Full Length Research Paper
Forest conservation and livelihood conflict in REDD: A case study from the corridor Ankeniheny Zahamena REDD project, Madagascar Lalaina Cynthia Ratsimbazafy, Kazuhiro Harada, Mitsuru Yamamura* 1
Graduate School of Human Sciences and Environment, University of Hyogo, 1-1-12, Shinzaike-honcho, Himeji, 6700092 Hyogo, Japan. Accepted 29 September, 2011
To be effective, the reducing emission from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD) initiatives must be driven not only by their potential climate and other environmental benefits, but also by the consideration of how they will affect rural communities. This study focused on the socioeconomic dimensions of the REDD mechanism and explored the extent to which the management system of a carbon sequestered forest affects the livelihoods of local forest communities. The study was carried out in the Corridor Ankeniheny Zahamena (CAZ) REDD project in the eastern section of Madagascar. A sampling of 118 respondents was selected from the communities located inside, adjacent, and in the immediate proximity of the forest. A sustainable livelihood approach and participatory rural appraisal tools, including direct interviews and questionnaire surveys, were used in data collection. The main purpose of the direct open-ended interview was to understand the historical and socioeconomic background of the community in the area. Closed-ended questions were used to understand the changes within the socioeconomic assets of the household and to determine the involvement and participation level of local people within the project. Our analysis revealed that the impact of the REDD project on the communities’ livelihoods varies according to the socioeconomic characteristics of the households. The most disadvantaged households were the most affected, since their livelihood relied considerably on the forest resources. Nevertheless, all households had the same right regarding access to forest resources and benefits from the project. Regarding awareness and participation, the local people living inside the forest were the most active within the forest conservation activities. The majority of the local people were aware of the existence of the forest conservation project in their area, while only the elites in the communities at the local level were aware of the carbon issues within the forest that they were protecting. Therefore, an in-depth socioeconomic study should be conducted within the local community involved in the protected areas before implementing a forest conservation system. Moreover, the socioeconomic characteristics of forest communities should be considered as main criteria for the design of both benefit-sharing and incentive measures. Key words: Deforestation, forest degradation, forest conservation, community livelihood, forest carbon, Ankeniheny Zahamena Corridor, Madagascar. INTRODUCTION Despite the considerable increase in protected areas (PA) across the globe (IUCN 1998), deforestation is order to reduce these emissions, the reducing emission from deforestation and forest degradation (here after responsible for an estimated 12 to 18% of global carbon emissions (Stern, 2006; Van Der Werf et al., 2009). In REDD) mechanism was agreed upon as part of the 2012 protocol of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The basic premise is that, developed countries will pay developing countries to reduce rates of deforestation or degradation by
Ratsimbazafy et al.
implementing a range of policies and projects as part of their obligation to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. It has been estimated that REDD financing could result in the flow of billions of...