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    Madagascar has launched an ambitious reforestation campaign.

    The government intends, with private-sector support, to plant 60 million trees over 40 000 ha of land by the end of this year.

    The campaign is a move to address declining forest coverage countrywide. According to Global Forest Watch, in 2010, the island nation ‘had 16.4 million ha of tree cover, extending over 28% of its land area. In 2018, it lost 367 000 ha of tree cover, equivalent to 121 Mt of CO2 of emissions’.

    More than 1.2 million seedlings have already been planted in Madagascar’s central region, over an area of 500 ha.

    To extend the campaign to remote areas, drones will be used to distribute seed balls by air. Each ball is packed with 25 seeds, with a success rate of around 60%, reports Mongabay.

    In addition, ‘an estimated 100 million seeds have been rounded up by regional centres of the environmental ministry and its partners. The seedlings are being distributed free of cost to institutions and associations from government-run nurseries’.

    18 February 2020
    Image: Gallo/Getty Images