Ruth's Madagascar Project

For two months next summer, I’m planning to go to Madagascar with Frontier to work on conservation projects and to work as a field journalist, promoting the crucial, ongoing work that is helping to save our planet.

About Me, and The Project: 
My name is Ruth-Anne, and I’m an undergraduate English Literature Student at Lancaster University. 

For anyone who's known me for any length of time, you know how environmentally minded I am, always trying to find alternatives to using unsustainable materials like plastic or palm oil. I believe that we have a duty of care to our world, we only have one planet and yet we neglect time and time again. With this project, I want to make a personal difference by helping Frontier with their research in Nosy Be, Madagascar, in the hopes that by understanding the decrease in biodiversity we will be able to help the rare collection of species on this island survive and flourish. 

Someone once told me that ‘life is like a sponsored event, you have to find what you do best so you can do the most good’. As a literature student then, with interests in photography and writing, I would be foolish not to offer these skills to help promote Frontiers work as best I can. Hence, I will be the Media and Journalism Intern while out in Madagascar. This means that I will blog, photograph, and video the work and life of the people on the project (and hopefully meet some lemurs on the way).   

To find out more about the work I’ll be doing on the project; please visit the Project Brief on Frontier’s website

Project Details:
Project Dates: 2nd July 2018- 2nd September 2018

Deadline for Fundraising: 2nd June 2018
I am aware that some people are averse to contributing to these kinds of ‘gap year’ projects, which is why I have contributed as much as I can for the project. By paying over a third of the cost with my hard-earned savings, I hope to show you that this isn’t a holiday for me but a project that I’m passionate about. 

About Frontier:
“Frontier was established in 1989 as a non-profit conservation and development non-governmental organisation (NGO) dedicated to safeguarding biodiversity and ecosystem integrity and building sustainable livelihoods for marginalised communities in the world's poorest countries.”

To find out more about Frontier’s mission, values and projects, please visit their website.

Why Madagascar: 
There are currently 103 known Lemur species on the island. However, recent assessments made by the IUCN now show that the Lemurs are now the most endangered group of vertebrates in the world, with 94 species classified as threatened with extinction. The Amphibian fauna of Madagascar is considered to be one of the greatest on Earth, with 238 recognised species and with another 182 candidate species currently awaiting classification. Madagascar is also the centre of diversity for chameleons, with almost half of this old world fauna being found exclusively on the island Madagascar has sadly already lost over 90% of its original forest cover though, and this has put increased pressure on all of the endangered species who live here.
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Ruth Walbank 
Catterall, North West England, United Kingdom