Sea Turtle Conservation Monitor Sea Turtle Conservation Monitor Nosy Komba, Madagascar MRCI - Madagascar Volunteer Agency | MRCI - Madagascar Volunteer
MRCI’s Sea Turtle Monitoring Program has been established to identify and develop Safe Turtle Breeding Zones in North Western Madagascar
Marine Conservation Research Assistant Nosy Komba, Madagascar MRCI - Madagascar Volunteer Agency | MRCI - Madagascar Volunteer
MRCI's Marine Conservation volunteers are involved in a variety of projects focused on the protection of the marine ecosystem in Madagascar.
Island Outreach Assistants Nosy Komba, Madagascar MRCI - Madagascar Volunteer Agency | MRCI - Madagascar Volunteer
MRCI’s Island Outreach program has volunteers visiting several remote islands undertaking various initiatives such as teaching, construction and scientific research
Forest Conservation Research Assistant Nosy Komba, Madagascar MRCI - Madagascar Volunteer Agency | MRCI - Madagascar Volunteer
MRCI’s Forest Conservation Program involves long-term monitoring of the forest on Nosy Komba Island as well as the diversity and abundance of its endemic wildlife.
English Teachers Nosy Komba, Madagascar MRCI - Madagascar Volunteer Agency | MRCI - Madagascar Volunteer
Madagascar Research and Conservation Institute’s Teaching Program places volunteer English grammar and conversational teachers within the local schools and communities
Community Development Aide Nosy Komba, Madagascar MRCI - Madagascar Volunteer Agency | MRCI - Madagascar Volunteer
MRCI's Community Development Program maintains and builds infrastructures in an effort to improve the lives and living conditions of the people in our communities

10 Project reviews of MRCI - Madagascar Volunteer

Project Details

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 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.

The main focus of the project is on
Foundation Year
2
Contact Person
Caitlin Nagle
Caitlin Nagle
Spoken Languages
English

Social Impact

MRCI’s achievements are only made possible through the hard work and dedication of our staff and each and every volunteer that has passed through our Turtle Cove Research Centre.  Listed below are just some of our achievements and goals:

Achievements

  • Toilets were built in Ampadinombe. In return received guardianship of 20 thousand square meters of forest to rehabilitate
  • A donation of over $2000 from volunteer Chandler Renz for renovation work at the Church school Ampangoriana
  • Renovation work at Ampangoriana Premiere school
  • A school was built in Andrekarekabe
  • A dam was built to supply running water to Andrekarekahely and Andrekarekabe village
  • A bridge was built to improve access to Ampangorina during the wet season
  • Five toilet/shower blocks have been built.  Two in Andrekarekabe and three in Andrekarekahely
  • Playgrounds, including swing sets, were built in the villages of Ampangorina and Andrekarekabe
  • Almost$10,000 dollars was raised for community development projects through fundraisers, GoFundMe and personally
  • Volunteer Joshua Damen who, in conjunction with Kimberley College in Australia, raised over $3,900 USD, as well as fundraising efforts of the village of Marodoku, MRCI and volunteers rebuilt the classroom of the EPP Ambanoro school in Marodoku village that was completely destroyed by Cyclone Enawo
  • A path way over the dangerous route bordering the MRCI camp was built to help the local villagers traverse this difficult terrain
  • A new artificial reef, consisting of a series of transplanted soft and hard corals implanted on boulder-like dome structures has been built, on the sand parallel to the reef, and in stacks close to the reef, creating ‘an orchard’ of growing new coral. The corals were obtained with the assistance of friends of our partner organisation, CNRO and Nosy be Aquaculture. In March the first set of corals were put in with a ceremony of approval of the Fisheries Minister of Madagascar and 100 of his close friend
  • The house reef in front of Turtle cove and two neighbouring beaches were declared protected areas 
  • Staff and volunteers went on a trip to Mitsio Islands with CNR for a governmental biodiversity survey in a case against oil drilling in North Madagascar. The trip resulted in a government report on marine biodiversity.  As of yet, no drilling has happened in that area
  • MRCI concluded an agreement with Ampasinomby village to establish an agroforest on Nosy Komba 
  • MRCI hosted an international researcher studying parasitic wasps and discovered new species
  • Over the last 3 years, 20 new species of birds, reptiles and amphibians have been discovered on the island
  • The beginners class in Ampang now has 18 regular students, with new students joining each week.
  • Volunteer Taylor Schellenberg raised $700 to provide schools with sports equipment 
  • Two Malagasy Sakalav to English dictionaries have been produced
  • 8 adult classes and 11 children classes have been set up to teach English

Future Goals

  • Expand the reef surveys to include more transects at different reef sites
  • Assess the population of potentially damaging species within the MPA
  • Publish scientific papers on the establishment of the orchard and turtle population within our MPA
  • Establish a women’s class in Ampangorina
  • Replant the area of the forest destroyed in the fire
  • Work with reforestation charities to try and mitigate the effects of felling and land clearing on Nosy Komba
  • Raise community awareness on the importance of reducing plastic usage
  • Publish a long-term monitoring report on the effectiveness of the new MPA

Pursued Sustainable Development Goals
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