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Conservation projects will only succeed if they are supported by the local people. There are more than 20,000 people living in 8 communities around the reserve. We work in partnership with the VOI (Vondron'Olona Ifotony), the local village associations, to ensure that the local people benefit from conservation so that they feel involved in and support ongoing conservation.
Once per month, members of the VOI are paid to join the rangers on patrol. This ensures that the VOI are aware of the state of the forest and can help identify forest destroyers.
The VOI will approach forest destroyers where they live and first attempt to educate them about the importance of conserving the forest and the outcome if they continue. As a last resort, the VOI will work with the local Ministry of the Environment, supported by Fandroakando, to arrest forest destroyers and charge them for their activities.
Involving the VOI in patrolling their forest has had a positive outcome: the VOI now organize voluntary patrols of the forest when they are not patrolling with Fandroakando.