Madagascar is a biodiversity hotspot under threat, with about 80% of the population living below the poverty line and dependent on the use of diminishing local resources. Environmental education (EE) can act as an important tool for biodiversity conservation, however, its implementation is challenging in low-income countries. Here, we provide a review of 248 EE interventions throughout Madagascar. We highlight how EE can promote pro-environmental behaviors and show the major obstacles it faces, using Madagascar’s Lake Alaotra as a case study area. All EE activities are implemented by non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and international institutions. EE and community engagement have been shown by practitioners and scientific research alike to be valuable tools but are severely restricted in their impact when their outreach is limited by insecure and insufficient funding, and often funding periods that are too short. Another major hindrance to EE producing positive changes in people’s real-life decisions in low-income countries like Madagascar, arises when lessons are taught to a population that is at once understanding and severely constrained in its choices due to poverty, and corresponding malnutrition, that forces people to make unsustainable decisions on a daily basis. Our conclusions should help to improve the practice of EE in Madagascar and other low-income countries.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited