Africa’s Young Women Conservation Biologists Award 2015 won by Malagasy biologist and GTC partner, Julie Hanta Razafimanahaka.
Fresh from the 27th International Congress on Conservation Biology, the Global Trees Campaign (GTC) is excited to celebrate the success of our partner, Julie Hanta Razafimanahaka. Julie was awarded the Young Women Conservation Biologists (YWCB) Award 2015 by the Society of Conservation Biology, Africa section. The panel were impressed by Julie’s ‘rapid climb into leadership following an impressive career and dedication as a researcher in Madagascar’.
Julie is currently Director of Madagasikara Voakajy, a Global Trees Campaign partner in Madagascar, having started as a volunteer researcher. Julie is responsible for leading conservation projects focused on Madagascar’s most threatened species, including a GTC project focusing on threatened Malagasy baobabs. Madagasikara Voakajy’s work currently focuses on three Endangered species of baobab, found nowhere else in the world.
Julie has worked tirelessly to secure a better future for Madagascar’s iconic and endemic species and has been a real force for tree conservation in the region. Alongside her team, Julie has reinforced populations of the three baobab species through the planting of 4,862 seedlings, assisted two communities’ to gain management rights over important baobab forest, reinforced local communities’ appreciation of their local species, found populations totalling over 300 previously unknown individuals at 13 locations and, introduced baobab conservation to local schools via a planting scheme and competition.
Strong leaders are integral to conservation success, and it is important that women who fulfil these roles are recognised in order to inspire other girls and women to climb to leadership positions in the conservation sciences. Julie is such a leader, as a woman and Director of national Madagascan NGO she is making a real impact on species on the ground, and in international conservation circles. She has received major fellowships previously including the Conservation Leadership Programme and the Brain Marsh Award. She also gave a plenary talk at the Student Conference on Conservation Science 2015 in Cambridge. And this is where Julie really measures her success; by inspiring the next generation of conservation professionals, in Madagscar and beyond.
In a discussion with Fauna & Flora International, Julie said “doing research is the easy part of conservation; the most challenging and exciting thing is linking findings with the conservation actions, and this will always include people. Do not stop until you get to that point”.
It is this attitude, enthusiasm and dedication that has won Julie such high praise nationally and internationally and we are very proud to count Julie and Madagasikara Voakajy as partners to the Global Trees Campaign.