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Aerial view of the Manambolo River which is red due to soil erosion
With its rivers running blood red and staining the surrounding Indian Ocean, Astronauts have remarked that it looks like Madagascar is bleeding to death. This insightful observation highlights one of Madagascar's greatest environmental problems -- soil erosion.

Deforestation of Madagascar's central highlands has resulted in widespread soil erosion. For Madagascar, a country that relies on agricultural production for the foundation of its economy, the loss of this soil is especially costly.

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© Rhett A. Butler / 2008