Political Crisis, Population Growth Threaten Biodiversity
The Indian Ocean island of Madagascar is a biodiversity hotspot with 80 per cent of its animal species unique to the country.
It's a protected area known for its waterfalls and wildlife and it's home to the world's largest species of lemur, the Indri Indri.
The park is a tourist magnet but Madagascar's rapidly growing population is putting more pressure on the forest.
It is under threat due to a rise in slash-and-burn agriculture, where people burn down large areas, often rich in flora and fauna, to clear land to plant crops.
Slash-and-burn agriculture is not the only threat to the island's natural resources. The ongoing political turmoil and increased poverty led to an upsurge in the logging of hardwoods and illegal mining.
"The problem got worse since the beginning of the [political] crisis," says deputy managing director Herijaona Randriamanantenasoa. "We are not talking about dozens of people cutting wood in the forest but actually hundreds or even thousands of people. Insecurity prevails in these areas."
The export of hardwoods is illegal here but the interim government has failed to enforce the law.
"There is a weakness in law enforcement because of corruption and because of the power of this illegal network of traffickers," says Andry Andriamanga Ralamboson, the national coordinator of environmentalist coalition Vohary Gasy.