Jeannie Raharimampionona is a leading botanist and conservationist native to the Highlands in Madagascar. Raharimampionona has dedicated the last two decades to protecting and bringing awareness to the massive destruction of the Malagasy flora, which in many cases is endemic to the island and not found anywhere else in the world. She will be one of the five speakers at the virtual event that celebrates the 20th anniversary of the IUCN NL Land Acquisition Fund.
Ever since she was young, Raharimampionona has loved nature. She spent a lot of time studying plants in the forest and this is how she became aware of how devastating deforestation was to her country’s native flora. She joined the NGO Missouri Botanical Garden Madagascar in 1999. This was the first institution pushing young Malagasy people into botany careers in Madagascar.
Protecting plant and animal species
Raharimampionona and her team identified 80 priority areas for plant conservation; a major conservation shift in a land where most attention has been given exclusively to the protection of animal species, such as lemurs. She has also incessantly worked to ensure local communities’ participation in all conservation programs.
The best way to protect the forest is to involve people living around the protected area. Nothing can be done without their engagement.
In 2020, Raharimampionona has been awarded the prestigious National Geographic/Buffett Award for Leadership in Conservation in Africa. Jeannie’s efforts to help protect neglected priority areas for plant conservation have been enormously successful, resulting in the creation of 11—soon to be 12—protected areas that are managed by local communities, and in particular women that Raharimampionona has directly trained.
Raharimampionona is one of the five speakers during IUCN NL's inspirational online journey around the world on Thursday November 19, from 15.00 to 16.30 CET. Join this online event to discover the unique conservation stories of five passionate nature conservationists.