Overexploiting of “charcoal” forests in Madagascar


Madagascar has seen a 10 percent increase in temperature and a 10% decrease in rainfall in the past 50 years, with a devastating impact on the farming and fishing communities, according to the World Bank report. People are facing chronic hunger and high rates of malnutrition in the south of the country after years of severe drought. In Madagascar, an estimated 65% of the population of 19 million live on little more than US$1 a day and the country has long been plagued by political crises.

The video bellow shows how the prolonged drought has driven farmers  into the forests in search of a livelihood because their barren fields can no longer support them. In a country that relies almost exclusively on charcoal as a cooking fuel, wood is one of the few resources left for them to exploit.

YouTube video

Madagascar’s forests also have a greater significance. It is home to five percent of the world’s plant and animal species, 80% of which are found nowhere else on Earth, according to United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). UNEP report points that the island nations’ ecosystems is one of the most threatened in the world.

There is clear evidence that temperatures have increased and rainfall patterns have changed in Madagascar in the last four decades, according to a study led by Mark Tadross, a senior research fellow with the Climate Analysis Group at the University of Cape Town.



Featured image: Youtube screenshot

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