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Who wants to conserve remaining forest fragments in the Manompana corridor?

ZL Urech
HR Felber
J-P Sorg


Contiguous forests in Madagascar are continuously converted into forest fragments due to deforestation, and dispersed into landscape mosaics dominated by agriculture. These fragments are of increasing importance for biodiversity conservation as well as for the well being of rural inhabitants, providing a high diversity of timber and non - timber forest products. An increasing number of international projects are therefore trying to preserve remaining forests and to transfer the management of these forests to local communities. However, it is not known how important the preservation of forest fragments are to local people. We therefore explore the importance of forest fragments as a source of cash income to different groups separated by wealth level and access to forest resources. A multi - method research approach was taken, based on score application exercises as well as interviews with individual households and focus groups. Our study site was located at the east coast of Madagascar in the Manompana corridor. Results show that some groups are significantly more interested in the preservation of forest fragments than others. Interest is significantly related to the wealth of local inhabitants as well as to the walking distance between villages and forest resources. Nevertheless, interest in resource preservation does not depend on how important fragments are to local people, but rather on the awareness about resource scarcity.

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eISSN: 1662-2510