ABOUT Association FILANA
Who We Are
Association FILANA was founded in 2010 to support communities living around protected areas in south east Madagascar, where we experienced that some rural livelihoods were being negatively impacted by conservation. For example, while unsustainable in terms of nature conservation, some activities such as collecting forest products by fishermen for making nets and other utilitarian objects, were very important to the livelihoods of the fishermen. The imposition of conservation blocked access to resources that fishermen relied on to make an income. Our goal was to find sustainable ways of supporting people, such as promoting sustainable tourism, to create alternative livelihood strategies. For many years we ran a successful volun-tourism project at our Sainte Luce Reserve. Over the years, volunteering became less and less popular, and our activities and priorities evolved with the times and we developed new spheres of interest. Now we have a broader view. We work with both rural and urban populations, to find ways to help people in the south east of Madagascar to live more balanced lives. We also acknowledge that in recent times as hardship has increased, the concept of a livelihood being "sustainable" has become less and less of a priority, and in some cases, survival is now the key objective. It is impossible to ignore the current crisis, so these days, direct aid and food aid have been added back into our vocabulary.
We are essentially a group of coworkers and colleagues who have other jobs, mainly in the tourism industry, but we share a strong social and environmental ethic and we as a team bring those ethics to FILANA. We only have three paid staff, the rest of the work of the Association is 100% voluntary.