LONDON, (The Southern African Times) – Environmentalists looking after one of the world’s most biodiverse rainforests in Madagascar are increasingly worried about climate change putting endemic wildlife at risk.
British broadcaster Sky News followed a small group of guardians of the Analamazaotra Forest in east-central Madagascar, who said poverty fuelled by global warming is driving deforestation and poaching.
They said that extreme weather patterns pose the most serious problem, especially affecting the nation’s lemur population.
One of the forest’s guardians, Youssouf, said “this is meant to be the rainy season but we have no rain,” pointing to an extended dry period with parts of the south without sufficient rainfall for more than four years.
Madagascar is one of the world’s lowest carbon emissions emitters, yet is severely affected by yearly cyclones, long droughts followed by flooding.
The climatic challenges have forced the disadvantaged to increasingly turn to cutting trees, poaching wildlife for sale, even eating the animals and plants to survive, Sky said.
On Saturday, countries agreed a new deal at the climate summit in Glasgow. But the agreement was criticised for not making firm commitments to help developing countries mitigate the effects of climate change.