Saturday, May 11, 2013

57th day, Toliara - Little favours

Sometimes the impact of your actions is indirect.

We have an exhibition of large posters with photos, telling the story of “hatsake” (slash-and-burn deforestation), its destructive consequences and WWF’s work with the aerial surveillance. Toliara is the site of the national basketball championship for a week, and we showed the exhibition outside of the gym. As the people came to watch the games, not to be educated about nature conservation, and as they were not allowed to leave the gym during the breaks without paying again upon re-entry, we had a rather limited audience.
However, the championship is being organized by the court of Toliara. Cooperating with them (and sponsoring the sound system for the championship) is also in the hope that, next time we deliver a case of someone who has burned the forest to the police, the court will make an effort to make sure the person gets punished – which, so far, has rarely ever happened, even though it means simply applying the law, which makes “hatsake” illegal anywhere in Madagascar. But in a country where the entire government is “interim” and non-elected, and corruption is the shaping force of all politics, little favours count more than papers and law books.

About the Aerial Surveillance of Protected Areas project 

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