FirewoodFirewoodDeforestation

120.000 hectares of forest disappear annually in Madagascar. That is the area equivalent to the lake of Lucerne.

90% of the island’s original forests have disappeared…victims of the axe for firewood, valuable tropical wood, timber for building and the creation of agricultural land.

Charcoal is readily availableCharcoal is readily availableMadagascans use the most wood for cooking. 80% of the felled wood is used for open fire cooking. A Madagascan family spends, on average, a third of its income on wood or charcoal.

And this is the heart of the ADES project; Through the use of energy efficient cookers, we help the population to dramatically reduce its wood and charcoal usage.

ErosionErosionErosion

The deforestation is frequently only the first step. The consequences follow. With the tree roots, which bound the soil gone, the earth is exposed to the whims of the weather.

Red riversFertile soil colours the rivers a bloody red

Wind und Wasser tragen die dünne Humusschicht der gerodeten Flächen innert kürzester Zeit ab. Flüsse verschlicken und Sedimente gelangen ins Meer, wo sie Korallen zum Ersticken bringen, was den Fischen ihren Lebensraum zerstört. Der Grundwasserspiegel sinkt und die Wüstenbildung schreitet voran. So gehen Jahr für Jahr riesige landwirtschaftlich nutzbare Flächen verloren. An entwaldeten Hängen kommt es häufig zu Erdrutschen. Dabei werden Siedlungen und Strassen mitgerissen oder verschüttet.

Rain washes the shallow humus layer awayRain washes the shallow humus layer awayThe climatic consequences of the deforestation are clearly visible. The flows of water on the island have been irreparably damaged and rain patterns have changed dramatically, leading to ever more frequent crop losses. Cyclones and floods, but also extreme droughts (in the south), increase in frequency and in intensity. Pests and sources of disease thrive on slow moving or stagnant water.

Forthcoming events