The Sad Opaqueness of the Environmental Crisis in Madagascar

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"The deteriorating state of Madagascar's environments, constitutes an enigma that has so far proved insoluble. The island nation has turned to dissolving local land rights in nationalised parkland by turning to the Yellowstone conservation paradigm of instituting more exclusionary land from which local people are removed and excluded. The environmental crisis to which these measures respond are real and worrisome. Anthropologists involved in conservation have limited their involvement in the greening of Madagascar to their specialisations or sub disciplines. This has led to a muddled anthropology of conservation in which one side cancels out the other or, more often, the conservation core or elite peripheralises the side critical of conservation projects. I argue that anthropologists would be more effective if they sought a middle ground and conducted team fieldwork. The six papers in this special section investigate the theoretical middle ground, paving the way for future explorations of the methodological turn to work side by side and pooling our subdisciplinary training to resolve the environmental crisis by keeping people in the environment."



environmental degradation, land tenure and use, property rights