Wildlife, ecotourism industry at stake in Madagascar’s election, says scientist

first_imgMadagascar’s election on Wednesday could have major implications for the future of the island’s environment and wildlife, says a prominent conservation scientist.In an op-ed published this week in Al Jazeera, William F. Laurance, a researcher at James Cook University in Australia, warns that if Madagascar chooses former president Andry Rajoelina, the country’s dwindling natural resources could face renewed assault.Under Rajoelina’s previous reign, which followed a 2009 coup, Madagascar’s forests, wildlife, and coastal waters were pillaged.Laurance contrasts Rajoelina with his opponent, Marc Ravalomanana, who was lauded by conservationists during his tenure for expanding protected areas, banning commercial logging, and taking steps to reduce deforestation. Madagascar’s election on Wednesday could have major implications for the future of the island’s environment and wildlife — and by extension, its rising ecotourism sector — says a prominent conservation scientist.In an op-ed published this week in Al Jazeera, William F. Laurance, a researcher at James Cook University in Australia, warns that if Madagascar elects former president Andry Rajoelina, the country’s dwindling natural resources could face renewed assault.Under Rajoelina’s previous reign, which followed a 2009 coup, Madagascar’s forests, wildlife, and coastal waters were pillaged. Rajoelina himself was linked to trafficking in rosewood timber: “Upon his removal, a stash of rosewood logs was found in the presidential palace,” writes Laurance.A critically endangered indri lemur (Indri indri), the largest lemur species. Photo by Rhett A. Butler.The environmental devastation under Rajoelina continued through his successor’s Hery Rajaonarimampianina’s rule, with a surge in deforestation and an auctioning off of community-managed fishing areas to foreign industrial fleets. With 95 percent of Madagascar’s lemurs classified as as either “endangered” or “critically endangered”, there is a real risk that a Rajoelina presidency could diminish some of the island’s biggest attractions for nature tourists.“We can see Rajoelina’s predatory attitude to the environment as demonstrated by his track record,” writes Laurance. “One must only look to the appalling state of the Malagasy rainforests to witness his rapaciousness.”“Appallingly, one of Rajoelina’s first acts was to legalize the felling of precious hardwoods by executive decree,” he continues. “The illicit trade flourished: after a year of Rajoelina’s presidency, illegal logging led to the Atsinanana, a region of eastern Madagascar containing the Betampona and Mangerivola nature reserves, being placed on the ‘List of World Heritage in Danger.’”Rainforests in Eastern Madagascar were ransacked during Rajoelina’s presidency for rosewood and other hardwoods.Laurance contrasts Rajoelina with his opponent, Marc Ravalomanana, who was lauded by conservationists during his tenure for expanding protected areas, banning commercial logging, and taking steps to reduce deforestation.“Rajoelina’s opponent, Marc Ravalomanana, is less than perfect on the environment, but next to Rajoelina he looks like a battle-hardened eco-activist,” Laurance writes. “From an environmental perspective, then, the rest of the world can only cheer for one candidate in Madagascar.” Article published by Rhett Butler Conservation, Deforestation, Environment, Environmental Politics, Forests, Illegal Logging, Lemurs, Logging, Rainforests, Rosewood, Wildlife center_img Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredlast_img

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