Our Vision

The Andrew Lees Trust is committed to strengthen and assist local civil society, help amplify the voice of the marginalised, and advocate for a more equitable world.

The Trust's current strategic vision is based on almost twenty five years experience working with local people towards local ownership and leadership of development in Southern Madagascar. It is founded on the inspirational legacy of its namesake, Andrew Lees, and it consolidates lessons from the Trust's responsible exit from Madagascar.


Our Mission

To strengthen civil society in Madagascar and beyond so that change is envisioned and led by local actors, in sustainable, locally appropriate ways.

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Our Vision

Long lasting transformation is realised by a vibrant civil society, committed to serving the interests of its local constituents and to promoting a more equitable world.

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Who We Are

The Andrew Lees Trust (ALT UK) was set up in 1995 following the tragic death of the environmentalist Andrew Lees, whilst filming the imperilled forests of the southeast coast of Madagascar. It began by helping to launch The Centre Ecologique Libanona (CEL), an environmental training centre in Tolagnaro (Ft Dauphin) to provide learning opportunities for Malagasy researchers and development professionals. It went on to deliver a local field programme in food security, natural resource management, and non-formal education via media across the southern arc, working with more than 60 local partners and service providers, local media (radio) and over 3000 communities.

In 2009 the Trust delivered its sustainability strategy and handed over to its Malagasy field team in a responsible exit. The Trust supported the team to set up and launch their own independent, Malagasy NGO Andry Lalana Tohana (ALT MG) and provided assistance and accompaniment to the fledgling Malagasy NGO, through different stages of its evolution and growth over the next ten years.

By 2015, applying lessons from the responsible exit, the Trust had formalised its GroundSwell vision for assisting civil society and accompaniment for local actors for change.

The Trust continues to provide assistance to the local NGO, ALT MG and accompaniment to other local actors. The Trust also continues to advance advocacy at international level to promote the rights of local communities in Madagascar, and the protection of their environment and food security.


On December 31st 2019 we commemorated the 25th Anniversary of Andrew’s death in Madagascar. In 2020 we commenced celebrations of 25 years of the Andrew Lees Trust.


What We Do

The Trust serves local communities, civil society organisations and local actors for change by responding to their requests for assistance and accompaniment: we undertake to raise and provide funds to support locally identified and led actions; we broker international training, help build networks, undertake research, provide technical advice, and mentoring where these advance the achievement of locally defined strategies; and we advocate for social and environmental justice.

Accompaniment Accompaniment
Assistance Assistance
Advocacy Advocacy