Scientific exploration project in the Makay region – Madagascar

Scientific exploration project in the Makay region – Madagascar

Makay Project – Madagascar

10 to 29 April 2016

caption id=”attachment_2788″ align=”alignleft” width=”200″]Moi en forêt guyanaise, station des Nouragues - 2009 (Source : Benoît GILLES) Moi en forêt guyanaise, station des Nouragues – 2009 (Source : Benoît GILLES)[/caption]

In April, I participate in a scientific exploration mission to Madagascar in a region rich in a unique and unknown biodiversity: the region of Makay, in order to contribute to its preservation.

You can find the two mission reports (1 and 2) as well as my testimony on the Naturevolution website.

II) Detailed project presentation
  • La région du Makay

In the 21st century, regions of the world remain little explored and contain a biodiversity unknown to science. caption id=”attachment_2753″ align=”alignright” width=”250″]Location géographique de la région du Makay à Madagascar Location géographique de la région du Makay à Madagascar (Source : © Naturevolution)[/caption]

In the centre-west of the island of Madagascar is one of them: the Makay region. With an area of 150 km x 50 km, this zone consists of a massif of crystalline rocks dating back several hundred million years. The Makay is both one of nature’s most monumental works and an emblem of Terra Incognita – its existence being little known to most Malagasy -.

The massif is formed of high plateaus covered in part by forest or shrub/herbaceous vegetation typical of western Madagascar and deep canyons dug by millions of years of erosion sheltering wet vegetation similar to the forests of the east of the island.

The animal and plant species of this region, isolated from other populations for millions of years, have evolved in particular ecological niches generating an exceptional rate of endemism (species whose range is specific to a precise zone). caption id=”attachment_2764″ align=”aligncenter” width=”400″]Capture d'écran 2016-01-06 à 15.18.17 (Source : © Evrad Wendenbaum)[/caption]

These unique geological and biological mechanisms make the makay massif a sanctuary and a safe of biodiversity protected from human activities by its steep relief. However, increasing and intense anthropogenic pressures and degradation threaten its existence .

  • Project

The project, led by the associations Naturevolution and Projects Plus Actions since several years, under the impulse of Evrad WENDENBAUM, consists in exploring the region and inventorying the biological and archaeological riches to confirm the proof of the exceptional character of the Makay massif with the Malagasy authorities so that safeguarding and preservation measures can be put in place rapidly.

The mission that will take place from 10 to April 29, 2016, and in which I wish to participate, is part of this process and will allow discover areas where no one has yet set foot and unknown animal and plant species, in the heart of the gigantic labyrinth of Makay.

Extract from the 2011 expedition documentary

  • Objectives

In an effort to raise awareness, Naturevolution wishes to produce a guide as well as educational sheets on the fauna and flora of Makay. For this purpose, I will make observations, measurements, photographs and videos of all species of insects that I will meet .

In participating in this mission, I will contribute to the preservation of a region of unique biodiversity.

The different actions carried out by Naturevolution in the Makay region are

  • Science & Exploration
    • Improve knowledge about biodiversity (fauna & flora) in the region, one of the richest points on the planet, one of the most threatened but also one of the most difficult to access
    • Improve knowledge of human settlement history, topography and geology
    • Conduct conservation actions
  • Education & Awareness
    • Developing the region: construction of schools, libraries to give access to environmental education, construction of improved ovens and eco-tourism infrastructures or even installation of nurseries… etc.
    • Dissemination of awareness and educational messages in Madagascar and France using different media: films, books, conferences, exhibitions, interventions for the general public and schools…
  • Restoration of degraded spaces
    • Restoring degraded areas to reduce deforestation (10,000 plants and 10 ha of forests in spring 2012), to create forest corridors for the genetic mixing of animal and plant species and to offer local populations a sufficient wood resource without harvesting in primary forests
  • Creation & Management of Protected Areas
    • Create local antennas from Naturevolution and from Projects Plus Actions
    • Get status Protected Areas
    • To ensure the administration and management of these Protected Areas, including the proper distribution of revenues and the proper application of recommendations and prohibitions
    • Manage potential conflicts

caption id=”attachment_2762″ align=”alignleft” width=”280″]Capture d'écran 2016-01-08 à 18.26.35 (Source : © Naturevolution)[/caption]

Capture d'écran 2016-01-08 à 18.26.47
(Source : © Naturevolution)
III) Destination of funds raised


  • Financings

The total cost of this three-week mission is 4000 € and it is to help me finance this sum and carry out this scientific and humanitarian adventure that I appeal to your generosity.

This amount includes:

  • 25% – The plane ticket
  • 35% – Accommodation, on-site transportation and meals
  • 40% – A donation to the Makay project

So, for 100 € donation, 60 € will allow me to achieve my mission and 40 € will fund nature conservation, education and environmental restoration actions of the association Naturevolution.

  • Tax incentives

The donation entitles the donor to a tax reduction of

  • 66% of the amount of the donation for an individual (up to 20% of income)
  • 60 % of the amount of the donation for a company (ceiling at 0.5 % of turnover)

If the payment made by the company exceeds this ceiling or if it is in deficit, it is possible to carry forward the benefit of deductibility over the following 5 years.

If the payment made by the company exceeds this ceiling, it is possible to carry forward the benefit of deductibility over the following 5 years.

To make a donation : contact me, or follow this link

If thanks to your generosity the amount requested is exceeded, the remainder will be destined for the Makay


Thank you very much for your interest in my project, my approach and my desire to contribute to the preservation of biodiversity

caption id=”attachment_2794″ align=”aligncenter” width=”440″]Moi au sommet de l'inselberg de la station des Nouragues en Guyane française - 2009 (Source : Benoît GILLES) Moi au sommet de l’inselberg de la station des Nouragues en Guyane française – 2009 (Source : © Benoît GILLES)[/caption]

  • Benoît GILLES : follow this link
  • Naturevolution : Environmental association founded in 2009 by Evrard Wendenbaum and Emeric Mourot working to preserve biodiversity and improve knowledge about living things (
  • Projets Plus Actions : International solidarity organization created in 2006 by Jean-Marc Civière whose role is to work for the protection of biodiversity hotspots (
  • Evrard Wendenbaum : Explorer, Evrard is also photographer and expedition director. He initiated the scientific studies and the Makay conservation project (
To discover more about this unique region and the history of its exploration

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