Graine de Vie, one of the main reforestation non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in Madagascar, has announced the reduction of all its projects on the island by one third. The measure aims to denounce the government’s inaction in the face of « barbaric deforestation ». Between 50,000 and 100,000 hectares of forest are destroyed each year in Madagascar, pushing nearly 75% of endemic plant species to extinction.
Reforestation activities are taking a hit in Madagascar. Graine de Vie, one of the main reforestation non-governmental organisations (NGOs) active since 2009 on the big island, announced on 10 January 2023 in Antananarivo, the capital, its decision to reduce its projects in Madagascar by one third. « There is only one third of my trees that survive after one year. Because after that, it’s carnage. You make an effort, you plant, you replant, you give trees to the whole population, and then nothing happens. At some point, we’ve had enough, » says Frédéric Debouche, president of Graine de Vie.
For this NGO, which has created and manages 322 tree nurseries throughout the country and replants more than 10 million trees each year, the measure aims to denounce the government’s silence in the face of « barbaric deforestation ». According to aerial views taken by Graine de Vie, the 50,000 trees planted in February 2022 in the special reserve of Ambohitantely, located in the centre of the island, were all burnt nine months later.
According to the French-based Centre de coopération internationale en recherche agronomique pour le développement (CIRAD), the island has lost 44% of its natural forests since the 1950s and the pace of deforestation is accelerating. Experts estimate that at the current rate of deforestation in the country, all the forests will be gone in two generations.