Madagascar's soil is being washed into the Indian Ocean

ReforestationMadagascar has lost more than 90% of its forests due to a growing population, agricultural practices and resource extraction:

  • land clearing to grow food and cash crops, and to graze cattle 
  • reliance on charcoal and wood as fuel for cooking
  • harvest of precious woods for export

Deforestation combined with weathering and naturally occurring soil conditions has resulted in catastrophic soil erosion and environmental degradation, and lack of habitat for indigenous species.  In some areas as much as 250 metric tons of soil is washed into the ocean each year.  

Reforestation is critical to the environment, the Malagasy people and the national economy, so we're planting trees. We've chosen a variety of fruit-bearing, medicinal and nitrogen-fixing species that are indigenous to Madagascar. We've started on school lands, with parents and students planting and caring for the trees, and hope to extend the project into the villages.


These rivers run red

The Sofia (upper right) and Betsiboka Rivers (centre) carry the bright red soil of Madagascar into Bombetoka Bay, which connects to the Mozambique Channel and the ocean.  

The soil is carried down from the central highlands into streams and rivers and clogs coastal waterways, while leaving the hilllsides bare and severely degraded.   

Needs & Costs (CAD)
Saplings (fruit, medicinal, soil building) / $2-5

4 oxcarts of manure for fertilizer / $20

Tools and pots for trees / $20

Seeds to start saplings in the tree nursery / $20

Materials to build the tree nursery / $80