Mayotte, the French department most affected by deforestation

Mayotte the French department most affected by deforestation

A whirlwind visit to Mayotte for Minister Delegate for Overseas Territories Marie Guévenoux on Tuesday. She did not announce the establishment of a state of emergency as requested by many Mahorais, and her visit was followed by a murder, a young man shot dead in Majicavo. Insecurity, violence, but also deforestation: a scourge which makes Mayotte the department most affected by this problem. A practice that harms water resources is sorely lacking on the island.

2 mins

With our correspondent in Mayotte, Lola Fourmy

The method is always the same: uproot, clear, then burn, including in biodiversity hotspots.

We are on Saziley beach, the main turtle nesting beach. “ The guy completely cleared the land before, and instead, what did he plant? Banana trees », Explains Michel Charpentier, president of the naturalists of Mayotte.

The cause is an increasing population density and a lack of land. Residents are therefore looking for any piece of land to cultivate and feed themselves, leading to an increase in deforestation.

It is estimated that this is around 250 hectares per year. The best years when there was replanting was around 50 hectares per year. », confides Mr. Charpentier.

However, trees are essential to combat erosion and help promote better absorption of rain in the soil. Among the solutions of the future, permaculture and agroforestry.

Sidi souffou is a socio-agricultural coordinator at Agro Concept. For him, the future necessarily involves organic. “ Here, he said, everything is done in a streamlined manner. Who says support towards organic means fighting against everything that is deforestation so that farms or environments are peaceful. »

From twelve certified organic farmers today, they are aiming for a hundred within two years, in Mayotte. So much potential proof that the solution for agriculture is to optimize rather than destroy.

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