Madagascar is one of the most biodiverse countries in the world, with thousands of species of plants and wildlife that exist nowhere else. But ten years ago, over 90 percent of the rainforests they used to inhabit had already been destroyed by logging companies and other extractive industries

This has led to a crisis that’s both environmental and humanitarian. Those rainforests don’t just sustain the ecosystems that provide food and water to the people of Madagascar. They also represent one of the few truly lucrative and accessible forms of revenue for everyday Madagascarians, in the form of eco-tourism.

In other words, if Madagascar’s rainforests disappear, poverty and hunger will only become more endemic among its citizens.

By the time we began working with Conservation International in Madagascar, they’d already waged a decades-long fight to protect it. And yet, they were still struggling to convey to local communities — and the world — the existential importance of their work.

So, we gave what we know best: the gift of storytelling. Rather than simply reiterating the direness of the situation, we produced a short film that put it into context, emphasizing the country’s truly extraordinary ecosystem as well as the necessity of preserving it.

The film, translated into Malagasi and many other languages, was shared widely throughout both local communities in Madagascar and Conservation International’s donor base. As a result, it helped bring together the most powerful combination in environmental conservation: grassroots activism and international support.

We’re happy to report that the situation in Madagascar has improved substantially since the film was released. While there’s still much more work to be done, we’re deeply proud of having found another way for better storytelling to make our planet a fairer, more equitable place for everyone.

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