Globally, our rainforests are at risk due to deforestation due extraction and climate change. There are many forces that lead to deforestation such as poverty (using trees for cooking fires, and building), extraction of resources for sale (foods like superfoods, wood products, animals, oils like palm oil, medicinally valuable plants, etc.), and climate change (some plants are now unable to survive in their original region).
There are many reasons we are now losing our critical rainforests. Endless and careless extraction of resources is a the biggest and most devastating cause. A lot of the products that we use in our country come from rainforests, such as rubber, coffee and rain forest woods.
Choosing our products wisely and generally understanding the impact we face if we lose our rainforests can help us mitigate deforestation. Each of us needs to be thoughtful about the way we consume these products, and support companies and programs that make a commitment to better environmental practices
Planting and raising trees! In order to combat the loss we must replant. Reforestation initiatives are extremely important to our earth.
Tropical rainforests are believed to be the oldest and most complex land-based ecosystem on earth, containing over 30 million species of plants and animals. That's half of the Earth's wildlife and at least two-thirds of it's plants.
Because most tropical rainforest grows in warm and steamy environments, it contains a huge variety of plants. One hectare of lowland rainforest may contain 1000 trees with up to 300 species.
There are many reasons rainforests are important - but mostly because they are home to most of our earths species of plants and animals, they filter earths water and air while regulating our global climate, the provide us with life saving medicines derived from plant compounds (think about the vast number of plants going extinct, how many of those could have been a cure for our major diseases?), and lastly they prevent soil erosion.
The key to human life is in the protection of our resources. Everyone can agree with this - despite what your views are - we MUST protect our rainforests; whether you look at it as protecting our global assets, or you have an innate love and respect for nature.
Is home to one of the worlds most endemic and endangered rainforests - what does that mean? Well, 90% of the plants and animals found in Madagascar, only exist on the island. Ranomafana is home to 12 species of lemur, 62 species of reptiles ( chameleons, snakes and fringed and satanic leaf-tailed geckos are pretty common), 98 frogs, 90 butterflies, 350 spiders - and so much more.
These Jurassic Park like rainforests are endangered and vastly deforested. But it's not all bad news - reforestation, education and community development programs are changing this.
Lemurs of Ranomafana
Reforestation: 13 villages, 13 nurseries, 10,000 trees a year.
Education: 18 childhood conservation clubs with weekly interactive meetings.
Community development: business education, jobs, expanding local businesses and agriculture such as essential oils (used in our products), spices and artisan goods.
How Does The Reforestation Project Work?
The reforestation efforts start with growing locally native and endemic saplings, and planting them into deforested regions throughout the area. Currently there 13 nurseries in 13 surrounding villages - this gives local people the ability to reforest there land and grow timber and fruit trees for the future, as well as having a variety of planting locations accessible. The nurseries are filled with trees that lemurs and humans benefit from, like Ramy, one of the Aye Ayes favorite foods!
The trees are planted and cared for throughout the dry season, growing to be hearty saplings that can withstand the stress of being planted into a new environment. Then they are planted and monitored for growth.
Local business development includes many amazing artisans in Ranomafana. Tourists are able to buy artisan crafted objects and support small business. The incredible talent includes essential oil farmers, traditional ironwork, basketweaving, cotton and raw silk scarves, rugs and more!
Supporting reforestation in one of the most beautiful places in the world is made possible in partnership with Dr. Patricia Wright, The Institute for the Conservation of Tropical Environments and Centre ValBio research center. You can donate directly by clicking the button below.