About us

Eva Keller, Dr (Dept. of Social Anthropology, University of Zurich)

President of the Association

I am a social anthropologist specialised in Madagascar, in particular the Masoala region. Since 1998, I have spent a total of 30 months living with local people in that area, sharing their daily lives and hearing their stories. Through my research on the Masoala National Park (since 2005), which is aimed at understanding how local people understand and interpret it, I have become alarmed by the injustices that are happening to the farmers in the name of nature conservation. I have thus decided to found an association dedicated to making these injustices known. Read more (in English) and read, listen to and watch more (in German) here.

 

Esther Leeman, Dr (Dept. of Social Anthropology, University of Lucerne)

Vice-president of the association

The use of natural resources in various cultures and the conflicts that result from different users fighting for access to these resources have been central to my work as an anthropologist in the past fifteen years. My own research about land grabbing for rubber plantations in Cambodia has brought home to me the dramatic and profound effects of such land losses for the local population. In this respect, the situation is comparable to that in Masoala. This is why I decided to become actively involved in the association.

 

Sandra Spirig, lic. iur.

Member of Executive Committe

I am a laywer working at a law firm in Zurich. Since the beginning of my studies, I have been interested in Africa and have been involved in voluntary work with various projects there. I visited Madagascar in 2009 working as a volunteer with Madaclinics (www.madaclinics.org) in a small hospital in a remote area in the north of the country. Local people’s living conditions, their poverty and daily efforts to make ends meet have left a deep impression on me. I joined Human Rights in Masoala in order to contribute towards making the problems and injustices known to the general public that local Malagasy people had and still have to suffer as a consequence of the establishment of the Masoala National Park. I also support and advice the association in legal matters.

 

Corinne Steiner-Raharinirina

Member of Executive Committe

I am Malagasy and have lived in Madagascar for most of my life. My home region is the island’s northeast; therefore, I know the problems that also prevail in Masoala from first hand experience. I now live in Switzerland but as a Malagasy, the injustices which the farmers in Masoala face concern me, too. I am a member of the association to contribute towards making their voices heard.