About Us
Our Team

Benjamin De Ridder
Co-founder/Executive Director

Belgian marine biologist and conservationist. Benjamin has over eight years field experience in several countries around the Indian Ocean Region. Baboons, great white sharks, atolls and coral reefs harbour no more secrets for him. And since 2007 the mangrove ecosystems have welcomed his expertise with 'open branches'.

Interests: Worldwide fauna and flora, nature and wildlife photography, travelling, sustainable development

Carola Zardo
Co-founder/Sustainable Development Director

Carola completed her National Diploma in Nature Conservation at the Cape Technikon (South Africa). With her work for Cheetah Outreach, Coastcare (Gaia) and Reefdoctor, she brings a lot of experience in community development and environmental education. At Honko she is spearheading the participatory community program, focusing on a more sustainable way of living. She also provides leadership in the environmental education program of Honko.

Interests: Worldwide fauna and flora, sustainable living, exploring

Ainhoa Mingolarra
Program Manager

Ainhoa possesses an interdisciplinary background; with a degree in Biology and Philosophy, and a Master´s degree in Governance and Human Rights. After working for the last three and a half years for the United Nations in Ecuador and Haiti, she has decided to come to Honko. For her, this is a new approach to the environment and sustainable development at the community level, as well as an opportunity to explore a new country and continent. Her passion for mangroves began while working in the UNESCO Office in Quito, Ecuador, where she assisted with the co-launching of a project on the sustainable development of the mangrove ecosystem in Latin America and the Caribbean.  


Interests: environment and society, cultures and languages, literature, cinema

Lalas Velonjanahary
Volunteers Coordinator

Lalas is Honko’s Volunteers Coordinator, coming from the east coast of Madagascar. He helps the volunteers in the mangroves and with life at Honko in general. Before that, he worked with a non-profit doing reforestation work.

Interests: Football, learning new languages!

Philemon Eugene and Salalahy
Mangrove Guides

Our local eco-guides, trained by Honko's founders, are able to speak fluently about their local mangrove ecosystem and the threats to its conservation. Our guides also assist with numerous other Honko intiatives in addition to daily sustainable management of Ambondrolava's mangroves.

Philemon is furthermore the President of the local management association, VOI Mamelo Honko, which manages the mangrove in close collaboration with Honko and its partners.

Abigayil Blandon
Social Media Coordinator

After completing her Zoology degree at Cambridge, Abigayil spent a year living in south-east Madagascar helping to coordinate a volunteer-based conservation program. There, she gained first hand experience of Malagasy life and learnt the importance of community-led conservation. Abigayil currently works for the Joint Nature Conservation Committee in the UK, but keeps connected with Madagascar by managing Honko’s social media and communications.

And we couldn't have done it without the persistence and enthusiasm of our past Project Managers!

Lara Danhaive

Nina Hamilton
2013 - 2015

Tess May
2014 - 2015

Ben Taylor
2012 - 2014

Abigail de Martynoff
2012 - 2013

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Our Funders

Honko Mangrove Conservation & Education - Ambondrolava, Tulear (601), Madagascar
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