WORLD LEMUR FESTIVAL 2016 THIRD EDITION

Madagascar is home to 110 species of lemurs which are not found anywhere else in the world.
They make up 20% of primates in the world. Madagascar’s lemurs are particularly interesting and
unique considering that they are the most diverse group of primates in the world yet among the least
studied. If deforestation and habitat degradation persists, then we are at risk of losing all lemur species
with the next 20 years. Tourists come to Madagascar to see lemurs in their natural habitats. Ecotourism
is very beneficial for Madagascar in terms of development and the economy. A significant number of
local families living in villages close to forests and national parks depend on income from work such as
tour guiding for their livelihoods. The extinction of lemurs would negatively affect Madagascar’s reputation
at the international level. Therefore, it is urgent and essential to educate all stakeholders and the
general public about lemur conservation and habitat protection.
We at GERP are the leader of the World Lemur Festival (WLF) and would like to continue this event
for the coming year. 2016 will bring the third edition of the WLF that will take place over 2 days: Friday
October 28th and Saturday October 29th, 2016.
We have chosen these dates for the celebration for the following reasons:
• The month of the celebration (October) has been maintained from the first edition of the WLF
in October 2014 until now.
• The celebration’s date (at the end of October) is effective because it loosely coincides with the
start of the school year. Schools are therefore still in the early stages of the school calendar and students
are not yet fully occupied. Festival activities can therefore incorporate participation by students and
youth.
• GERP’s responsibility is to ensure the long term implementation of the festival. The festival’s
long term goal is to take the celebration to the international stage, to see its activities written in the
UNESCO calendar and in the worldwide calendar as a “World Lemur Day”.

Program

  • Carnival

Carnival aims to bring together various stakeholders such as organizations, associations and schools, and also foreigners living in or visiting Madagascar. All participants are encouraged to wear lemur costumes during the carnival.

  • Conference debate

Conference/Debate is a good forum for promoting lemur conservation and forest habitat protection through scientific communication. The conservation message will show that lemurs have a significant economic value in Madagascar.

  • Outreach and Education

Outreach improves awareness on the part of Malagasy citizens about the importance of the conservation of lemurs and protection of their forest habitat. The main targets of this activity are school children and the local population. A number of schools around Antananarivo will be invited for the outreach activity.
There will be a running/walking event (distance to be determined) on the morning of the outreach activities. The event’s finish line will be at the garden of Ambohijatovo, where all outreach activities will be held.

  • Exhibition

ExhibitionExpected Results
Several institutions such as conservation NGOs, civil societies, and associations will be invited to participate in the exhibition; they will display their conservation work during the exhibition. The goal is to spread the conservation message across the country.

Expected Results:

Lemurs are unique and rare treasure we should cherish. That is why we expect that this Festival will help an active involvement of Malagasy citizens in lemur conservation activities, the improvement of the conservation status of lemur species, improved public awareness about lemur conservation and forest protection, the promotion of ecotourism in Madagascar and finally the participation of several stakeholders and authorities including government, ministries, local associations, NGOs, civil societies, tourism operators and embassies.

Contact us at:

Professor Jonah Ratsimbazafy | jonah@gerp-mg.org

Professor Lucien Marie Aimé Rakotozafy | rlucienma@yahoo.fr