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We went to Madagascar to see proof of climate change's damage and found it in the faces of their children

The south west corner of Madagascar is the poorest part of one of the poorest places on Earth.

Here, for generations, thousands have lived in harmony with the land and the sea.

But what we discovered was that life has become unsustainable. In part, this is because of global warning.

Both the land and the sea have been damaged by rising temperatures and changing weather patterns, which means traditional sources of food are no longer reliable – and sometimes not even available.

The fishermen are running out of fish and the farmers are running out of crops.

The Vezo fisherman may still use the wooden canoes or pirogues that their fathers and grandfathers used to fish the waters around the Toliara reef.

But unlike those before them, they come back with practically nothing. The coral has bleached and died due to rising sea temperatures and the fish have gone.

Desperate fishermen are now over-fishing in a desperate attempt to feed their families and further damaging the reef in the process.

A rising population is compounding the problem. Madagascar’s population rose by half a million last year and half the fishing village we visited was aged under 15.

Fishermen are becoming increasingly desperate. Credit: ITV News

Most of the children we filmed were alarmingly malnourished and underfed. Often I’d ask the ages of the curious and smiling children who followed us.

Always I’d be surprised to find they were three or four years older than they looked.

Inland, we also found hungry children and villages emptying quickly as the farmers are giving up the land and trying to find food in other ways.

This is the end of the dry season, but even so the rains are less reliable and the winds picking up. “The Gods are angry,” the farmers told me – just as the fishermen had down on the coast.

Food is a struggle to come by in this corner of Madagascar. Credit: ITV News

Some farmers are joining the fishermen on the coast but that only adds to pressures there. Others are turning to illegal charcoal burning, cutting down trees to make a living:

A bag of charcoal brings in $2 (£1.55) – enough for a family to live off for a day.

About two trees are needed to produce one bag, but this is further damaging the land. Madagascar is caught in a relentless cycle of destruction.

Ninety per cent of the forests here have gone. Just like the coral. It’s an environmental tragedy.

People face struggles on land as well on sea. Credit: ITV News

Madagascar used to have uniquely precious marine and forest eco-systems and is home to some of the rarest mammals, plants and trees in the world.

But conservation isn’t a priority when you are hungry. And everywhere we met people who are hungry because not enough food is available anymore.

The children of Madagascar may be thousands of miles away from the children in Europe who protest about the future consequences of global warming, but for them the consequences have arrived.