Madagascar celebrates 60 years with 60 million trees

The Earthbound Report

Madagascar is one of the world’s biodiversity hotspots, an island that broke away from mainland Africa 159 million years ago, and thus evolved separately. 80% of its plants and animals are unique to the island. Unfortunately the same conditions that delivered such environmental richness are a contributor to ongoing poverty. Madagascar is geographically isolated, and on the margins of the global economy.

Since 2001, Madagascar has lost a fifth of its remaining rainforests. They have been lost to farming, slash and burn agriculture, or trees cut for charcoal. There’s a vicious circle at work. People do not have access to reliable energy or cooking fuels, and use charcoal and wood. The loss of trees makes flooding and drought more likely, which in turn entrenches poverty. Madagascar is already one of the most vulnerable countries to climate change, and that spiral of deprivation and environmental destruction is very hard…

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