Beginning in 2001, SCGIS-Madagascar (or Asa SoaAra-jeographika Madagasikara in local Malagassy language) has today more than 150 members who are working in conservation or in development. They conducted the first ever conference of GIS users working in the field of conservation and development.
A member of the SCGIS-Madagascar pay an annual fee about 30 US dollars, and will get a member card, acting as badge for other opportunities. The member can get three free GIS classes followed by permanent technical support. At the end of each class, the SCGIS Madagascar conducts a follow up with each member, their activities and even visit their intervention area. Almost all these members don't have computers and GIS softwares and they have the possibility to come to the SCGIS office to review or to make some exercises.
The members are: engineers, students, individual consultants, teachers, "conservationists ",... from different non governmental organizations and public services. Some members plan to use the GIS in future and others already use GIS in their activities and want to get more knowledge for application of new GIS software.
The SCGIS-Madagascar also organizes meetings for the members for an exchange of information and sharing experiences.
Many NGOs, associations and students really need the SCGIS to help them .The reason why SCGIS Madagascar spreads its activities currently in other regions.
Our main strategy is to inform the public about the existence of the SCGIS Madagascar and its activities including GIS training formation in SIG to demonstrate it that GIS is a tool of excellence for the project of conservation and development in Madagascar by broadcast broadcasts and radiophoniques, and to reinforce the knowledge of the former members continually in SIG while informing them on the evolution of this tool. Also, we try to decentralize the SCGIS-Madagascar in order to increase the number of adherence of the members currently, descended of the provinces others that Antananarivo and that, for a regional aim or even national.
The SCGIS-Madagascar office is currently at the "National Institute of Tourism and Inn” in Antananarivo, the capital city. In partnership with this establishment, we organize GIS training for the students in tourism and in ecotourism and in "tourist entreprenariat» : ArcView and ArcGIS, creation of tourist and ecotourist circuits, and building of database, cartography, GPS... This establishment is planning to integrate the GIS like a fully-fledged discipline but they do not have any adequate materials: computers, video projectors, training room for 35 to 40 students.
One of our partners is the REPC_WCS or the Network of the Educators and Professionals for the Conservation" finds a strategy to teach GIS at the university with the department of Geography, Agronomic Sciences, the Natural Sciences . This network regroups WCS, WWF, University of Antananarivo, National office of the environment, Department of Waters and Forests.
For the years 2006-2007, the registered members are to the number of 60, that means, an increase of 10% in relation to the previous years. It supposes that the student and professional population begins has be interested of the SIG that becomes, for them, an inescapable tool for their studies and their work. The activities of formation are centered currently on the ArcGIS that, compared with ArcView, is more convenient in use and more satisfing in the results. Unfortunately, very few organizations use ArcGIS softwares because these one are very expensive.
However, several members have found of work around the GIS and made proof of their expertises in GIS to their respective employers. What is very positive for us.
In collaboration with other regional organizations , we have installed some GIS units in place in the other regions: Itasy and Amoron'i Mania. After having trained the persons responsible with GIS, we both conceived the installation of GIS units, composed of 4 to 5 technicians. They will assure the follow-up and the assessment of the activities of their projects by using GIS.
The results were positive since the GIS helped them a lot to value their activities and to control the management of their project better.
Next year, other regions will have the intention to follow this way for having better results in their action.
This project will be able to be implanted in the midwest of Madagascar. In collaboration with an association named "Amades", we had some meetings there with the authorities. We showed them the example of the "ecological village" of Auroville in India. They are really interested by this project that is a big first step in Madagascar if it achieves itself. Also, it coincides with the politics of "Green Revolution", initiated currently by the Malagasy state. We have contacted Mr Prashant Hedao who is the expert in this domain and that will be able to help us in the design and in the realization of this project. We are discussing on the place of efficient implantation of this project because there is a proposition of 3 sites that present all some assets.
Wildlife Conservation Society