Madagascar’s unique baobab forests are being destroyed to make space for agriculture. Some trees are now orphaned in patches of barren land. Tropical ecologist Seheno Andriantsaralaza shares the work she’s doing with communities to save the forests, with a little help from artificial intelligence.

The leopards in South Africa’s Mpumalanga province are descended from two populations that merged long ago when their savanna habitat shrank during a time of changing climate. This is the finding of a DNA tracking study by molecular ecologist Laura Tensen. She writes that understanding these magnificent animals’ genetic diversity will help conservationists to protect them.

Anna Weekes

Environment + Energy Editor

Madagascar’s ancient baobab forests are being restored by communities – with a little help from AI

Seheno Andriantsaralaza, Université d’Antananarivo

In Madagascar, communities and scientists are growing tens of thousands of baobab seedlings to restore the 1,000-year-old forests.

Leopard DNA study in South Africa traces ancestry to ice age – and will guide conservation

Laura Tensen, University of Copenhagen

Research exploring how leopards evolved has found that South African leopards are descended from an ice age a million years ago.

Arts, Culture + Society


Malawi’s school kids are using tablets to improve their reading and maths skills

Nicola Pitchford, University of Nottingham

Child-directed educational technology can deliver high quality education for millions of marginalised children worldwide.

Health + Medicine

Business + Economy

Cement is a big carbon emitter and quality is costly: a civil engineer explains

Elsabe Kearsley, University of Pretoria

A tonne of carbon dioxide is released for every tonne of cement manufactured from limestone.


Environment + Energy

Ghana’s forests are being wiped out: what’s behind this and why attempts to stop it aren’t working

John Tennyson Afele, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST)

Ghana is losing forests because of cocoa farming, firewood harvesting, mining and logging.


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