Madagascar increases fines for forest burning
January 3, 2008
Thursday Environment Minister Harison Randriarimanana announced new fines for farmers practicing "tavy", as slash-and-burn agriculture is known in Madagascar, and unveiled plans to educate the country's mayors about the environmental impact of bush fires, which burn across as much as one-third of the country each year. He also said that reforestation efforts by individual Malagasy, as the people of Madagascar are known, could reforest 100,000 hectares of land with 200 million trees.
The announcement comes two months after an international team launched a real-time satellite monitoring system of Madagascar's fires. The Fire Alert System — a collaborative effort between Madagascar's ministry of Environment, the International Resources Group, and Conservation International with USAID funding — allows anyone with an Internet connection to see where fires are burning. The system includes email alerts that notify subscribers when a fire has been detected in a specified area.
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