Azafady (London, )


  • Name:Liz Biskar

Organization Address

  • Organization Name:Azafady
  • Address:1a Beethoven Street
    Studio 7
    London W10 4LG
    United Kingdom

Organization Phone

  • Main phone:+44 (0) 208960 6629

Organization Web

User Email


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  • Mission:
  • Azafady’s mission is to work with communities in the Anosy region of southeast Madagascar to tackle the immediate effects of poverty, support long-term development and protect the environment. Azafady aims to build the capacity and skills of individuals and organisations to support and lead sustainable conservation and development initiatives, with the aim of securing local community access to quality health, education and livelihoods assets, and increasing local capacity to conserve and manage natural resources, including unique but greatly endangered forest environments. Azafady has three interrelated programmes – sustainable livelihoods, community health and environmental conservation – each with a variety of projects, sensitively built around what are directly expressed as the most pressing needs of these disadvantaged communities.

  • Overview:
  • Madagascar has been described as ‘the single highest biodiversity conservation priority in the world’ (Myers et al., 2000), and contains some 4% of Earth’s different floral and faunal species within just 0.4% of the planet’s land surface. It is also one of the top three countries considered most vulnerable to the effects of climate change as a result of deforestation, natural disasters, chronic poverty, a dependence on agriculture and a lack of capacity to adapt to these factors (Maplecroft, 2010). Moreover, with some 90% of the population living on less than £1.25 a day, Madagascar is one of the most impoverished countries in the world (World Bank, 2010). The majority of the population work in subsistence fishing and agriculture in isolated rural communities and depend directly on natural resources for their livelihoods. However, rapidly expanding populations (increasing at a rate of approximately 3% per year) combined with decreasing access to land and marine resources have rendered traditional livelihoods strategies inadequate, resulting in increased pressure on dwindling reserves. Local awareness of and motivation to conserve the environment is present, however populations lack the necessary information, training and inputs to implement alternatives, therefore over-fishing and slash-and-burn agriculture remain common. These issues of interlinked poverty and conservation have only been worsened by government implemented policy, specifically the Madagascar Protected Areas System (SAPM), which protects forests from community access. This governmental designation, while vital for conservation efforts, does not address the root causes of the forests’ degradation - poverty and lack of alternatives. Failure to address these issues will make the SAPM highly unsustainable and leave local populations increasingly vulnerable to both environmental and economic stresses and shocks.

    Problems of poverty and environmental degradation are seen in their most extreme form within the isolated Anosy region in the southeast where Azafady operates. The Antanosy people are a historically marginalised and extremely impoverished group, and suffer some of the highest rates of illiteracy (80%) and disease – up to 40% of children die before the age of five from easily preventable illnesses. Anosy is also home to some of the island’s last remaining coastal forests; existing in isolated and diminishing fragments, the Ambatoantsignana and Tsitongambarika littoral forests hold exceptional biodiversity, with levels of endemism among flora and fauna reaching as high as 83% (Rabenantoandro et al, 2007).

    Azafady aims to address these interlinked issues of conservation and poverty by working with local communities to develop projects which respond to the most pressing conservation and development challenges. Community capacity building and skills training are at the core of Azafady’s projects, with the ultimate goal being community-led and sustained management of projects in the future.

  • History:
  • Azafady UK is a British registered charity (1079121), established as a Scottish charity in 1994 and registered in England & Wales in 1999. ONG Azafady is the partner organisation of Azafady UK, established as an independent Malagasy association in 1996, and responsible for the co-development, implementation and monitoring of all Azafady projects on the ground in Madagascar. Azafady has over 15 years of project experience in southeast Madagascar and during this time has developed strong working relationships with the local population, maximising their participation in all stages of project development and implementation. Azafady is a recognised regional specialist in capacity building at the community level (empowerment, information, education and training, advocacy) and it is estimated that over 125,000 people have benefited from the projects implemented by Azafady in southeast Madagascar over the last decade. Azafady has acted as a consultant to the Malagasy government in the publication of several papers on the state of the environment, and was elected to represent community interests on the regional committees for reforestation and biodiversity.

    Azafady’s key achievements as of February 2014 include the construction of 1,145 latrines, benefiting more than 22,000 people; the provision of 112 wells in rural communities, benefiting more than 40,000 people; HIV/AIDS prevention education sessions and mass mobilisations held with more than 19,000 young people, with 160,000 condoms distributed as part of HIV/STI awareness raising activities; establishment and training of Fort Dauphin’s first ever antenatal group; completion of one year comprehensive maternal health research project; establishment of child growth and malnutrition monitoring system in 42 rural communities; distribution of emergency food aid in partnership with the World Food Programme to 90,000 pregnant women, mothers and children; supporting more than 100 women to establish a small business through Azafady’s unique embroidery programme, Stitch Sainte Luce; facilitating the community planting of 110 hectares with more than 84,000 trees, including fast-growing species for community use as well as endemic and endangered species; establishing a regional stakeholder platform for natural resource management; supporting more than 1,200 people to build their own fuel-efficient stoves, reducing firewood consumption by 75%; establishment of long-term biodiversity and lemur monitoring programmes in Sainte Luce, including several IUCN ‘Critically Endangered’ species; establishment of a weekly environmental education class in the local primary school in Sainte Luce, with over 50 pupils in attendance each week; construction of 23 schools, each benefiting over 200 children every year; construction of 1,870 school desks and benches, benefiting over 5,000 children every year; hosting over 800 international volunteers for up to 10 weeks on construction and community education projects; hosting over 400 international conservation researchers who contributed to conservation project development and implementation; chosen partner to the Ministry of Health in tackling lymphatic filariasis, malaria, waterborne diseases and HIV/STIs.

    Another core component of Azafady’s work is to raise international awareness about Madagascar's unique natural heritage and the particular dangers the country and Malagasy people face. This is in part done through our award-winning international volunteer programme, which invites people of all ages from around the world to take part in Azafady's on the ground conservation, construction and sustainable livelihoods project work. In addition, Azafady raises awareness through active collaborations and campaigning with organisations such as Amnesty International, 38 degrees, Madagascar Environmental Justice Network and World Development Movement, and also through contributing articles to a number of publications, including The Scientist, New Internationalist, New Renaissance and the United Nations Environment Programme.

  • Year established:1994
  • Endowment:Unknown


  • Executive / Trustee board size:9
  • Advisory board size:
  • Staff size:70


  • Organization type:Grantseeker
  • Country of registration:United Kingdom
  • U.K. Charity Commission ID #:1079121

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