Pinnacle Natural Resources & Conservation

March 2014, Vol.1 (1).

© Author(s) 2014. This work is distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Research Article


Migration causing forest degradation in Madagascar: prevention or adaptation to the effects?

Dr. Rabemananjara Zo Hasina

Water and Forest Department
School of Agronomy
University of Antananarivo

Accepted 15 February, 2014; Available Online 16 March, 2014


Madagascar is the largest island in the Indian Ocean and has huge forestry potential spread over several types of ecosystem. However, these natural assets that generate flows of goods and services necessary for daily life, are subjected to intense threat of degradation due to migrants' illegal settlement. In fact, many forest areas of the Big Island are affected by this destructive occupation by individuals external to their territory, and whose negative impacts are felt consistently. This study is focused on the application of the precautionary principle, which requires the utility to take action at source in order to prevent harmful impacts on the environment. The first part of the article outlines the main migration flows which degrade forests in the country. The analysis shows that the causes of human movement vary from one zone to another. They are not only limited to purely economic considerations but also incorporate sociocultural factors. Limitations of different policy interventions in the migration field which are detrimental to forests have been highlighted in the second part. The analysis has concluded that the prevention of migration causing forest degradation remains extremely complex. Thus, adaptation to the effects seems the most realistic option for the Big Island. Recommended adaptation strategies are focused towards the forest area organization so that it really constitutes an environment contributing to economic development, hosting and helping people, especially the disadvantaged migrants in the labor force.

Keywords: Migration, forest degradation, prevention, adaptation, Madagascar.
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