When nature is on his mind, he remembers his life as a child in a rural area. He actually spent most of his childhood in the forest because his father was working 24 kilometres away from their hometown and Jeanneney used to accompany him on his way to work. "There was still dense forest there at the time but there is nothing left today," he deplores.
At school, he was much into writing essays in Malagasy. Later, before opting for conservation, he was interested in health issues and becoming a doctor.
Interested in health issues
From the biggest to the smallest chameleonA herpetologist by profession, Jeanneney has closely studied the chameleon Furcifer oustaleti in the Ankarafantsika National Park.
“This is an exceptionally big chameleon with claws that are painful if you let it walk on your skin,” he says. At Canterbury University, Jeanneney did a master thesis on the conservation of the brookesia chameleon - the smallest chameleon genus - in three different parks.
He joined WWF because he definitely considers himself as a conservationist and an environment manager! He believes that patience, readiness for hard work, ambition and team work are essential to fulfil his current duties.
Talking to, and learning from people“Of all the different activities we conduct, I like the forest management transfer best. I like talking to people in the local communities and learning about their perspectives on natural resources and life in general,” he says.
”We have planted 180’000 trees in three planting seasons and I am very proud of that," he adds. "My team is doing a great job and everyone is happy to be part of such a big project.“
Jeanneney has a clear vision for the future of his project site. The water and forest authorities must go to the field more often to better understand the needs of local people.
More resources neededHe also would like to have more staff to be able to save more forest. And he recognizes the need for tangible results.
“If people see how they can benefit from the conservation of forests they will be easily convinced to support it. We can see it happens where we work and it would be nice to see the same everywhere in Madagascar.”