PhD Defence: Impacts of Community Forest Management and strictly protected areas on deforestation and human well-being in Madagascar
Ranaivo Andriarilala Rasolofoson
Strong evidence about the impacts of nature conservation interventions on the environment and human well-being is needed to develop effective conservation policy. However, currently available evidence is weak.
This thesis attempts to strengthen the evidence on the impacts of conservation interventions by investigating the impacts of Community Forest Management (CFM) and strictly protected areas on deforestation and human well-being in Madagascar, one of the world’s top conservation priorities. We addressed some of the weaknesses in other conservation impact evaluations. We cannot detect, on average, significant impacts of CFM on deforestation or on household per capita consumption expenditure at the national scale. We also did not detect significant differences between CFM and strict protection in the magnitude of their relative impacts on subjective well-being in eastern Madagascar. However, impacts on deforestation and consumption expenditure vary (with a mixture or positive and negative impacts) with management practices and household characteristics. This mixture of impacts supports claims that CFM can succeed under certain conditions. In eastern Madagascar, the characteristics of life domains impacted by CFM and strict protection have also been different, suggesting that these two interventions have had different impacts on subjective well-being.
The use of objective indicators (deforestation and consumption expenditure) and rigorous econometric methods as those used in the national scale studies can yield information about the magnitude of impacts that may be of interest to external stakeholders seeking cost-effective interventions. Subjective indicators and the participatory approach to link the intervention to the impact as we used in eastern Madagascar are limited in estimating the magnitude of impacts but provide highly relevant information for practitioners seeking to build locally legitimate interventions. The appropriate method for impact evaluation depends, among other things, on the objectives of the evaluation.
Carsten Smith-Hall, Professor, Department of Food and Resource Economics, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark
Julia Jones, Professor, School of Environment, Natural Resources and Geography, Bangor University, Bangor, Gwynedd, UK
Jette Bredahl Jacobsen, Professor, Department of Food and Resource Economics, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark
E.J. Milner-Gulland, Professor, Interdisciplinary Centre for Conservation Science, Department of Zoology, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK
Jennifer Alix-Garcia, Associate Professor, Agricultural and Applied Economics, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, USA
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