A new system of fire tracking to reduce bushfires in Madagascar

A new system of fire tracking to reducebushfires in Madagascar

 11 October 2007

published by  www.madonline.com

Madagaskar — A new system of tracing bushfires viasatellites was launched by the ministry of Environment, the NGO “ConservationInternational” and the USAID last Wednesday.

Every year, many regions of Madagascar, whether in the East, in the West, inthe North or, and especially, in the South, are affected by the phenomenon of”Doro Tanety” and “Tavy” or bushfire. Every year, thousandsof hectares of forests and vegetations are reduced to ashes, and that is mainlydue to the lack of efficient means to prevent the fires from expanding.

Concerning that fire-prevention issue, the ministry of Environment along withthe NGO “Conservation International” and the USAID launched lastWednesday a new system of tracing via satellites any case of bushfires inMadagascar. This new system, which uses NASA satellites Terra and Aqua,is capable of detecting fires in an area of 50 cm² on the ground, andproviding precise geographical data of the place where the fires are located.But what is really interesting with this new fire-tracking system is that thegeographical data provided by the satellites Terra and Aquaare available to everyone through the Internet through the ministry ofEnvironment’s website: http://www.minevf.gov.mg

The main objective of this fire-tracking system via satellites is to checkthe expansion of the bushfires by alerting the population in the concerned areato take action immediately as soon as a fire starts. While capable of alertingthe local population about an imminent danger surrounding their area, districtand region, the new satellite-based system of tracing bushfires in Madagascarseems to be very much efficient.

But to what extent is that system efficient when the local population’savailable means to fight fires include spades, piece of cloths, and branches oftrees?

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