Title: Socioeconomic Root Causes of Biodiversity Loss in Madagascar
Author: Ratsifandrihamanana, Anitry N.; Montanye, Dawn; Christiansen, Sarah; O'Connor, Sheila;
Source: In: Aguirre-Bravo, C.; Pellicane, Patrick J.; Burns, Denver P.; and Draggan, Sidney, Eds. 2006. Monitoring Science and Technology Symposium: Unifying Knowledge for Sustainability in the Western Hemisphere Proceedings RMRS-P-42CD. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. p. 203-212
Publication Series: Proceedings (P)
Description: In 2000 and 2001 a root cause analysis was conducted for the Spiny Forest Ecoregion in Madagascar, identifying the local level root causes of biodiversity loss in the ecoregion as well as the policy and institutional issues at the national and international levels that contribute to them. Most of the research was conducted in and around Tulear and Fort Dauphin. Findings will be used to develop a strategic action plan for the ecoregion.
The direct threats to biodiversity loss in the ecoregion are forest clearing, land conversion, and habitat alteration. Root causes include demand for wood as a primary source of fuel for rural and urban populations, limited technical support to farmers, and the tying of land ownership to forest clearing. The current situation of deforestation, heavy land use, poverty and urban expansion is exacerbated by population growth and in-migration. In the regional government, lack of both management skills and training to execute programs and enforce laws is compounded by uncomplimentary and uncoordinated national policies. The deregulation of the agriculture sector—including the reduction of export taxes on all agricultural commodities, the elimination of cheap urban food policies in the late 1990s, and currency devaluation—contributed to increased agricultural production and exports, further driving deforestation.
Recommendations include the establishment of formal land tenure rights; enhancement of agricultural extension services; improved market access and economic development for agricultural crops and alternative forest products, including medicinal plants; and increased access to micro-credit by the poor. Avenues for promotion of linkages between the ministries that oversee the environment and economic and social development are identified.
Keywords: monitoring, assessment, sustainability, Western Hemisphere, sustainable management, ecosystem resources, Spiny Forest Ecoregion, Madagascar, biodiversity loss
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Ratsifandrihamanana, Anitry N.; Montanye, Dawn; Christiansen, Sarah; O''Connor, Sheila 2006. Socioeconomic Root Causes of Biodiversity Loss in Madagascar. In: Aguirre-Bravo, C.; Pellicane, Patrick J.; Burns, Denver P.; and Draggan, Sidney, Eds. 2006. Monitoring Science and Technology Symposium: Unifying Knowledge for Sustainability in the Western Hemisphere Proceedings RMRS-P-42CD. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. p. 203-212
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