Deforestation in Ivohibe : main causes and solutions

Western part of the site:

•    Uncontrolled bush fires propagating to the forest;
•    Illegal harvesting of timber for building materials, furniture or trade.

These problems have not yet been entirely solved. Communities are sometimes involved together with migrant loggers and, in specific cases, authorities.

Therefore, transfering the management of natural resources to local communities helps improve the situation.

By becoming responsible of their resources, communities tend to protect them better as long as they also benefit from alternative sources of livelihoods.

Eastern part of the site:

•    Slash and burn agriculture.

To solve this problem, it is imperative to raise awareness among local communities. “We will use news tools,” says Joël Raveloson, Head of project in Ivohibe-Andringitra. “For example, we are going to bring a generator and show documentaries explaining how slash and burn destroys forests. Most of the people here have never seen a movie in their life and we believe that this is a good way to leave an impressive image and get our message across. »

In addition, farmer from the Western part of the site, who are more familiar with natural resources management, will travel to the Eastern part to exchange ideas and experiences with their colleagues.

But Joël Raveloson stresses that just telling local communities not to do slash and burn agriculture is not enough.

“It is essential that they understand why it is bad and that alternative, sustainable, practices are available and more profitable,” he says.  “It’s a long but necessary process.”

 / ©: John E. Newby/WWF-Canon
Forest is burned for new agriculture land Madagascar.
© John E. Newby/WWF-Canon
 / ©: Olivier van Bogaert
Erosion is a result of deforestation. Ivohibe, Madagascar
© Olivier van Bogaert

Most of the people here have never seen a movie in their life and we believe that this is a good way to leave an impressive image and get our message across.

Joel Raveloson

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