Rare launches first conservation campaign in Madagascar with Blue Ventures

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    Andavadoaka, Madagascar. Blue Ventures’ conservation scientist Gildas Andriamalala recently returned to Madagascar to establish the country’s first Rare Pride Campaign, after receiving nine weeks of intensive training in the use of social marketing and communication in conservation,

    Rare is the global leader in social marketing for biodiversity conservation, training and supporting leaders from the world’s top environmental organizations in over 50 countries in social marketing, a method for changing attitudes and behaviours.

    Gildas will be running Rare’s first campaign in Madagascar beginning in spring 2009, with the aim of building public support for the sustainable management of threatened coral reefs and marine resources in southwest Madagascar.

    The first three-month phase of the campaign was held in Washington DC, with eight other new Pride campaign managers from Monogolia, Thailand, Laos, Fiji, Chuuck, Guam and the Bahamas. Intensive training at Georgetown University focused on developing leadership skills for communication with stakeholders about key conservation issues. Gildas received hands-on tuition in new methodologies, tools and computer software, all aimed at increasing the success of the Madagascar campaign.

    During a public launch in Washington to inaugurate the start of the new campaigns, Gildas spoke about some of the issues facing marine conservation in Madagascar, introducing plans for the new campaign partnership between Rare and Blue Ventures..

    Over the next two years, the Madagascar campaign will focus on working with local Vezo communities to reduce destructive and unsustainable fishing techniques. Throughout the campaign Gildas will receive ongoing training as part of masters degree at Georgetown University and his work will form a key component of Rare’s broader ongoing effort to develop strategies for reducing dependency on marine resources.

    For further information on Rare please visit: www.rareconservation.org