Comoros

Environment:

Comoros (or Comores in French) is a group of islands at the northern mouth of the Mozambique Channel, about two-thirds of the way between northern Madagascar and northern Mozambique. The terrain is volcanic, and interiors vary from steep mountains to low hills. The highest point is Mount Karthala at 2,361 meters (7,746 feet).

Environmental issues include soil degradation and erosion resulting from crop cultivation on slopes without proper terracing, as well as deforestation. The Clearing-House Mechanism of the Convention of Biological Diversity maintains a biodiversity portal for Comoros. Engagement Communautaire pour le Développement Durable is one local NGO committed to managing landscapes for wildlife and people.

Moheli marine park, Parc Marin de Moheli, is the major protected area. There are 3 birding areas, Ramsar wetlands of international importance: Lac Dziani Boudouni, Le Karthala, and Le Mont Ntringui. Moidjio Centre for Research Conservation and Development organizes volunteer opportunities working with marine mammals and seaturtles.

Culture:

Arabs occupied the islands before the arrival of Europeans in the 15th century. France purchased the island of Mayotte in the mid-19th century. By the late 19th century France had declared the main islands of the Comoros as protectorates, including Anjouan, Grande Comore, and Mohéli. During WWII, Comoros and Madagascar sided with Vichy France, until occupied by the British in 1942, but reverted to France after the war. Comoros declared independence in 1975; however, Mayotte remains under French administration, despite being claimed by Comoros. Since independence, Comoros has endured some 19 coups or attempted coups. In 1997, the islands of Anjouan and Moheli tried to break away, but were eventually brought back together by the intergovernmental African Union.

The national center for documentation and scientific research, Centre National de Documentation et de Recherche Scientifique sur les Comores, is the contact for all things heritage, including archaeology, historical sites, and museums. Comores Tourisme is the official tourism website.

Mayotte based Societe Generale des Transports Maritimes provides inter-island ferry services. Comores Aviation, based at Prince Said Ibrahim International Airport in the capital city of Moroni, flies inter-island, as well as linking Madagascar and Tanzania.

References:

  • Harnessing the power of Google Earth for seagrass conservation in the Comoros Islands by LM Reifke, 2010
  • Strategies, Meanings and Actor-Networks: Community-based Biodiversity Conservation and Sustainable Development in the Comoros by M Mikus, 2009
  • Ecology and Conservation of Frugivores of Madagascar and the Comoros Islands by BJ Sewall, 2008
  • Co-Management Approach to Marine Conservation in Mohéli, Comoros Islands by EF Granek, MA Brown, 2005
  • The endemic Comoros Islands fruit bat Rousettus obliviosus: ecology, conservation, and Red List status by BJ Sewall, EF Granek, WJ Trewhella, 2003
  • Conservation of Pteropus livingstonii based on roost site habitat characteristics on Anjouan and Moheli, Comoros islands by E Granek, 2002
  • Le tourisme dans un espace non touristique: le cas de la République fédérale islamique des Comores by JC Gay, 2000
  • Study and conservation of the forest of Moheli (RFI of Comoros), an indigenous forest block threatened by human pressure by N Moulaert, 1998