Volunteering in Befasy
What we learned?
The WWF Program gave me the possibility to undestand how environmental conservation works in a country like Madagascar. The coral reefs near Toliara and Befasy have such a rich diversity but the the human pressure on them is very high. It was our task to start a conversation about the topic of sustainable fisheries and a sensibel behaviour of the coral reef. We found a lot of openness and interest for our activities and had a lot of good discussions about the conditions and problems in the region. I learned that it is not always easy for them to change old habits. But the people have realized that the conditions of the sea have become worse and they want to do something. The Project to build up a reserve and a sustainability plan is a good way to involve villages like Befasy in environmental protection. In our school lessons we taught the children about the biology of the coral reef, turtles, octopus and more; the children really enjoyed it. I also learned that patience is very important, when things don’t happen as they should or if the communication was on a slow level.
Experiences from Befasy, Sept-Dec 2009
Sustainable Management of Marine Resources, Toliara Coral Reef System
What would I say to other volunteers?
It will help a lot if you are a good teamworker and are able to make compromises!