You might be more familiar with Madagascar as the animated film than as one of the world's largest islands, but the nation has a much bigger claim to fame – 90 per cent of the country's wildlife isn’t found anywhere else in the world. And to safeguard its environment, the country has pledged to plant an amazing 60 million trees this year – one million for every year of independence.
President Andry Rajoelina has promised to restore Madagascar's forests and greenery, which has been destroyed over the past decade, pledging to "make Madagascar green again."
Lemurs are native to Madagascar
"The government has the challenge of making Madagascar a green island again. I encourage the people to protect the environment and reforest for the benefit of the future generations," he told citizens in a speech earlier this year.
The government plans to use drones and airplanes to spread seedlings to remote areas and there are plans to recruit locals to monitor saplings.
Deforestation in Madagascar
According to Global Forest Watch, Madagascar lost around one-fifth of its tree cover between 2001 and 2018, mainly due to the changes in farming – or tavy, as it is known locally. Tavy is a 'slash and burn' agricultural technique used in Madagascar. Creating new green spaces and forests is essential to the island to ensure its diverse wildlife still has a habitat.