Deforestation in Madagascar is caused by the ancient agricultural methods and the lack of useful resources available to the citizens of Madagascar. This deforestation is affecting the biodiversity by destroying the environments plants and animals and killing many endemic species.Madagascar is a beautiful place and knowing and learning about the island and its history is very important. Madagascar is the fourth largest island in the world, and it separated from Africa 165 million years ago, and it separated from India 70 million years ago. Madagascar because it is an island, it is not equipped to adapt to the intense changes and many different regions are formed. One region on the island is called the “spiny forest,” it is a vast region and it is blanketed with low vegetation and dotted with different species of trees. The first forest map of these regions in Madagascar was made from aerial photos from 1949-1957 and was created by F. Blasco. The biodiversity and ecosystems in Madagascar are very distinct and beautiful. Madagascar’s ecosystems are home to over 250,000 species of animals and plants. Madagascar holds one of the highest rates of endemic species, which means that those species live in Madagascar and nowhere else. There are 13,000 different kinds of plants on the island, and 90% of them are endemic. 90% of Madagascar’s animals live in the vast forests, the forests of Madagascar are some of the richest areas in the world for biodiversity conservation. Madagascar holds one of the highest rates of endemic species, the scientists have found endemic seeds in aloe plants, baobab trees, and so many other plant species, and 2,300 species of these plants are used for medical needs. One of the places in Madagascar with the highest endemic rate is the forests of Atsinanana, in this forest, there are 6 national parks, with an endemic rate of 80%Human deforestation has had a very dramatic effect on the island of Madagascar. Some people say that before human arrival, woodland covered 90% of the island, others argue that it was already less. By 1600 ad deforestation has already begun on the island, and by the late 19th-century bad deforestation led to a law against agricultural burning. Now, only 103,000 kilometers of land has little to non-degraded soil left. In the next 30 years, almost all of the forests and landscapes on the island will be degraded. According to the UNEP, deforestation has accounted for 35% of the soil degradation in Madagascar, with fewer trees on the island to hold the soil in place the land is eroding. Negative deforestation has been found in every region of Madagascar, and 80% of their forest is gone. Endemic species that are nowhere else are also getting destroyed, the trees in various towns are being cut down and used for coal and other fuel. The driest regions of Madagascar have become even drier in the past two decades. The people of Madagascar are a unique and interesting culture and learning about these people is very interesting. Poverty is bad on the island many people live on less than a dollar a day, and many depend on the biodiversity to survive, which is causing the people to cut down all of their trees. Madagascar’s population of 17.9 million, growing at 2.8% a year, makes deforestation very hard to slow. The population in the small city of Toliara has risen by 50% in the past two decades to around 120,000 people.One of the main reason of deforestation in Madagascar is the people’s ancient farming method called Tavy of “Slash and Burn.” while doing Tavy you cut down a plot of forest, burn it, then you plant your crop there. The people leave their crop there for 1-2 years then they repeat this again. These slash and burn clearings are only getting worse as poverty is increasing. After doing Tavy in the same spot for many years, it creates erosion and landslides, for the people sometimes plant their crops on a hill. In the past, these rough patches are left alone for around 20 years so that the soil and forest could regenerate. This 20-year cycle worked until Madagascar’s population grew and there was not enough time to leave all of that soil alone for a whole 20-years because the 20- year process was then shortened, the soil and nutrients in the land became depleted throughout most of the country.Logging is an illegal act and an act that has contributed a lot to deforestation in Madagascar. Illegal logging on a global scale estimates around 10 million dollars lost from timber producing countries where logging is legal. Many enforcements have been placed on the law that is illegal to be logging rosewood, but people continue to do this because of how much the wood is worth if they sell it. The “rosewood mafia” are the people who destroy Madagascar forests. Because of the high values of these trees, most of it is being chopped down and sold even in protected areas. In 2009 about 100,000 of Madagascar’s hardwood trees were illegally cut down. Rosewood can sell in the U.S. 5,000 dollars per cubic meter, more than double the price of mahogany. In November of last year, one of the largest stringed instruments in the world went under federal investigation for using illegal rosewood from Madagascar. Unfortunately, a lot of illegal wood is shipped to China, and the U.S. has spent 16 billion dollars on “Chinese” furniture. This illegal logging has brought many invasive species from Madagascar (endemic) to foreign countries. The logging has also decreased the genetic diversity, and it creates more space for burning and bushmeat hunting. The amounts of logging have also decreased the amount of tourism in North Eastern Madagascar. Charcoal is one of the biggest causes of deforestation on the island. Charcoal has become a very popular kind of fuel. Women who tend to charcoal fires say that it is better. And that using normal firewood would require constant fanning and it would burn their eyes. In the city, people only use charcoal from nice hardwoods, not the cheap wood like mangrove trees or other softer woods. Cheap wood charcoal will die out even with just the smallest gust of wind, but the hardwood charcoal lasts twice as long, Tamarind is one kind of nice and rare hardwoods that they use for charcoal. The people who collect wood for charcoal are called the charbonniers, this word is French. Charcoal is the easiest way to make money, because it is just cheaper, cleaner, and easier than firewood, and it is more readily available than gas and/or electricity.Charcoal has now become a very important part of the economy, Africa’s charcoal production has doubled in the past two decades, according to the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), the demand of charcoal will double or triple by 2050. The population growth has only increased the demand for charcoal, and more people are joining the business. There are many jobs that people can have in the charcoal business: tree cutters, charcoal burners, transporters, middle men, agents, and financiers. Some people collect charcoal right from the charbonniers and sell it to the agents, these people get about 15% of the profit from each 110-pound bag of charcoal. Hundreds of bags of charcoal are constantly waiting in local villages to have agents pick them up, then they get paid. “Everyone wants to be in the charcoal business,” says Regnier Faralya, “because of the reliable profit. Now since the business is so popular farmers and other people can be found on the streets, selling charcoal that was taken from fragile forests, robbing them of their biodiversity. Now because of how many people sell charcoal, charbonniers have to wake up in the early morning and travel far north to beat their competition to the good wood. Some charbonniers have even taken their work elsewhere and traded charcoal in other countries. Madagascar also has a serious lack of policy on the matter of charcoal due to their unstable government, because charcoal produces so much money for people, even though it destroys the environment rules regarding its protection are rarely enforced. Government officials say that near the town of Toliara only 45% of charcoal production is legal. Government officials are placed on checkpoints on the road to take away illegal charcoal being moved by unlicensed producers, but sometimes charcoal producers bribe government officials to let them keep their charcoal. In Madagascar, there is a vast amount of biodiversity, and the “booming” charcoal enterprise is contributing to the destruction of the forests biodiversity. This charcoal business is also a factor of climate change, which affects farming, which just pushes more and more people into the charcoal business. But still many people have left behind their other ways and started to use charcoal. People have made so much money off of charcoal that they are able to invest in other things, like animals. The town of Befoly used to supply the town of Toleiera with trees until they ran out, this has been happening in many places. A charbonnier named Julian Andriananiana says “most of the trees are cut down…” he had gotten 60 bags of charcoal, below his daily average of 80. And the demand for this destructive fuel is only rising. A lot of Madagascar’s income comes from tourism, and the WWF is trying to inform all of the worlds about the current situation. Although the media has given some attention to this matter, they are only restating the same key facts. The media viewers have also created quite a few rumors and myths.Many people are trying to help and put Madagascar back the way it should be. One way people are helping is by collecting seeds, and discoveries. Even though the environment on the island is being destroyed, scientists are still discovering new plant species all the time. Scientists are racing to collect seeds to grow in a seed farm in Britain, to protect the biodiversity. Dr. Rakotoarisoa goes to Madagascar to collect seeds, he says that these forests can take days to reach over flooding roads.”The seeds are flown to Britain for safeguarding at the Kew seed bank.” the Kew facility has already obtained 1,800 species from Madagascar. Scientists say that 6,000 of the islands 13,000 species of plants are successfully stored at Kew. The Kew seed protection facility will protect 25% of the world’s plants by 2020, they are at 13% now. The other 7,000 species live in the humid parts of Madagascar, on the east side of the country, so they will not survive the freeze and dry process. Deforestation in Madagascar is caused by the ancient agricultural methods and the lack of useful resources available to the citizens of Madagascar. This deforestation is affecting the biodiversity by destroying the environments plants and animals and killing many endemic species, but people are trying to help, and hopefully, the island of Madagascar will be turned back into the green and biodiverse island that it should be.