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Deforestation in Madagascar A quick snap out the window on the day we drove back from the North to Tana. A near full day drive, much of it past landscapes like these that are effectively wasteland. As much as 90% of Madagascar&#039;s forests are cleared, mostly using &quot;Tavy&quot;, the local name for slash-and-burn agriculture where forests are cleared by fire in order to enable a few cycles of rice cultivation, leaving the soil depleted afterwards.<br />
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The practice is beyond saddening. Not only is there the permanent loss of the forests and its many species (of which many without a doubt were never described, and never will be, they are gone), in addition the method itself is ultimately self defeating to people in the long term due to inefficient use of agricultural land. <br />
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Madagascar&#039;s poverty is to devastating and widespread though, that people cannot afford to think about the long term as they need the charcoal and rice on the short term for immediate survival.  Africa,Antananarivo,Madagascar,Madagascar North,Tana,World Click/tap to enlarge

Deforestation in Madagascar

A quick snap out the window on the day we drove back from the North to Tana. A near full day drive, much of it past landscapes like these that are effectively wasteland. As much as 90% of Madagascar's forests are cleared, mostly using "Tavy", the local name for slash-and-burn agriculture where forests are cleared by fire in order to enable a few cycles of rice cultivation, leaving the soil depleted afterwards.

The practice is beyond saddening. Not only is there the permanent loss of the forests and its many species (of which many without a doubt were never described, and never will be, they are gone), in addition the method itself is ultimately self defeating to people in the long term due to inefficient use of agricultural land.

Madagascar's poverty is to devastating and widespread though, that people cannot afford to think about the long term as they need the charcoal and rice on the short term for immediate survival.

    comments (2)

  1. It is awful to see things like this. Human nature, wanting bigger, better, cheaper and don't like to think about the consequences. Often makes it easier to justify certain ways of life too if you don't see the effects in the area where you live. Unfortunately a case of 'out of sight, out of mind'.

    I think we are all guilty of this (yup, me included lol)
    Posted 4 years ago
    1. I agree we all are guilty of it, and part of the problem. In Madagascar though, it's not necessarily a case of bigger, better: it's a case of basic survival. Even the most basic non-farming professions are out of reach to most, as well as even the simplest education. It's not a case of having little money (our dominant idea of what poor means), it's a case of having none at all. People are forced to take their needs directly from nature.

      To give you another example, in one of the national parks we visited, some large trees had half their trunks dug out, because their roots are edible. That's a giant effort (as well as illegal) just to feed yourself for that day. And it probably tastes like crap. Any form of proteins are a luxury.

      This just to illustrate the type of poverty Madagascar has. It's not the poverty most people know about. It's several levels below it. It's stone age poverty.

      Experiments around national parks have been done where the idea was to up the income of locals living around the national park, as a way to make nature conservation beneficial to locals. Not even that works. Their increased incomes are immediately poured back into even more agriculture as they know that as the only method to have some returns (in food or money). After all, there are no pensions. So it had the complete opposite effect.

      Knowing all this, in my opinion developed nations are doing worse in the sense that they have a choice (profit) whereas a farmer in Madagascar has no choice. He destroys nature just to live, we destroy it to maximize profit.

      Sorry for the lecture, having visited twice I just find it so upsetting. It all seems to needless, both for the people and for nature.
      Posted 4 years ago

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By Ferdy Christant

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Uploaded Aug 16, 2016. Captured Oct 23, 2015 12:54.
  • iPhone 6
  • f/2.2
  • 1/3000s
  • ISO32
  • 4.15mm