A Lemur Conservation Project Development Intern

  • Tolanaro, Anosy Region, Madagascar

On our website please download the Volunteer Handbook and the Application Form. Please note that the location shown on the map here on this site is incorrect. Please see correct location on our website. Thanks.

We're looking for one special person to live and work in the south east of Madagascar for a minimum of 12 months. Your job will be to help us develop project proposals and to secure funding for those projects.

This internship represents an excellent opportunity for anyone wishing to pursue a career in habitat conservation and or in fund-raising. With us, you will gain understanding and skills across a wide range of duties associated with project development in the field of habitat conservation in one of the most extraordinary environments on earth.

Based in the office of our principal financial partner, Dadamanga SARL, in Tolagnaro south east Madagascar, the internship is for a period of 12 months, giving the intern an unparalleled insight into the grassroots operations of a tiny NGO and experience in remote, field-based project development and administration.

The internship is predominantly office based, with regular day and overnighttrips to Sainte Luce Reserve, and the activities undertaken will provide great experience for a young conservation professional.

Where: Fort-Dauphin and Sainte Luce, Anosy Region, Madagascar When: Starting in September 2016 for 12 months extendable Trial Period: 3 months Contract: Voluntary, unsalaried Reporting to: President of Association FILANA, but mainly working unsupervised after the probationary period.

Job Focus: Gathering the data of the organisation into a libarary and then increasing the size of our library to benefit future interns; project research and development, proposal preparation, editing and writing; donor identification, proposal submission and donor communications; assisting with preparing and managing field volunteer activities at the reserve.

Budget: Average living costs for 12 months are $USD5,000, not including international and internal flights, visa and travel insurance.

Required skills: The successful applicant will:

  • Hold or be studying towards an undergraduate degree in or relating to habitat conservation, or have equivalent experience
  • Demonstrate sound knowledge and keen interest in conservation issues
  • Previous experience living or working in a developing country would be an asset
  • Previous experience of community-based work would be an asset
  • Have excellent analytical skills, with demonstrable ability in gathering and assimilating information from various sources, compiling documents (reports and proposals), and identifying lessons learnt and best practice
  • Have excellent written communication skills, and previous experience writing proposals and reports
  • Have a sound ability to adapt material for different audiences
  • Be able to conduct internet research into potential donors for project funding
  • Be capable and comfortable adapting to life in a least developed country
  • Be able to adjust to life in another culture and a foreign language
  • Demonstrate proven ability to recognise and appropriately deal with challenging situations
  • Be able to work both independently and as part of a team
  • Be fluent in English (written and spoken); working knowledge of French would be a strong asset
  • Be able to financially support themself for the duration of their internship (we do offer some advice on fundraising)
  • Be able to bring their own laptop computer to Madagascar (all of our present hardware and software is Mac)

Anyone interested in applying for this position should send a detailed CV and covering letter explaining why you are right for the post, to Brett Massoud by email.

Conservation Context:

Madagascar is among the world's poorest countries. As such, people's day-to-day survival is dependent upon natural resource use. Most Malagasy never have an option to become professionals in industry or business; they must live off the land that surrounds them, making use of whatever resources they can find. Their poverty costs the country and the world through the loss of the island's endemic biodiversity. We at Association FILANA are charged with the protection of an extraordinary piece of habitat, part of the very last absolute coastal forest in Madagascar, in an area of incredible diversity and under great threat. Our part of the forest is privately owned (by our financial partner Dadamanga SARL), but, we strive to make our presence and our activities relevant and important to the conservation of the entire forest that our reserve forms part of. For example, since our presence began in 2009, wild bird populations have increased, lemur populations have become habituated to the presence of humans (no longer fleeing) and collection of reptiles for the pet trade has ceased. Cutting of the forest is now a very minor problem compared to when we arrived, and in general, local people now respect that the wider forest is a protected area.

Madagascar's major environmental problems include:

Tavy or slash-and-burn agriculture is the lifeblood of Malagasy culture and the Malagasy economy. Tavy is mostly used for converting tropical rainforests in Madagascar into rice fields. Typically, an acre or two of forest is cut, burned, and then planted with rice. After a year or two of production the field is left fallow for four to six years before the process is repeated. After two or three such cycles, the soil is exhausted of nutrients and the land is likely colonized by scrub vegetation or alien grasses. Tavy is the most expedient way for many Malagasy to provide for their families, and where day-to-day subsistence is a question there is little concern for the long-term consequences of the actions. From this perspective, as long as there is more forest land freely available for clearing, you might as well use the land before a neighbor does. Tavy for rice also has spiritual and cultural ties that transcend the economic and nutritional value of rice as a crop.

Fuelwood and charcoal production: The endemic spiny forests of Madagascar are being cut at an alarming rate for charcoal production. In eking out a living selling little piles of charcoal along roads in southwestern Madagascar, local people turn towards the nearest plant source, which in this case is often Alluaudia trees.

Fire:Every year as much as a third of Madagascar burns. Fires set for land-clearing and pastureland spread into adjacent wildlands, causing damage to the island's unique ecosystems.

Overexploitation of living resources:Madagascar's native species have been aggressively hunted and collected by people desperately seeking to provide for their families. While it has been illegal to kill or keep lemurs as pets since 1964, lemurs are hunted today in areas where they are not protected by local taboos (fady). Tenrecs and carnivores are also widely hunted as a source of protein. Reptiles and amphibians are enthusiastically collected for the international pet trade. Chameleons, geckos, snakes, and tortoises are the most targeted.

Mining: The south east of Madagascar is presently being mined for ilmenite by Rio Tinto. As the mine moves, the threats to biodiversity change, and the challenges also change. Our reserve is adjacent to a potential future site of the mine, and we want to work closely with the mining company to mitigate future problems.

Why us?:

The difference between interning with our organisation and with other programs is that with us, you'll be a key member of a very small team. There are challenges in fundraising for an organisation that does not have an international presence (we don't have an office or charity status outside of Madagascar) so you will need to research donors who are keen to work directly with local NGO's. You will be living and working with the people who are striving to protect this amazing environment. We concentrate on habitat protection and the engagement of local people in conservation of this one very special area. You will rapidly become conscient of the area, the people, the problems, and, we hope, the potential solutions to the problems. The President of Association FILANA (an Australian) has 20 years experience in Madagascar and has set up and run other organisations here in this region for many years.

We do not have foreign offices or fancy overheads, our work is purely focussed here in the south east of Madagascar in and around our reserve.

Accommodation: You may find your own accommodation and we will help you to do that, or, you may stay in our small beachfront dormitory in the garden of our office. The bungalow is one room, with toilet and shower, shared by a maximum of two interns.

We are proud members of the Lemur Conservation Network.

More information and contact on our website, www.sainte-luce-reserve.org Check our Facebook page www.facebook.com/sainte.luce.reserve

Deadline for applications: 1st August 2016

Association FILANA Association FILANA logo

  • Tolanaro, Anosy Region, Madagascar 614
  • Start and end dates:

    Position begins August September 2016
  • Duration:

    3 months or longer
  • Time commitment:

    Full time (30-40 hours/week)
  • Times of day:

    Mornings Afternoons
  • Days of week:

  • Schedule:

    Fixed schedule
  • International volunteer options:

    International volunteers welcome

Association FILANA Association FILANA logo

Please make corrections before moving on.
Please fill out {field}.

Uh oh.

Something unexpected just happened. Sorry!

Please try again or contact us.

Hmm... we couldn't find that place in our database.
Are you sure it's correct? Yes No

There was a problem signing in to your social account.

The error code was: error code.

If the problem persists, please contact us.

Try again

Sign in with:

Continue with:

Next ››

Log in

Welcome back! Please enter your password.

Forgot your password?

Next ››

Create your account

Looks like you're new here. Sign up! Or, log in with a different email.

‹‹ Back Next ››

Upload a photo

Nice photo! (Change)

‹‹ Back Next ››

Secure your account

Please verify that you're a human. Type the text below:

By clicking "Sign Up" you're agreeing to our Terms & Conditions

‹‹ Back

Secure your account

Please verify that you're a human. Type the text below:

By clicking "Sign Up" you're agreeing to our Terms & Conditions


Thanks for joining Idealist! We're glad to have you.

Please check your email and click on the verification link we just sent you. Your registration won't be complete until you do.


Thanks for joining the Idealist network!

Welcome back!

Please update your account details:

‹‹ Back Next ››

You're almost there!

We emailed you at with a verification link that you must click on to complete the sign up process.

Resend the verification email

Not you? Click here to become a Connector.

You're almost there!

We emailed you at with a verification link that you must click on to complete the sign up process.

Resend the verification email

Your profile is updated

Thanks for updating your profile! You can add more detail, including your interests, skills, and experience later.


Tell us why you're excited about this

Nice photo! (Change)

( No, thanks )

Please upload a photo and write a comment to continue.
Write comment to continue.
Please check the box to continue.
Please check the boxes to continue.
Please make corrections before moving on.
Please fill out {field}.
Please enter your full name.
Please let us know what to call you.
Please enter your city.
Please upload a photo.
Please tell us where you live.
Please enter a valid email address.
Passwords must be at least 6 characters long.
Email or password is incorrect.
Please try filling out the captcha again.
Please choose a profile photo.
Name can be no longer than 128 characters.
Quote can be no longer than 1024 characters.

Forgot your password?

Please enter your email so we can send you a reset link.

We just sent an email to you@example.com to reset your password.

We just sent an email to to verify your account.

Sorry, we ran into a problem with that.

Choose Another

We're glad to have you!

Before you can be active in this community, you'll have to become a Connector. Take a moment to learn more about the role and agree to our shared values before continuing.

Already a Connector? Log in

Already involved? Log in

Thank you!

Please review this final commitment we are all making to one another, and click below.

Working with others, in a spirit of generosity and mutual respect, I want to help build a world where all people can lead free and dignified lives.

In my role as a Connector, I commit to:

Please check the box to continue.
Please check the boxes to continue.