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2019 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Conservation Through Poverty Alleviation International Inc

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Economic Development, Environment, General Science, International, International Economic Development, Microfinance, Natural Resources Conservation & Protection, Technology

Mission: CPALI develops sustainable livelihoods for rural farmers through the cultivation of native resources. At CPALI, we work to build a partnership between local people and the environment and allow our farmers to experience the value in conservation.

Results: CPALI has identified native resource farming as a new means of income-generation where few were available before. We have designed new products, including a non-spun textile made with local tools that sells for $100/ yard on international markets, as well as designs that can be marketed locally. Today, CPALI works with a continuously growing network of farmers’ groups representing 13 different communities and over 300 farmers. Together, our farmers have planted over 30,000 trees, reforested more than 75,000 square meters of buffer forest and produced over 40,000 silk cocoons. Our greatest accomplishment, although less tangible, is the foundation of trust we have built with our farmers. Our membership continues to grow by 40-50% per year.

Target demographics: rural farmers

Direct beneficiaries per year: 300 farmers build a path to a better future.

Geographic areas served: Madagascar

Programs: developing sustainable livelihoods through the cultivation of natural resources.

Community Stories

41 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters


Rating: 5

For some ten years now I contributed to this nonprofit and watched its efforts and results. I have been overwhelmingly impressed with its disciplined focus on building a locally-driven industry supply chain to the market with product innovation to create value-added that offers a sustainable competitively-advantageous basis for the local economy. CPALI/SEPALI Madagaskar has been run creatively and with great determination, and offers high value-added leverage for contribution dollars to build good lives for people in its region. I recommend it without condition.



Rating: 5

CPALI has done an outstanding job of being responsive to what we requested our funds be used for, namely support for expansion of the field (farmer) program and the CPALI demonstration sites. CPALI has provided frequent update and complete financial disclosure. I have had the privilege of traveling to their sites to see the work they are doing on the ground in Madagascar, have talked to their farmers and have also positively evaluated their responses to the program. It has been a pleasure to work with them.


Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have watched CPALI flourish in Madagascar since 2007, when it started as a tiny team of American and Malagasy entomologists trying to determine which native silk worms existed in the isolated northeastern region of Madagascar, what their food plants were, and other fundamentals of their ecology so as to better understand prospects for effective rearing, as an alternative source of local income generation to aleviate pressure on surrounding protected areas. I have been extremely impressed with CIPALI's evolution since I last visited the project in December 2009. CPALI has added skilled local staff, effectively strategized how rural farmers could rear silk worms as a sustainable source of income generation that also encourages native tree planting, and identified prospective international markets for their beautiful organic silk. CPALI is a rare example of “conservation enterprise” that gives local farmers a financial stake in respecting and maintining protected areas for the benefit of future generations. CPALI Director Dr. Cay Craig has incredible vision. This project deserves all the help and support we can offer it!


Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have been very impressed with the growth of CPALI over the years. This is probably no surprise to people familiar with it's founder, Dr. Cay Craig, a brilliant scientist in her own right. She has worked tirelessly in difficult conditions to help local Malagasy residents obtain a new source of income and reduce their dependency on Madagascar's precious forests. Mamy Ratsimbazafy, CPALI’s program director, is a very motivated and bright individual who has an encyclopedic knowledge of silk moths. Impressively, he has organized the new Malagasy NGO 'SEPALI' or Sehatry ny Mpamokatra Landy Ifotony, to partner with CPALI in Madagascar. SEPALI will provide technical support to farmers and textile producers. I have visited the headquarters of CPALI in Maroantsetra, Madagascar several times over the last few years. It is an established and organized place with tremendous potential. I have also met with several farmers who were quite positive about their experiences with CPALI and the income generated from the wild silk which they have grown. CPALI is not new. It has been time tested. It is exciting to see it grow. It is one of the first empirical tests of the ability of small-scale enterprises to contribute both to environmental goals and to poverty alleviation. CPALI differs from many conservation programs in Madagascar that are dependent on subsidies and foreign aid. It is a rare example of a “conservation enterprise” that gives local farmers a financial stake in maintaining the protected areas.