The project represents an opportunity to expand one of the world’s richest and most distinctive tropical dry forests, to the benefit of critically endangered plants and animals. It is also a great opportunity to test forest-based economic development at a large scale. Through the ’employ to plant’ methodology, villagers start noticing changes at all levels, including the ecological benefits, such as improved fisheries. This immense relief is perfect ground for communities transition to different relationships with the forest and trees. It is crucial in a country where reforestation is a matter of survival, as Madagascar is one of the poorest countries in the world.
Historical political choices, increasing population, and poverty, have contributed to the clearance of significant portions of western Madagascar’s dry deciduous forests.
The project begins with providing the poorests of the poors with a consistent income, and a sense of accomplishment. It subsequently benefits their families as confirmed by sociological interviews conducted with hundreds of villagers. Over 1,000 “Eden children” are now receiving an education for the first time. Prior to employment, the parents could not afford the tuition fees.
The dignity of employment helps families escape the circle of poverty, which often include debt relief and indentured servanthood.
- Long-term employment for local communities
- Revive vitality of the ecosystem
- Restore the forest landscape on the coastline
- Transition the land into a protected area as part of the greater Mahajanga Green Belt Project.
- Reintroduce critically endangered wild animals and rare plants
Top Trees Species
The mangrove estuary also serves as a vital fish nursery for the surrounding ocean. Dugongs and Hawksbill sea turtles have returned to the Malagasy coast, feeding on seagrass and small fish. Various bird species have returned as well, including the endangered African sacred ibis. Subsistence and commercial fisheries benefit from a healthy aquatic ecosystem which supplies the residents with a greater supply of shrimp, fish and crabs in the area.
Animals including tenrecs, lemurs and chameleons have made the newly established forests their home. Local wildlife organisations have joined the efforts, rescuing animals in need and releasing them back into protected areas for mating periods.
Challenges & threats for development
→ Once famous for its colossal baobab trees and spiny forests, over 80% of woodlands have been cut down for agricultural purposes. In addition, many of the native species have been displaced, are critically endangered or already extinct.
→ The deforestation activities of charcoal producers and tree poachers have cut deep into Madagascar’s forests. The habitat loss affects native wildlife and coastal communities as aquatic forests protect lowland areas from floods and hurricane winds.
Planting trees is one of the sustainable ways in which to rehabilitate …
Taking action against desertification and soil erosion.
Anchoring Mountainous Soil to Prevent Natural Disasters in Nepal.