About us

human rights masoala eva keller

Eva Keller

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 32 months living with local people in that area, sharing their daily lives and hearing their stories. Through my research on the Masoala National Park (2005-2014), which was 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.

human rights masoala paul clement

Harimalala Paul Clément

Member of Executive Committee in Madagascar

I am a professional tourist guide. Since 2005 I have been working closely with Eva Keller, both in connection with her research in Masoala and in relation to the activities of our association. I have become a member of the executive committee in order to do something against the physical and moral suffering of local people in Masoala in connection with the park. I represent the association in Madagascar, and my role consists in keeping an eye on what’s happening on the ground in Masoala and to report these realities to my fellow members of the executive committee in Switzerland. If necessary, I investigate particular issues on location on behalf of the association.
“Notre terre est au coeur de notre vie.”

human rights masoala esther leemann

Esther Leeman

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

Member of Executive Committee

I am a lawyer 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.