A ‘sapphire rush’ in Madagascar’s protected rainforests

Julia P G Jones, Bangor University The rainforests of Didy in eastern Madagascar usually ring with the calls of the indri, the island’s largest lemur. There is a different noise now: the chopping of trees, digging of gravel, and cheers of encouragement from the thousands of illegal miners who have flooded to these forests since …

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Plant medicine R&D helps scientist win science prize

By Nasseem Ackbarally [PORT LOUIS] A Malagasy phytochemist, Philippe Rasoanaivo, is the winner of the 2015 Olusegun Obasanjo Prize administered by the African Academy of Sciences (AAS). His work on Hazolava — a traditional plant in Madagascar — which may be important for treating psychiatric and sleep disorders, convulsions and male sexual dysfunction led to …

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Malaria outbreak in a ‘protected’ zone of Madagascar

By Nasseem Ackbarally [PORT LOUIS] A new study has found an unexpected malaria outbreak in a population that has benefitted from large-scale malaria prevention and control measures. The study conducted during the rainy season in 2011-2012 in south-eastern Madagascar found that the infection rate of the malaria parasites was 25.6 per cent despite the population …

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China promises boost to African bamboo expertise

By Keya Archarya [PARIS] China aims to increase Africa’s expertise in novel bamboo products through a new knowledge exchange network, it was announced at the COP 21 summit. The country plans to team up with African states to start a partnership that would see knowledge about bamboo growth and products, such as bamboo-based biofuels and …

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Madagascan dogs hail from Africa, unlike their human counterparts

Barbara van Asch, Stellenbosch University The dog was the first animal to be domesticated. This animal shared our lives and environments even before the invention of agriculture and any other animal husbandry. In ancient times, the dog was the only domestic animal to accompany humans to every continent. The island of Madagascar is only a …

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