The Copernicus Sentinel-3 mission takes us over Madagascar. This huge island nation, located off the east coast of Africa and seen in the right of the image, has a population of around 25 million. More than half of the country’s inhabitants are aged under 25. The island is also home to rare flora and fauna, having developed its own ecosystems and wildlife since splitting from the African continent some 160 million years ago.
Preserving its impressive biodiversity is an ongoing challenge for the country. With an area of almost 600 000 sq km, Madagascar is the fourth largest island in the world. Some of the world’s most extensive coral reef systems, huge mangrove areas, and a vast array of birds, lemurs, and many other species can be found here. Deforestation poses a serious threat to the island’s habitats, with illegal wildlife trade representing a further challenge.