Rabary Désiré – I stand before you begging the world to do more than write about our problems in Madagascar
“We must be strong and fearless in the face of continued corruption and habitat disturbance inside of Madagascar’s precious National Parks. I have been warned before many times that it is dangerous to reveal the truth. But I believe very strongly in Mahatma Gandi who said “You must be the change you wish to see in the world … I stand here before you begging the world to do more than write about our problems in Madagascar.“ …This is the plea of Rabary Désiré.
Rabary Désiré is probably unique on his own- he has his own natural reserve in Andapa called Antanetiambo: purchased from his hard-earned money working as a local guide in the Marojejy national park. Simply amazing, especially knowing that most people in Madagascar buy land so as to build houses or other infrastructures: Rabary bought his park so that no one touches it anymore and that nature be preserved. We all know the bad news about what’s happening in this Marojejy national park: logging, poaching and rosewood trafficking.I am surely over-simplifying here but you can read more in details on wildmadagascar.org
Antanetiambo is located near Andapa – a region that is providing rice for this north part of Madagascar. When I asked Rabary how does the pressure from local people on the natural reserve work- surprisingly, he said that people are happy because the natural park is habitat for heron bird which is an insectivore. This actually means that the rice farmers don’ t have to spray insecticide on their rice fields anymore since the herons are already doing the job of chasing (and eating insects). Ain’t it amazing how nature works?
Another thing that pleasantly surprised me was how comfortable Rabary was when doing his speech. I was like watching a conqueror marching toward a city he’s going to win: aided with a platified/relied aide-m’emoire (where his speech was written), Rabary hold a great english speech (hey, he’s a local guide at the Marojejy National Park). A video showed that he could identify the plants that the silky Sifaka eats by … eating them too … Amazing. According to Erik Patel – a primatologist- interviewed in this video, Rabary is the one person who actually knows more about this park than anyone else.
Mea culpa: Dear Rabary, I know my contribution here is just another writing added to the other ones that has already been done – that’s a starting point, and I urge any Madafan readers to take actions too. Remember what Rabary’s plea is “I stand here before you begging the world to do more than write about our problems in Madagascar.”
Update: here are the slides that Rabary Désiré used during his speech.