Betampona Forest Reserve

Monsieur Justin works the land with his wife Sariaka.  Over the years they have benefitted from the on-going technical support provided by SAF Betampona team.  M. Justin has been so impressed with the improvements in his productivity that he has chosen to become a ‘lead farmer’, sharing his learning with friends and neighbours.

Thanks to the support of SAF, M. Justin has diversified his livelihood producing enough food both to feed his family and to sell.  With fish from their ponds, fruit from their trees, vegetables from their kitchen garden and rice from their paddies, they can have a balanced diet through-out the year without needing to encroach on the rainforest.

In Betampona we fund reforestation, food security, sustainable livelihoods and environmental education in over 100 villages surrounding the Betampona Special Reserve. These activities protect precious wildlife habitats while enabling local communities to improve food security, developing livelihoods in agriculture and arboriculture.

The aims SAF Betampona project in Toamasina are:

  • Reforestation:  to set up 63 tree nurseries.  Planted over 4500 trees across 6ha.  100+ ha of buffer zones and developed protected land.
  • Training: for 150 families in 15 villages to improve yields, raise income and become more resilient to weather and natural disasters.
  • Provide technical assistance for 150 families with; Irrigation, fish-farming, small-scale live-stock farming and vegetable growing.
  • Improving education at 5 schools through our Education for Life programme.  Each school receives: teacher training, build a kitchen garden, provide a water point, provide toilets, build a resources library and install solar panels.
  • Provide Environmental education for over 100 young people from the 15 villages, including training trainers.
  • Conduct an Impact assessment of 20 years of the Betampona Project to help plan future work and to share with national policy developers.


Mahefa of SAF Betampona has dedicated half his lifetime to protecting Madagascar’s precious rainforests and improving the prospects of the people living around the Betampona Special Rainforest Reserve. Over the years he has gained the trust of local communities and has gradually convinced increasing numbers of farmers to switch from damaging slash and burn agriculture to more sustainable practices. His efforts have paid off. Improving the food security and the quality of life of the villagers surrounding the reserve has helped to conserve the forest. The pressure on Betampona Reserve is now officially considered ‘low’, whilst the incomes of many supported families have doubled.


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