Madagascar: forest & topsoil loss so severe that not even farmers can use the land

As Madagascar’s forests continue to be cut, all that remains is a red
trail that runs down the rivers into the sea. Soil erosion, which
corresponds to the loss of topsoil, is leaving the land naked and
unfit for agriculture. Downstream, increased sediment loads are
silting estuaries and smothering sensitive marine habitats. As a
result, marine species lose their habitat.

Farmers and fishermen lose
their source of income.Madagascar’s unique biodiversity is facing
several threats, and deforestation is one of the most serious of them.
Small-scale, but widespread clearance of vegetation, primarily for
slash and burn agriculture and production of firewood and charcoal
production is the main cause of forest destruction and degradation.
Deforestation also increases greenhouse gas emissions. In 2004,
according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC),
emissions from deforestation were estimated to account for about 17%
of the global greenhouse gas emissions, and nearly 28% of CO2
emissions. The Holistic conservation programme for forests in
Madagascar, a three-year project funded by the French Association
GoodPlanet – with Air France as sole sponsor – and implemented in the
field by WWF, aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by reducing
deforestation and forest degradation in Madagascar. This will
subsequently contribute to improve the livelihoods of local
communities and preserve Madagascar’s biodiversity. The project
boundary covers an area of more than 500,000 ha of forests (390,000
hectares of moist forest and 125,000 hectares of dry, spiny forest).
http://www.panda.org/about_wwf/where_we_work/africa/where/madagascar/conservation_program2/index.cfm

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