SUSANNE MARGARETE BRAUN
Technische Universität München, Forestry Science, Germany
The REDD-FORECA project researched avoided deforestation by analyzing land use patterns and agricultural behavior. This socio-economic analysis reveals the functionality and interaction of different stakeholders in their typical land use process. During two weeks 36 peoples of 8 villages in the East of Madagascar were interviewed (focus group & semi-directive interviews) to complete the quantitative parts of this project. Forests in the East of Madagascar were characterized by free access, so uncontrolled use of wooden products for daily life, deforestation for agricultural land use and unmanaged exploitation of precious hardwood were current. Forest degradation was mainly effected by slash and burn followed by erosion problems and loss of soil fertility. Perception of the population that their forest resources are decreasing becomes blurred. Anyway rainforests are seen as essential for life but local people have no idea how to manage this resource sustainably without the help of the government. Archaic methods of agricultural production (lack of fertilizer/machines/crop storage, one-sidedness of crops), lack of purchasing power and arbitrariness of some responsible persons are the main brakes of development progress in this region. Education, health care and nutrition are degrading while the population increases constantly. Furthermore the actual local political power is very focused on ancient traditions and customs. Another point is that previous projects were neither successful nor sustainable because they were not adapted to the conditions and needs of the local population. Beyond that a lack of project evaluation was visible.
Hence, this study suggests:
Keywords: Deforestation, forest degradation, Madagascar, rice cultivation, shifting cultivation, slash and burn