We host three meetings a year with speakers on a range of subjects about Madagascar, from wildlife to politics, from minerals to healthcare. We are also pleased to publicise suitable events arranged by others.

Our meetings are held in central London at St George's Bloomsbury; usually two of them in a year are on a Wednesday evening and one during the day on a Saturday.

Tickets for events may be booked online here (payment by credit/debit card or Paypal). Non-members are welcome to attend our events, but please book in advance. Book online here.

Full details of the venue can be found by clicking here.

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Events for 2017:
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Daytime Madagascar Event: Saturday 28 October

Details of the three speakers will be announced shortly.

TIME: Doors open at 10:30 for a 11:00 start. We expect to wrap up around 16:30.
VENUE: Access to the Upper Vestry Hall is at the back of St George's Bloomsbury in Little Russell Street. It is near Tottenham Court Road and Holborn underground stations.
TICKETS: For the event, including buffet meal cost £15 for society members, £20 for non-members and £9 for students. You can book and pay online HERE. Please book in advance (we need to know numbers for catering); tickets bought 'on the door' are subject to a £5 surcharge.

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Previously in 2017...

The Society's June 2017 meeting revealed some of the fascinating and little-known history of Madagascar's national dog, the Coton de Tulear. Donna Kurtz's full talk on the breed is available as a PDF here. The star of the evening was Buddy Holly, a Coton de Tulear himself, who came along with owner Cathy Clarke. We also commemorated Madagascar's 57 years of independence with the singing of the national anthem.


In March 2017 Dr Ian Conacher gave a talk on his travels that followed Dr Meller, one of Dr Livingstone's doctors who would combine natural history with medicine. There are short notes on the talk here.

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Events for 2016:
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The Society's first meeting in 2016 was on 30th March with a talk by Hannah Russell, James Penney and Corty Linder on their medical expedition to Madagascar, where they ran a programme that undertook screening for schistosomiasis or bilharzia in the remote district of Marolambo, as well as on their plans for a further expedition.

The Society's second meeting for 2016 on 22nd June was both an occasion to commemorate the country's Independence Day on 26th June and an opportunity to hear two talks by Malagasy students currently at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in London. Zohasina Razafinjatovo, who is a Chevening scholar of Law, Development and Governance, spoke on social development and inequality in Madagascar with a focus on governance and legislation while Lalaina Randriarimanana, who is a student of Violence, Conflict and Development, presented on patterns of political participation in Madagascar.

The third Society event this year was a daytime gathering on Saturday 22nd October when there were talks on Madagascar by Herizo Andrianandrasana on conservation projects, Andrew Cooke on small-scale mining projects and Michael Rakotoarivony on the development of classical music in the country. The musician Olga del Madagascar played and promoted her new CD. For some notes on the talks please click here.

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Events for 2015:
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The last meeting for 2015 was a daytime event on Saturday 24th October which included two book launches of conservation-themed titles about the south of Madagascar; 'Life amongst the thorns: biodiversity and conservation of Madagascar's spiny forest' by Louise Jasper and Charlie Gardner, and 'To live with the sea: the modern life of Vezo traditional fishers in southwest Madagascar' by Garth Cripps. Rindra Rakotoarinjatovo, Chevening scholar and master's student in Tourism, Environment and Development at Oxford Brookes University, spoke on the the development of ecotourism in Madagascar.

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Wednesday 24th June at 6:30pm

On Wednesday 24th June, an occasion to celebrate Madagascar's Independence Day, Brian Zimmerman of ZSL London Zoo gave a delightful talk on its special efforts to save the Mangarahara cichlid or Red Girl fish from extinction; for a summary of the talk please click here.

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Wednesday 25th March at 6.30pm

The first Society event of the year was a tribute to Dr Alison Jolly led by her husband Sir Richard and daughter Margaretta who together with Hilary Bradt evoked the pioneering spirit and humorous charm that Alison showed in her conservation diaries 'Thank you, Madagascar'.

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Events for 2014:
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Chatham House

The international affairs organisation Chatham House held a round-table discussion on 30th January on the first paper it has produced on Madagascar. Entitled 'Time for a Fresh Start', it was co-written by Bob Dewar, a former ambassador and a member of our committee, and two members of Coventry University, Simon Massey and Bruce Baker. A copy of the paper can be found here.

A further meeting was held in June when Tim Smart, the British Ambassador, gave a number of insights into the situation in Madagascar; a summary of his talk can be
seen here.

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Wednesday 26th March at 6.30pm

Joro Rakotoarinivo, Palms Conservation Officer for the famous Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, gave a fascinating and well-illustrated talk on 'The Palms of Madagascar – their diversity and conservation'. Madagascar is the only country outside the UK where Kew maintains a permanent presence. Over several years, Kew's Madagascar team has done a vast amount of research on the country's palm flora, almost single-handedly raising the total number of known Malagasy species from around 20 to in excess of 200!

A summary of the talk is available here.

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Wednesday 25th June at 6.30pm

Vik Mohan of Blue Ventures told the compelling story of Madagascar's locally-led marine conservation programme,which started with an experimental temporary fishery reserve in 2004 and expanded into a network of community-managed marine areas. BV has also worked to integrate reproductive health services into their initiatives as described in a new short film, "The Freedom to Choose: empowering communities to live with the sea", which can be seen here.

The evening also enjoyed music by Fassio to help celebrate Madagascar's Independence Day.

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Saturday 18th October from 10.30am

There were fascinating talks by Franco Andreone on the conservation strategy for amphibians in Madagascar, by Mialy Andriamahefazafy on the best future for environmental policy in Madagascar, and by a team of four Newcastle University zoology graduates (Rachel Blow, Jessica Fisher, Camilla Blasi Foglietti and Donna Marie Wintersgill) on their recent expedition to study lemurs in the Tampolo forest, as well as music by Malagasy singer Olga del Madagascar.


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Events for 2013 were:
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Wednesday 6th March

Lev Wood of Secret Compass gave a talk on a pioneering 400-km trek across Madagascar; you can read a summary of the talk here.

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Wednesday 26th June

AGM (minutes attached here) and a celebration of Madagascar's National Day with live Malagasy music from Fassio, a delicious Malagasy buffet meal and free bar. Angelo Spencer-Smith gave a talk on the work of the NGO ShelterBox. There is a summary of the talk here.

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Saturday 2nd November

A daytime event with talks by Sir Mervyn Brown, former British ambassador to Madagascar and expert historian of the country; by cinematographer and co-director John Brown together with a screening of the multi-award-winning documentary "Madagascar, Lemurs & Spies"; and by naturalist and environmental journalist Toby Nowlan on his experiences working and travelling in Madagascar, together with Malagasy music from Fassio. There are summaries of the talks here.


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Events for 2012 were:
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Wednesday 18th January

Introducing modern rehabilitation in to Madagascar
Anne Chamberlain
, emeritus professor of rehabilitation at the university of Leeds, gave a talk on “ Introducing modern rehabilitation in to Madagascar”, a programme of the Leeds-Madagascar NHS link that is teaching a small number of rehabilitation doctors and physiotherapists at each of the regional rehabilitation centres in the country twice or 3 times a year for 3 years. This enables the doctors to get an intermediate level diploma and physiotherapists to a certificate. In this way the level of practice in each of the centres, some remote, should be enhanced. 
Click here for a summary of the meeting.

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Wednesday 28th March

Project Kobokara: an expedition to study people & reptiles of southeast Madagascar
Mark Scherz
herpetologist at Edinburgh University, gave a talk on the research expedition that he recently led with two anthropologists to southern Madagascar, studying the effects of anthropomorphic disturbance on reptile populations and assessing the status of the Radiated Tortoise in an area of spiny forest designated as “utility” forest. Mark covered the status of this forest and the spiny forest and Radiated Tortoise in general; student-lead expeditions in Madagascar; and current NGO work in Ifotaka-North New Protected Area, and their successes and failings. 
Click here for a summary of the meeting.

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Wednesday 13th June

AGM followed by:

China’s growing role in Madagascar
Cornelia Schiller PhD candidate at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, gave an overview of the range of Chinese engagements in Madagascar. She provided a brief historical overview of the Chinese community in Madagascar and focussed on the new wave of Chinese state-led and private investments and commerce over roughly the pats 10-15 years, and especially since the start of the current crisis, using information gathered during her fieldwork right now. She also suggested possible ways in which these engagements may impact economic and social developments in Madagascar.     
Click here for a summary of the meeting.

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Saturday 13th October

Glyn Young, a conservation biologist at the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust, talked about Durrell's work in relation to captive breeding and release into the wild. Glyn leads Durrell's bird conservation projects located primarily in Madagascar including the project to breed the near-extinct Madagascar pochard.

Ailie Tam, HIV Care Manager at the Terrence Higgins Trust, talked about lessons learnt from her experience of working out in Madagascar and her research findings. She illustrated the socio-cultural factors which increase the risk of pregnant and married women contracting HIV in southern Madagascar. Despite the prevalence of HIV being currently low in Madagascar, Ailie will explain why there is cause for concern that Madagascar could, and may be already be, following in the same footsteps as other African countries. 

Jonathan Paul, a PhD student at Trinity College, Cambridge University studying the evolution of the landscape and ecosystems in Madagascar, talked about modelling changes to Madagascar's landscape on a geological timescale, and the physical evidence for these predictions in terms of rocks and fossils collected in Madagascar.  Madagascar is unique in terms of its flora, fauna, and landscape. Erosion rates there are amongst the highest in the world and cannot be solely attributed to human activity such as deforestation. The island has undergone an unusually rapid and recent phase of uplift. That the island sits on top of a deep-seated mantle plume is becoming an increasingly convincing explanation, the effects of which are manifest at the surface as recent intense volcanism and broadly domal swell to the topography. 


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Events for 2011 were:
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Wednesday 12th January

Douglas Garrod, of the Gemmological Association, on their 2006 gemstone field trip.
Click here for a summary of the meeting.

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Wednesday 30th March

John Ffooks, a UK-qualified solicitor based in Antananarivo, on “Investing in Madagascar – the 101 reasons”.
Click here for a summary of the meeting.

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Wednesday 15th June

AGM followed by Donald Wilson, former Stationmaster at Marylebone and Commercial Director of Kent and Sussex Railways, on  “Railways of Madagascar”, including of course the newly renovated Michelin railcar.

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Sunday 26th June

Special Event:  To commemorate Independence Day in Madagascar and celebrate the Society's 50th anniversary, a party with music from Modeste, organised by Chris and Vao Brown.

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Tuesday 5th July

Members were able to attend a meeting of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Madagascar at the Houses of Parliament.

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Saturday 15th October

Kara Moses, primatologist and writer on “Lemur seed dispersal in Madagascar’s eastern rainforest”; Mike Bungard, of Paignton Zoo Environmental Park on "Madagascar's hidden jewels: amphibian diversity and conservation"; and
David Freeman
, collector, on his Malagasy arterfacts.

To see a summary of the meeting and talks, please click here.


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Events for 2010 were:
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Wednesday 20th January

Kevin Rushby, traveller and author on Indian Ocean Pirates.    Summary of the talk

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Wednesday 31st March

Professor Marcel Hommel on the Tropical Diseases of Madagascar.    Summary of the talk

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Wednesday 16th June

Nigel Vardy on climbing Mt Maromakotro.    Summary of the talk    Minutes of the AGM

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Saturday 9th October

Yvonne Orengo on handing over to a local charity; Ulrike Meinhof on Malagasy musicians; and Daniel Austin with a slide-show of images of Madagascar.    Summary of the talk


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Events for 2009 were:
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Wednesday 28th January

Colin Bird on Mining potential in Madagascar.    Summary of the talk

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Wednesday 1st April

Stephen Wilkinson, on Akany Avoko.    Summary of the talk

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Wednesday 17th June

John Mack on Malagasy Art.    Summary of the talk    Minutes of the AGM

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Saturday 3rd October

Julia Footnick on ecotourism; Brian Donaldson on the Small Grants Scheme;
Oliver Backhouse on Opthalmology.