative, MRCI has employed security personnel to provide 24 hour monitoring of this nesting zone to ensure the safety of the turtles and their eggs. Identifying and implementing protection measures for these breeding sites is paramount to safeguarding the species in this area. The primary goals are to map and identify beaches used as nesting sites; identify species diversity and numbers; engage and establish a relationship with the local communities enabling MRCI to include them in the conservation efforts and to monitor and remove plastic waste and other harmful products from the beaches. 

MRCI volunteers assist in identifying nesting areas by visiting remote beaches on islands surrounding the island of Nosy Be. This program gives volunteers the opportunity to get up close to these beautiful creatures whilst helping to ensure the health and survival of the species into future.

In an effort to extend MRCI’s community and conservation reach beyond Nosy Be and Nosy Komba, MRCI established an Island Outreach program where volunteers are transported aboard the vessel the Spirit of Malala, spending 10 days visiting several of Madagascar’s remote islands and villages.  Volunteers are involved in a range of initiatives such as teaching, small construction projects and scientific research. Many of these island communities in Madagascar have very limited basic resources.  MRCI’s Outreach Program aims to assist these local communities not only with access to education and resources, but with basic first aid assistance as well. 

MRCI’s Forest Conservation Program involves constant monitoring of the forest and its endemic wildlife on Nosy Komba Island. The aim of the forest conservation program is to establish the diversity and abundance of species in order to identify changes in forest dynamics, populations, habitat health and identify potential localised threats. Forest volunteers receive species identification training and learn how to conduct field surveys, set up equipment and collate their data. MRCI’s community development program recently built toilets in the local village of Ampadinombe and in turn MRCI received guardianship 20 thousand square meters of degraded forest from the community to rehabilitate. This area is now protected and MRCI is currently pioneering the development of an agroforestry project that will create a system whereby the agricultural demands of the local community are met whilst providing a sustainable area of healthy forest for Nosy Komba’s wildlife.  The aim is to work with local communities to establish more of these protected areas.


Bianca Reynolds

Gesprochene Sprachen: Englisch
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MRCI - Madagascar Volunteer Bewertungen

Primavera Fumagalli rating4,2

2023 at Marine Conservation Research Assistant

I spent 4 weeks in Nosy Komba for the marine program. The place is magical and all the members of the staff were nice and welcoming. We dove every day and learnt a lot about marine species… Biodiversity there is just amazing! I feel grateful for having the opportunity of being ...
Kjetill Jordann Christinat rating2,4

2023 at Sea Turtle Conservation Monitor

We were supposed to identify and develop Safe Turtle Breeding Zones in North Western Madagascar. Instead, we only went into the sea to watch turle. Any data we collected were used to save the ...
Marine Pessey rating4,8

2022 at Marine Conservation Research Assistant

Super expérience avec MRCI, j'ai étudié les coraux ainsi que les nudibranches et les tortues. J'ai amélioré mon anglais grâce à tous les volontaires qui ont été la pour moi. Une expérience très enrichissante aussi bien sur le point personnel que professionne. Je recommande à ...
Hattie Rawlings rating5,0

2019 at English Teachers

My four weeks in Madagascar has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. Not only have I spent an amazing month in a beautiful country, meeting and working with the locals in Nosy Komba, but I have also made some great friends with the other volunteers that I have been lucky enough to ...
Harriet Fitzpatrick rating5,0

2019 at Forest Conservation Research Assistant

My time at MRCI has been one of the most incredible experiences of my life. After spending 3 months here on the Forest Conservation Program and Island Outreach Program, Madagascar truly feels like home. The forest has taught me to be curious about what is surrounding us and respect that our home ...
I was volunteering in the forest project for 4 weeks and I thought it was amazing. During my time here I got to see wild lemurs, chameleons, and tons of snakes and geckoes. We would hike on Nosy Komba in the morning, these hikes are though, but they are also beautiful and I think it was absolutely ...

MRCI - Madagascar Volunteer Angebote

MRCI - Madagascar Volunteer Standorte

MRCI - Madagascar Volunteer Projektschwerpunkt

UN Sustainable Development Goals

  • Good Health And Well-Being
  • Quality Education
  • Sustainable Cities And Communities
  • Life Below Water
  • Life On Land