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Community-Based Management in Two Biosphere Reserves in Madagascar: Distinctions and Similarities: What Can Be Learned From Different Approaches?

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Type: Journal Article
Author: Fritz-Vietta, Nadine V. M.; Röttger, Christiane; Stoll-Kleemann, Susanne
Journal: Madagascar Conservation and Development
Volume: 4
Page(s): 86-97
Date: 2009
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/6624
Sector: Social Organization
Region: Africa
Subject(s): CBRM
natural resources
informal economy
social capital
Abstract: "This article explores the socio-cultural aspects of community-based management of natural resources in Madagascar. The contractual devolution of management rights and responsibilities to local user groups constitutes an important instrument in the country’s environmental policy. Its challenges and opportunities are investigated through a case study that scrutinizes two biosphere reserves: Mananara - Nord at the northeast, and Sahamalaza at the northwest coast of Madagascar. While Mananara is relatively well established, having successfully realized more than twenty management transfers, implementation in Sahamalaza is still in its infancy. Comparing both sites allows for drawing a picture of major factors that influence the success of this instrument. Data was gathered using a qualitative social research approach based on interviews and participatory rural appraisal. A conceptual framework integrating informal institutions and the concept of social capital was used to better understand socio-cultural dynamics within rural communities. The paper presents the characteristics of both sites and explores traditional natural resource use, local associations, and their role in collective action, as well as customary institutional arrangements. The results provide insight into strengthening local management capacities and cooperation. They also highlight the need to leverage local knowledge and to reconcile the different formal and informal rules for active and responsible involvement of concerned community members in sustainable resource management."

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