Honors College Thesis


Local Viewpoints on Conservation and Development at Malio, Andohahela National Park, Madagascar Public

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  • Madagascar, home to a high degree of endemic species and has been subject to numerous programs and organizations intent on preserving its biodiversity, which is currently pressured largely by anthropogenic causes. Protected areas, including national parks, make up a central part of these conservation efforts, combining ecotourism and restricting access for locals. This study looked to see how local people and conservation efforts interact, and how villagers view the concept of conservation at one site of one of Madagascar’s National Parks (Malio, at Andohahela National Park). In looking at viewpoints and opinions about conservation, park management and related factors, locals revealed a varying depth of knowledge about conservation and the systems supporting the park’s function. While the feelings of villagers regarding the park varied as well, it was largely considered problematic and many villagers expressed frustrations with limitations of the park impacting livelihoods, problems with park management, inadequate compensation and an inability to express their own needs regarding park planning and management. This localized study reflected challenges of a larger problem, coordinating the needs for livelihoods and conservation of Madagascar’s biodiversity, complicated by differential actions of interacting systems and organizations, cultural undercurrents, as well as systemic problems.
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