Meeting the field agents

Marie Hélène Rasoalalanirina

 / ©: WWF-MWIOPO
Marie Hélène Rasoalalanirina, Andapa
© WWF-MWIOPO
Marie-Hélène Rasaolalanirina is working for WWF since 2006. An expert in agricultural techniques, she originally wanted to be a civil engineer and build metallic bridges.

But she confesses her rural roots took over: “Already as a little girl I used to love wandering in our coffee field and to watch the indri lemur eat the coffee beans!”

It’s therefore not surprising that field missions to meet with farmers living on the edge of forests are her favourite activities today.

According to the 48-year old woman, training villagers to sound alternative agricultural practices demands some wisdom. “You cannot lie, and you have to respect their habits and beliefs and not look like you are trying to impose your views,” she says.

Jean Noël

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Jean Noël, Andapa
© WWF-MWIOPO
The 47-year old Jean Noel has never worked outside WWF, an organization he joined more than 20 years ago.

A specialist in transfers of natural resources management, reforestation, sensitization techniques and forest administration, this polyvalent field agent wanted to be a physician when he was younger but chose to commit to conservation because of his love for nature and eagerness to learn more on conservation.

Training is actually one of his favourite activities. He hopes the project will continue to protect both forests and human beings and significantly increase the reforestation of degraded land. 

Falizara

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Falizara
© WWF-MWIOPO
Trained in reforestation, fish breeding, bee keeping and poultry farming, Falizara joined WWF in 2006.

He believes the effects of climate change have never been as visible as now in the country side. He is sharing this feeling with local villagers to sensitize them.

“I’m very happy to be part of this project, because every day I can acquire new knowledge and increase my experience and expertise, which will ultimately benefit those farmers I meet with and help.”

Léandre Razafilahy

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Léandre Razafilahy, Andapa
© WWF-MWIOPO
The 46-year old and father-of-five Léandre Razafilahy has been with WWF for almost 20 years. Before that, he worked as an accountant in rural village.

“With WWF in general and especially in this project, we work at all levels, from the individual farmer to the regional authorities via the representatives of hamlets, villages and districts. This is really what I find the most appealing,” he says.

Léandre Razafilahy also likes very much the fact that he contributes, through his work, to inform, educate and convince people that conservation action is crucial and will eventually benefit them.

“The HCPF must continue, otherwise I’m afraid most of our efforts will be lost,” he insists.

Odon Raharison Andrianarivelo

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Odon Raharison Andrianarivelo, Andapa
© WWF-MWIOPO
Holder of Bachelor in Law, Odon Raharison Andrianarivelo had plans to become a broadcast journalist.

“But my love for Nature was eventually stronger,” he says to justify his radical career change. The 51-year old and father-of-four field agent joined WWF in 1999.

“I’m very religious and I believe that one cannot dissociate the salvation of the soul from the need to protect people against the negative impacts of climate change,” he stresses. “Conserving our biodiversity and fighting nature degradation are a real source of motivation for me.”

Odon Raharison Andrianarivelo is particularly involved in the implementation of alternative agricultural practices with farmers living close to forests.  

Velonjara Zafinandriana

 / ©: WWF-MWIOPO
Velonjara Zafinandriana, Andapa
© WWF-MWIOPO

Velonjara Zafinandriana joined WWF in 1993. Originally, he wanted to be a teacher but now he has developed an extensive conservation experience and expertise with WWF. He is very committed to his activities within the HCPF, especially when it comes to community reforestation and meetings in villages.

“I like the work with local people better than accompanying consultants who often disrupt our planning, wasting our time, and never feed back to us, which is not very rewarding,” he states.  

Erica Natacha Antilahy Merimpitia

  •  / ©: WWF-MWIOPO
    Holding a Master in Finance and Accounting, Erica started to work for WWF in 2009 as Financial and administrative assistant in Andapa. Before that, she particpated in environmental projects run by CIRAD (Centre de coopération internationale en recherche agronomique pour le développement).
     
    Already at school she showed acute interest for financial issues and accounting and wanted to work in a bank. But her experience with CIRAD convinced her to stay in the world of environment and development organizations.

    « I want to contribute to protect nature even through indirect means such as finance and management tasks, » she says passionately.

    She likes to be permanently busy and when files she works on are progressing well. She thinks the Holistic Programme will bring very valuable knowledge, expertise and know-how to both WWF staff and key stakeholders (such as local communities).

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