Deforestation in Niger
Pictured here is the Baban Rafi Forest, which NASA calls the most significant piece of woodland in the Maradi Department of Niger. This area is located on the southern edge of the Sahara Desert in Africa. On the left is Jan. 12, 1976. On the right, Feb. 2, 2007. NASA points out that the darker green areas in the 1976 photo represent the natural landscape of savannah and Sahelian vegetation. In the 2007 photo, these areas are greatly reduced, largely because the population in the area quadrupled. Agricultural demands are a major reason deforestation has increased so dramatically in the past decades. As in the case here, farmers often use these lands at near-continual production, giving the land virtually no time to recover its fertility.