Posted on 22 September 2017
"This is an important step for our community. We could say that the State has certified the capacity of our organization to address the development of Amoron'i Onilahy, beyond the management of our forest.", says Sitrany Nantoany.
Trained by the Ministry of Tourism, six local ecoguides were certified in the community-based Amoron'i Onilahy protected area. The certification recognizes the professionalism of these people, who also obtained their first aid certificate issued by the Malagasy Red Cross.
"This is an important step for our community. We could say that the State has certified the capacity of our organization to address the development of Amoron'i Onilahy, beyond the management of our forest.", says Sitrany Nantoany, one of the new certified local guides, who is also the general secretary of the "Tsifa" community group that manages the gallery forests along Onilahy river.
The community-based organization "Tsifa" is the leader in terms of resource management in Atsimo Andrefana and also promotes ecotourism in spectacular scenery along the river, away from the clamor of the usual tourist circuits.
It has its ecological cottage where light is provided by solar power. Under a shade of a pleasant thatched hut, visitors enjoy a community catering service with 100% Malagasy organic dishes. A documentation center completes the service.
The community-based organization "Tsifa" suggests tours around the village and along the river Onilahy, with agreeable places for camping.
The initiatives of this community-based organization, supported by WWF for several years, put sustainable tourism and Mahafaly hospitality at the heart of conservation initiatives in the Amoron'i Onilahy gallery forests. Moreover, Nantoany says so clearly: "We ecoguides of Amoron'i Onilahy are the ambassadors and the first defenders of our protected area. Some of us are also Polisinala ("Forest Police" in Malagasy). We work at the heart of our forest and share its richness and its importance. For us but also for our country! ".