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Between economic loss and social identity: The multi-dimensional cost of avoiding deforestation in Eastern Madagascar

Desbureaux S., Brimont L.. 2015. Ecological Economics, 118 : p. 10-20.

DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolecon.2015.07.002

This paper exhibits the multiple dimensions of the cost of stopping the main driver of deforestation in Madagascar, slash-and-burn agriculture (tavy). As well as being a major component of the economic livelihoods of most local households living at the edge of forests, tavy has been described by anthropologists as an important cultural practice. In this paper, we show that stopping tavy does not only entail an economic cost for local households. The loss of the cultural dimension of tavy would come at an additional ¿cultural cost¿ for some. Our results suggest that a viable cessation of deforestation in Madagascar would require going beyond simple compensation of the opportunity costs of avoiding deforestation.

Mots-clés : forêt tropicale; déboisement; utilisation des terres; communauté rurale; gestion des ressources naturelles; zonage; protection de la forêt; zone protegée; agriculture de subsistance; montant compensatoire; législation de l'environnement; moyens d'existence; madagascar; brûlis

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