The purpose of the Environmental Evaluators Network (EEN) is to advance the practice, policy and theory of evaluating environmental programs, policies and other interventions through more systematic and collective learning. The EEN is a rapidly growing and diversifying community of practice of thousands of participants committed to understanding and improving effectiveness and efficiency in the environmental sector. EEN participation is international and represents the environmental sector’s diversity of disciplines and organizations, working from the local to global scale in government agencies, non-profits, consulting organizations, foundations, and academic institutions.
Some of the ways that EEN accomplishes its purpose include:
• Fostering relationships between evaluators and users of evaluation,
• Advancing the theory of environmental evaluation, and
• Collaborating across diversity to deliver useful products and services.
EEN was founded in 2006 by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) and today its sponsors and partners include government agencies, professional associations, consulting firms, foundations and universities. The Network is comprised of environmental, conservation, sustainable development, and natural resource evaluators and evaluation consumers. Individuals and organizations from academia, consulting, foundations, government and non-profits are all welcome to participate.
Madagascar is unique in its biodiversity which is not only rich but also with uncommon level of endemism: 28 endemic families, 478 genera among the plants and vertebrates. Five endemic plant families and 14,000 plant species, nearly 90% are endemic. Biodiversity and endemism in Primates are also very high, placing it among the world’s highest priorities for primate conservation: 101 species and subspecies that are all endemic. There are five endemic families with 209 species of birds nesting, 51% are endemic to Madagascar. In addition, there are 370 species of reptiles and 244 amphibian species with a rate of endemism amounting to 99%.
Madagascar’s varied fauna and flora are endangered by human activity. Since the arrival of humans around 2,350 years ago, Madagascar has lost more than 90% of its original forest. Key contributors to the loss of forest cover include the use of coffee as a cash crop, illegal logging, and slash-and-burn activities. Environmental groups continue to alert the public and authorities on trafficking of precious woods such as rosewood.
Madagascar’s biodiversity is threatened; we may be losing more than we are saving. There is insufficient evidence that the time, effort, money, policies, programs and strategies we have used thusfar have worked to prevent further loss of habitat, biodiversity, forests, reefs – our natural heritage. Evaluation in all its forms, through systematic and purposeful approaches to understanding and continuously improving effectiveness, offers an opportunity for Madagascar to change course.
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Madagascar Photo Credits: Nicky Aina