The Masoala rainforest contains 1% of the world's bio diversity and is losing an estimated 1,000 trees per day through illegal logging and slash and burn agriculture.
As a result of the on-going political crisis in Madagascar, its forests have been mercilessly plundered. Poverty, corruption, and an economy in free fall have all contributed to the trade.
In 2009, an estimated 100,000 rosewood and ebony trees were taken from the Sava region.
47 of Madagascar's 48 species of rosewood are found nowhere else
in the world.
This destruction is leading to the irreversible eradication of Madagascar's most unique flora and fauna, and a loss of habitat for the most primitive and unique primates: the lemurs.
With over 70% of the country living in poverty, tourism is seen as a way to reduce poverty and provide economic growth.
What is needed is a project uniting local, national and international partners working in the region that gives support to the local communities. An awakening
that will help build a sustainable future for the population living by the forest.
First we will create a noise big enough for everyone to hear, more powerful than the forces of greed.
Our aim is to energize everyone in the Sava region, in Madagascar, and around the world with a media blitz, including TV, radio, newspapers and the powerful online social network.
On October 1st 2011, on World Environment Day, a music festival "Wake up Masoala" will take place in the village of Anbouderafia that lies on the edge of the Masoala forest.
An unprecedented line up of Malagasy and international artists will attract many of the 70,000 inhabitants that dwell in and around the forest.
The event will begin on May 29th with a vibrant musical procession starting from the capital, Antananarivo. It will travel through the countryside promoting the festival with impromptu concerts along the route and culminate in the staging of one of the most ambitious music festivals ever held in Madagascar
Before the concert, the local population will be invited to plant 10,000 trees as a symbolic ticket to the event. The planting will foster a sense of ownership and connection to the earth.
Mifohaza Masoala will bring together a vital environmental cause empowered by music.
An impressive lineup of journalists from leading media organizations will be invited to witness the event. The entire journey will be documented and made into a powerful documentary. It will help spread the word beyond the event with screenings in film festivals and other global media channels.
We will engage the villagers by inspiring, educating and motivating them to take pride in their natural resources and offering viable means to protect them.
Our short, medium and long-term goals are ambitious. But working with partners (who are already engaged in the region such as WCS and CARE) we can reach them.
Through this festive event our aims are:
The aims of Mifohaza Masoala are:
1) To raise awareness about the urgent problem of deforestation in Madagascar.
2) Encourage the cessation of illegal logging in the Masoala.
3) Help The Masoala National Park regain its status as a World Heritage Site.
In the long term, the Masoala National Park's endemic flora and fauna will be conserved, buffered and connected by community areas with improved livelihoods.
This is about much more than Masoala or Madagascar. It's about saving a unique natural treasure that belongs to us all.
Help us keep our forest alive.
By donating or sponsoring even a part of this important initiative you can make a major difference not just to the communities living in and around the Masoala, but to future generations. Thank you.