Complementarity of native and introduced tree species: Exploring timber supply on the east coast of Madagascar
In Madagascar, nature conservation and human livelihood security both appear as crucial imperatives. The degraded secondary forest remnant of Analalava, on the east coast, near Foulpointe, is a protected area since 2006. The long-term conservation of the site’s biodiversity can only be guaranteed by local support. Given that access to timber from native trees within the protected area is restricted, management of tree resources outside of the protected area represents a critical nexus between biodiversity conservation and human benefits linked to ecosystem services. We investigated and characterized the local farmer's use of available tree species, to provide a basis for satisfying the dual objectives of biodiversity conservation and sustainable and equitable rural development.
Our results showed that local people are interested in various types of trees for timber, both native and introduced. Furthermore, they demonstrated detailed knowledge about silvicultural traits of a large number of tree species. Regarding the important complementarity of properties and uses recognized for native and introduced species we conclude that free distribution of nursery seedlings of fast-growing introduced tree species should not be the only alternative to logging within the protected forest fragment offered to local people. Instead, a larger choice of tree species, including native ones, should be proposed. The cultivation of this diverse mix would allow people to take a more active part in the preservation and restoration of natural capital at the landscape scale and could enlarge the range of benefits obtained from trees that they plant.