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Integrating conservation and development: the role of local people in the the maintenance of protected areas in Madagascar

Durbin, Joanna (1994) Integrating conservation and development: the role of local people in the the maintenance of protected areas in Madagascar. Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) thesis, University of Kent. (doi:10.22024/UniKent/01.02.86274) (KAR id:86274)


In Madagascar, as throughout the world, protected areas were originally created with little consideration for local people. Conflicts have arisen as people continue to use resources within protected areas. A recent approach, integrated conservation and development, aims to provide alternative resources or other benefits to local people and promote local sustainable management of resources to alleviate pressure on protected areas.

At two sites, Andohahela and Soalala, studies were conducted in two villages per site. Energetic, economic, cultural and ecological influences on resource use were investigated. Energy expenditure, resulting from distance travelled and effort required for extraction, limits resources used and collection zones in these primarily subsistence populations. Some commodities are traded, but the effort required for transport limits trade. Cultural influences, both traditional and political, also have a strong impact on resource use and management, for example resulting in apparently disadvantageous trade in rice for cattle immediately after harvest.

The species used and approximate amounts of resources extracted from different habitat types are documented for each site. Some local practices have a major impact on biodiversity, for example at both sites uncontrolled burning, often started for pasture regeneration, is a threat to forest areas. Extraction of locally important resources, such as wood and other materials for house and boat construction, tubers in periods of food shortage and plants used medicinally and ritually, have less impact. Resource management initiatives are proposed that take account of relative environmental impact, energetic, economic and cultural values of resources to local people, traditional management practices and social organisation. I conclude that development activities to maintain a protected area should integrate natural resource and cultural issues so that activities are directed at local practices with most impact on biodiversity and enable the social mechanisms and institutions for lasting conservation.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctor of Philosophy (PhD))
DOI/Identification number: 10.22024/UniKent/01.02.86274
Additional information: This thesis has been digitised by EThOS, the British Library digitisation service, for purposes of preservation and dissemination. It was uploaded to KAR on 09 February 2021 in order to hold its content and record within University of Kent systems. It is available Open Access using a Creative Commons Attribution, Non-commercial, No Derivatives ( licence so that the thesis and its author, can benefit from opportunities for increased readership and citation. This was done in line with University of Kent policies ( If you feel that your rights are compromised by open access to this thesis, or if you would like more information about its availability, please contact us at and we will seriously consider your claim under the terms of our Take-Down Policy (
Uncontrolled keywords: Ecology; Madagascar
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Anthropology and Conservation > DICE (Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology)
SWORD Depositor: SWORD Copy
Depositing User: SWORD Copy
Date Deposited: 29 Oct 2019 16:47 UTC
Last Modified: 08 Dec 2022 20:58 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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