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Achieving conservation and equity amidst extreme poverty and climate risk: The Makira REDD+ Project in Madagascar

Brimont L., Ezzine de Blas D., Karsenty A., Toulon A.. 2015. Forests, 6 (3) : p. 748-768.

DOI: 10.3390/f6030748

Achieving forest conservation together with poverty alleviation and equity is an unending challenge in the tropics. The Makira REDD+ pilot project located in northeastern Madagascar is a well-suited case to explore this challenge in conditions of extreme poverty and climatic vulnerability. We assessed the potential effect of project siting on the livelihoods of the local population and which households would be the most strongly impacted by conservation measures. Farmers living in hilly areas must resort to slash-and-burn agriculture (tavy) since a combination of topographic and climatic constraints, such as cyclones, makes permanent rice cultivation very difficult. These are the people who suffer most from conservation-related restriction measures. For practical reasons the project, unfortunately, did not target these farmers. The main focus was on communities with a lower cyclonic risk that are able to practice permanent rice agriculture in the lowlands. To reduce deforestation without violating the principles of equity, REDD+ projects in Madagascar need to better target populations facing high climatic risks and invest in efforts to improve the farmers' agricultural systems.

Mots-clés : forêt tropicale; oryza sativa; protection de la forêt; politique de l'environnement; facteur climatique; accident climatique; déboisement; système d'exploitation agricole; pauvreté; madagascar; déforestation; brûlis; risque climatique; riziculture; service environnemental

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