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Madagascar and WIOThe Coastal Academy offers practical training courses free of charge to students from the Western Indian Ocean that aim to:

● Address critical gaps in local education and training capacity that have until now hindered conservation efforts in one of Madagascar's most biodiverse areas.

● Empower local communities to manage their own natural resources, alleviating dependence on foreign aid and skills.

● Ensure the future of Madagascar’s unique and vulnerable species and habitats, both terrestrial and marine, by emphasising the interconnectedness of the different ecosystems and the importance of ecological monitoring.

● Teach the sustainable management of the natural resources that are so important to local livelihoods as well as to national economies, focussing in particular on fisheries, aquaculture and tourism.

● Take a multi-disciplinary approach to ensure that future environmental professionals have the understanding and skills to evaluate and take into account the importance of natural resources to those who depend on them.

The Coastal Academy achieves this through:Turtle on beach

Its location in an isolated region of one of the world's mostacclaimed biodiversity hotposts, where communities are still almost entirely dependent on natural resources yet where there are still no opportunities for training in the management of marine and coastal ecosystems.

Targetting its courses at those students who will go on to make decisions critical to the conservation of Madagascar's threatened habitats and vulnerable species, and ensuring that they are fully accessible by offering them in both English and French and entirely free of charge.

Securing sponsorship to allow students not just from Antisranana but from further afield to attend the courses, helping ensure the benefits extend far beyond Northern Madagascar, but to elsewhere in the country and to nearby islands and other coastal countries as well. Applicants so far have come from Kenya, Zanzibar, Tanzania and even as far as Nigeria, demonstrating the global importance of the courses offered.