"Since the arrival of humans 2000 years ago, Madagascar has lost more
than 90% of its original forest."
- Nasa LCLUC (Land-Cover and Land-Use Change)
The loss of forest in Madagascar is a major threat to its unique biodiversity, where many species are critically endangered. Soil erosion from abandoned rice fields leads to landslides. The reduction in trees which were a huge source for carbon sink is a contributing factor to global warming.
The main causes of deforestation are:
The Rabondro Reserve shows the effects of human pressure on the land, in particular in the eastern section. Part of the Fandroakando NGO's activities include reforesting the reserve with native trees where required.
Reforestation will be addressed annually in a three-step process:
Trees drop seeds to the forest floor to propogate new trees. But often the seeds have no chance to develop, as they are shaded by the mature trees of the forest. Between October and February, when native trees are dropping their fruit, work parties collect seeds and take them to the tree nursery.
Tree nurseries are created in several deforested areas throughout the reserve, located as close as possible to where seedlings will be planted. The young plants are tended until they are ready to be transplanted to other parts of the forest.
Tree seedlings are planted between March and August, which is the most favourable weather conditions for young tree growth.
The Fandroakando NGO manages the reforestation of areas that have been denuded of trees, planting all native trees such as the fast-growing canarium trees and fig trees, as well as hardwood ebony, rosewood and palisande trees.