Marojejy Reopens to Tourism
11 May 2009
After suffering through a dark and difficult period when the park was under siege by the “rosewood mafia” (see previous reports for details), Marojejy is once again safe and has been officially reopened for visitation.
While it is good news and a huge relief that calm has returned to the region, it is extremely unfortunate that justice has not been served on the profiteers who so blatantly plundered the forest and terrorized the local villagers. Many of these unscrupulous individuals remain in the area, and continued vigilance is essential to ensure that they do not resume their destructive activities.
For tourists, however, the danger has passed, and we encourage you to visit the wonders of Marojejy. The park's excellent infrastructure (trails, camps, bungalows, etc.) remains intact; the rainforest with all its incredible flora and fauna remains (mostly) as deep and primeval as ever.
After this period of unrest, your visit and your support are especially important. We need to show the people of the SAVA region (and the Malagasy officials) that there is a far greater benefit to be had by preserving the forests than by exploiting them for short-term profit. Only when villagers are convinced of the enormous value of their amazing heritage—the value of their park intact, with a fully functioning ecosystem complete with lemurs and rosewood trees—will we be able to save Marojejy and the surrounding area.
The timing of the park's reopening coincides perfectly with the completion of a new visitor center in Manantenina (gateway village to Marojejy). The center has been under construction for over four years and will not only serve as an excellent introduction to the park for travelers but also as a convenient meeting place and education center for local villagers.
We thank you all for your letters of support and your monetary contributions during this difficult time. We hope to see you soon in Marojejy!