MADAGASCAR: Despite odds, country saves more trees
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
Despite a demand for more agricultural land, poverty-stricken Madagascar has managed to reduce deforestation by almost half, environment groups say.
Malagasy people cut down the forests to cultivate land,
their main source income. The enormous forests on the world's fourth largest
island are home to some of the planet's rarest species, including lemurs,
chameleons and baobab trees, but deforestation has put great pressure on its
"Small-scale agriculture is the biggest concern.
Farmers cultivate hillside rice by burning down trees and irrigating with
rainfall. Over time, this traditional practice exhausts the soil, increases
erosion, and contaminates water supplies," according to CI. This has an
immediate impact on the welfare of the Malagasy population.
Source: IRIN http://www.irinnews.org