MADAGASCAR: In response to the drought, 100 hectares of land reforested in Ilaka

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MADAGASCAR: In response to the drought, 100 hectares of land reforested in Ilaka©AFR100

While it loses about 50,000 hectares of land per year due to fires and climatic hazards, Madagascar is launching a national reforestation campaign that will help halt massive deforestation, particularly in the northern council of Ilaka, where the initiative has already resulted in the planting of 120,000 trees.

In 2023, Madagascar is carrying out a national reforestation campaign to restore its degraded land, particularly its forests ravaged by fire and human action in recent years. It is within this framework that a reforestation operation has just been successfully completed in Ilaka in the Vatomandry district. The initiative, which saw the participation of non-governmental organisations (NGOs), local populations and authorities, resulted in the planting of 120,000 trees on 75 hectares of land.

“For the rest, i.e. 25 hectares, a sowing drone disseminated 280 kilograms of seeds that will later produce tree shoots,” says the Madagascan Ministry of the Environment and Sustainable Development. Among the tree species planted are kintsina, mandrorofo, bonara, litchi, orange, acacia, kininina malama hoditra and kininina oliva, which is used for decoration and body care.

A similar operation called “Reverdir Madagascar” was carried out in 2022 on the island and led to the planting of 40,000 trees in 23 regions, notably in Vakinankaratra where the Ankaratra nature reserve is located. The site, located 50 kilometres southwest of the capital Antananarivo, was recently ravaged by forest fires. This situation has jeopardised the safety of 14 species of amphibians, 11 species of reptiles and 69 species of birds that occupy the 8,000 hectares of this protected area.

Read also-MADAGASCAR: Sogea-Satom launches a reforestation operation in Antolojanahary

The authorities in Madagascar are stepping up reforestation initiatives, also to counter the extreme heat accentuated by deforestation. In this East African country, whose national economy is largely based on agriculture, drought is undermining people’s livelihoods, particularly in the south where more than a million people are at risk of starvation, according to the World Food Programme (WFP). In order to reverse the situation, the Malagasy government has set up an inter-ministerial crisis unit in the second half of 2021, headed by the National Office for Risk and Disaster Management.

Benoit-Ivan Wansi

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