I am happy to announce that we have received funding from SNIS (Swiss Network for International Studies) for a new project. Principal member of the project is fire ecologist and remote sensing specialist Víctor Fernández-García, with collaborators at the universities of Antananarivo, Eduardo Mondlane, Swansea, Lausanne, and Léon, and at FAO and SANParks.Read the rest of this entry »
New project: what type of fire regime for what type of benefit (carbon, biodiversity, livelihoods…) in Southern Africa and MadagascarOctober 13, 2022
Madagascar’s fire regimes compared to the rest of the tropicsJune 15, 2022
Bushfire is often seen as symbolic of environmental catastrophe on Madagascar. But is it? A global comparison of fire regimes based on satellite image data suggests care in jumping to such conclusions. A recent article in Global Change Biology, led by Leanne Phelps and to which I contributed, finds that the island’s fire regimes have analogues to 88% of fire regimes in the global tropics with similar climate and vegetation. Madagascar’s fires, while exceptionally vilified, are not exceptional. It also demonstrates that the large, landscape-scale grassland fires common across highland and western Madagascar have no relationship to forest loss; indeed forest loss occurs in places without large-scale fires.Read the rest of this entry »
Why we can’t say Madagascar is 90% deforestedApril 25, 2014
If stated often enough, a fact becomes truth. That seems to be the case with the oft-repeated figure that “Madagascar has lost 90% of its original forest cover”. The problem, as Bill McConnell of Michigan State University and I point out in a letter just published in Science magazine, is that this fact cannot be proven.