Editorial staff
 Table of Contents
 Setting the stage: The politics...
 Agroforestry and conservation in...
 Une vue de pres du droit de l'environnement...
 La dynamique seculailre des plantations...
 Lever l'insecurite fonciere: Une...
 La gestion contractuelle, pluraliste...
 Coordinating traditional values,...
 Observations on repressive environmental...
 Book reviews

Title: African studies quarterly
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Title: African studies quarterly
Series Title: Gale Group
Uniform Title: African studies quarterly (Online)
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Language: English
Creator: University of Florida -- Center for African Studies
Publisher: University of Florida, Center for African Studies,
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Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla
Publication Date: Fall 1999
Copyright Date: 2010
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African studies -- Periodicals
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Abstract: Presents "African Studies Quarterly," an electronic journal published quarterly by the Center for African Studies at the University of Florida in Gainesville. Posts contact information for the editorial office via street address, telephone number, and e-mail. Lists advisory board and staff members. Offers access to the current issue, as well as to previous issues. Contains articles and related book reviews. Provides information on submissions and links to "African Anthropology."
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Table of Contents
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    Editorial staff
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    Table of Contents
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    Setting the stage: The politics of Madagascar's environmental efforts
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    Agroforestry and conservation in northern Madagascar: Hopes and hindrances
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    Une vue de pres du droit de l'environnement malgache
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    La dynamique seculailre des plantations paysannes d'eucalyptus sur les hautes terrres malgaches
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    Lever l'insecurite fonciere: Une des premieres clefs du developpement?
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    La gestion contractuelle, pluraliste et subsidiaire des ressources renouvelables a Madagascar
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    Coordinating traditional values, scientific research and practical management to enhance conservation and development objectives in the Andringitra Mountains, Madagascar
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    Observations on repressive environmental policies and landscape burning strategies in Madagascar
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    Book reviews
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Full Text

African Studies Quarterly

Volume 3, Issue 2
Fall 1999

Special Issue

The Politics of Conservation in Madagascar
Richard R. Marcus and Christian Kull
Guest Editors

Published by the Center for African Studies, University of Florida

ISSN: 2152-2448

African Studies Quarterly

Editorial Staff

Nanette Barkey
Michael Chege
Maria Grosz-Ngate
Parakh Hoon
Carol Lauriault
Todd Leedy
Richard Marcus
James Meier
Hannington Ochiwada
Ade Ofunniyin

African Studies Quarterly I Volume 3, Issue 2 I Fall 1999

University of Florida Board of Trustees, a public corporation of the State of Florida; permission is hereby granted for
individuals to download articles for their own personal use. Published by the Center for African Studies, University of Florida.

African Studies Quarterly I Volume 3, Issue 2 I Fall 1999

Table of Contents

Setting the Stage: The Politics of Madagascar's Environmental Efforts
Richard R. Marcus and Christian Kull (1-8)

Agroforestry and Conservation in Northern Madagascar: Hopes and Hinderances
Lisa L. Gezon and Benjamin Z. Freed (9-37)

Une Vue d'Ensemble du Droit Environnemental Malgache
Diane M. Henkels (39-59)

Le Boisement, le bail, et la legislation environnementale a Madagascar: trois articles courts

La Dynamique Seculaire Des Plantations Paysannes D'eucalyptus Sur Les Hautes
Terres Malgaches (61-68)

Lever L'insecurit6 Fonciere: Une Des Premieres Clefs Du Developpement? (69-73)

La Gestion Contractuelle, Pluraliste Et Subsidiaire Des Ressources Renouvelables: A
Madagascar (1994-1998) (75-81)

Alain Bertrand

At Issue

Coordinating Traditional Values, Scientific Research And Practical Management To Enhance
Conservation And Development Objectives In The Andringitra Mountains, Madagascar;
Lessons Learned!
Hanta Rabetaliana and Peter Schachenmann (83-91)

Observations On Repressive Environmental Policies And Landscape Burning Strategies In
Christian Kull (93-95)

Book Reviews

Namibia Under South African Rule: Mobility And Containment 1915-1946. Patricia Hayes,
Jeremy Sylvester, Marion Wallace, and Wolfram Hartmann, with Ben Fuller, eds. Oxford:
James Currey, Windhoek: Out of Africa, and Athens: Ohio
University Press, 1998
Gretchen Bauer (97-98)

The Colonizing Camera: Photographs In The Making Of Namibian History. Wolfram
Hartmann, Jeremey Silvester and Patricia Hayes. Cape Town: University of Cape Town
Press. 1998
Fassil Demissie (99-100)

African Studies Quarterly I Volume 3, Issue 2 I Fall 1999

Miscast: Negotiating The Presence Of The Bushmen.Pippa Skotnes ed. Cape Town:
University of Cape Town Press. 1996
Kerry Ward (101-103)

In The Shadow Of Marriage: Gender And Justice In An African Community.Anne M.O.
Griffiths. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1997
Pauline E. Peters (103-104)

A Most Promising Weed: A History Of Tobacco Farming And Labor In Colonial Zimbabwe,
1890-1945. Steven C. Rubert. Athens: Ohio University Center for International Studies. 1997
Christine Sylvester (105-106)

King Leopold's Ghost: A Story Of Greed, Terror, And Heroism In Colonial Africa.Adam
Hochschild. New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1998
Godwin Rapando Murunga (106-108)

bell hooks' Engaged Pedagogy : A Transgressive Education For Critical Consciousness.
Florence Namulundah. Westport, Conn: Bergin and Garvey, 1998
Adam S. Meyer (108-110)

Africa's Population Challenge: Accelerating Progress In Reproductive Health.James E. Rosen
and Shanti R. Conly. Washington, DC: Population Action International. 1998
Dallas L. Browne (110-112)

Microfinance And Poverty Reduction. Susan Johnson and Ben Rogaly. UK/Ireland: Oxfam
and Actionaid. 1997
Barry Riddell (113-114)

African Studies Quarterly I Volume 3, Issue 2 I Fall 1999

African Studies Quarterly I Volume 3, Issue 2 I Fall 1999

Setting the Stage: The Politics of Madagascar's Environmental



Madagascar is one of the world's natural wonders. An island, existing in isolation for
millenia, eighty percent of the flora and fauna are endemic. Yet this unique and valuable land
has proven fragile. The bulk of the country's rainforests have already been destroyed causing
significant erosion and a threat to water sources in arid regions. In response, there have been
significant environmental conservation efforts undertaken by the Malagasy government with
international funding and technical support. These environmental efforts in Madagascar have
moved in the past two decades from a Yellowstone model, through the Integrated Conservation
and Development Project (ICDP) approach, to more recent initiatives that are at the forefront of
environmental innovation. These programs arise out of a long history of environmental efforts.
The French colonial government created a forest service nearly a hundred years ago which
oversaw forest and fire policy. Protected areas were established in 1927. These first reserves
were wholly exclusionary with no local economic benefits, thus the local populations
surrounding these protected areas viewed them as foreign and an additional facet of the
colonial oppression, exploiting the protected resources whenever possible. The most recent
trend in environmental thinking in Madagascar dates back to a catalytic 1985 international
conference and the 1988 publication of the National Environmental Action Plan21.
Key factors behind this conservation boom include the global renaissance of
environmentalism, Madagascar's slow political re-opening after an isolationist and socialist
decade, and the island's status as a top conservation priority for both the international
community and the Malagasy government21. Madagascar hosts a unique, highly endemic
collection of flora and fauna due to hundreds of millions of years of tectonic isolation. Biomes
on this mini-continent range from tropical rainforests, to spiny deserts, to wooded savannas, to
altimontane prairies. Fifteen hundred years of human occupation has dramatically altered this
natural heritage, largely through landscape burning, which has resulted in deforestation and

Richard R. Marcus is a Ph.D. Candidate in Political Science at the University of Florida. He is currently writing his
dissertation entitled "Cultivating Democracy on Fragile Grounds: Environmental Institutions and Non-Elite
Perceptions of Democracy in Madagascar and Uganda." Research for this dissertation was conducted from
September 1997-December 1998 with the assistance of the National Science Foundation and the University of Florida
Center for Africa Studies/United States Agency for International Development. Previous field research lending to
this dissertation was conducted in 1994 with the assistance of the University of Florida Center for Africa Studies/Ford
Foundation. Christian Kull is completing a dissertation entitled "Isle of fire: grassland and woodland burning in
highland Madagascar" at the Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management of the University of
California at Berkeley, USA. He has spent 21 months over the past seven years in Madagascar studying land use
change, political ecology, and environmental management. A graduate of Dartmouth College, Mr. Kull holds
masters degrees from both the University of Colorado (geography) and Yale University (forestry and environmental
http: //www.africa.ufl.edu/asq/v3/v3i2al.pdf

University of Florida Board of Trustees, a public corporation of the State of Florida; permission is hereby granted for individuals
to download articles for their own personal use. Published by the Center for African Studies, University of Florida.
ISSN: 2152-2448

2 I Marcus and Kull

soil degradation. In recognition of this environmental catastrophe in progress, the international
community has responded in force by supporting and guiding the Malagasy government in its
conservation program. As a result, the 1990s have seen an acceleration in the creation of
national parks and protected areas with the goal of establishing more than fifty in a fifteen year
Madagascar is also one of the world's poorest countries. With a population that is more
than eighty percent agrarian, limiting resource use for environmental goals is economically
devastating -- at least in the short term --to a significant percentage of the national population.
The extreme nature of the looming environmental and economic imperatives is matched in few
places on earth. Combined with a fragile new democracy, weak governance, rampant
corruption, and a largely uncaptured peasantry20, Madagascar's challenge is great.
Catapulted onto the world stage in the late 1980s as a hotspot for environmental
conservation, Madagascar now is the host of major environmental efforts. However, these
efforts, like previous ones, frequently have proven to be conflict ridden and politically charged.
Diverse interest groups, including poor rural farmers, foreign environmental organizations,
donors and competing local and national components of the Malagasy government, struggle to
implement their separate visions of proper or realistic resource use. Sometimes these forces
work together; sometimes they are diametrically opposed. This issue of the African Studies
Quarterly addresses different aspects of such environmental politics in Madagascar, ranging
from the lingering effects of colonial forestry and tenure legislation to the most recent policies
for decentralized natural resource management. Although these topics may seem diverse, the
global context of Madagascar's conservation politics unites their themes.
The resurgence of environmentalism in the 1980s moved beyond earlier concerns with
industrial water and air pollution to global issues of climate change, deforestation, and soil
degradation. Attention increasingly focused on developing countries. The first approach of
policy makers and activists was to encourage the preservation of land and trees through the
perpetuation of the Yellowstone model1. Named after the first national park of its kind, this
model asserts that the key to conservation is to set aside large tracts of land as protected areas
where people are neither allowed to live nor to utilize the area's natural resources. Instead, the
land is to provide an alternative economic benefit by way of tourism. In this way, the
appreciation of the land's beauty can serve local and national beneficiaries without resource
consumption. This blueprint for environmental conservation has become the most common,
leading to an increase in national parks and protected areas from a handful in the late 19th
century to more than 8500 in the world today2. The largest increase in the number of these parks
and protected areas over the past two decades has been in developing countries.
At first blush, the Yellowstone model seems promising. It promotes nature's diversity and
its potential commercial values. This model allows for a universalization of ideas and ideals
about how to protect the environment while promoting conservation as a norm. It also seeks to
halt the destruction of key environmental resources, even those at a point of imminent loss. Yet,
researchers have found flaws in the Yellowstone model. These flaws are most evident in the
developing world. First, people often live where the park or protected area is created. It is
therefore often necessary to relocate them to another part of the country. This displacement
often has devastating economic consequences3-8. Second, the people who live in the surrounds

African Studies Quarterly I Volume 3, Issue 2 I Fall 1999

Setting the State: The Politics of Madagascar's Environmental Efforts I 3

of the newly protected areas are most commonly farmers and herders, who rely on the land and
its resources for their survival. Restricting their access invariably means economic hardship. As
a result, local people tend not to willingly participate in conservation initiatives when posed
with the Yellowstone model. Even when faced with legal restrictions, border patrols and arrest,
local residents still tend to use the resources out of necessity as well as to defend their rights22.
At this point not only are local livelihoods threatened, but the conservation agenda itself is
unlikely to succeed. Third, planning is highly centralized. Professionals planners are
empowered to make changes that primarily influence the rural population. Proponents of the
Yellowstone model view anyone who lives in the periphery of the park and benefits
economically in some way as a "beneficiary" of the park 2. Thus, conservation is done to them,
not by them. There is little if any participation in the planning process or management by the
local community. Fourth, there is often a transfer in economic beneficiaries when the income
generation of the land is shifted from resource-use to tourism. Typically, this shift is from rural
to urban as tour operators are commonly urban elites. Finally, the model reflects the needs,
values, and economic realities of the European and American experiences.
While the Yellowstone model is still the most popular model worldwide 1, many
researchers and policy makers began seeking alternatives in the late 1980s. The challenge was to
find a way to not only meet local economic needs, but to better them while still seeking
conservation. The alternative usually involves the introduction of protected area resource use
by local people but in a way that is managed and allows for sustainable resource use rather than
extensive resource depletion. As a result, many countries have adopted a National
Environmental Action Plan that marries economic development to conservation. These
approaches involve greater local participation in the policy and management processes 2, 9-15.
Numerous different policy framework and project types have been designed to achieve this
goal, e.g. CAMPFIRE16 and community-based natural resource management (CBNRM)17.

One of the most common has been the Integrated Conservation and Development Project
(ICDP). ICDPs "attempt to ensure the conservation of biological diversity by reconciling the
management of protected areas with the social and economic needs of local people"14. Local
participation is encouraged while economic alternatives to resource exploitation are explored.
Projects seek to promote local income-generating activities -- bee-keeping, common-pool
fisheries, alternative agricultural methods, artisinal crafts for sale to tourists, micro-enterprise
expansion, etc. -- that can substitute for the loss of land and lead to economic development.
Such an approach is highly politicized. First, the failure of income-generating efforts can
foment discontent. This discontent can be focused on the government. For the plethora of fragile
new democracies throughout the developing world this can lead to an erosion of institutional or
leadership gains. Second, the allocation of benefits of income generated from land necessarily
leads to multi-user demands. Since tourism generates hard currency--a scarce resource in much
of the developing world--stakeholders appear at all levels and from all sectors of society18.
Third, ICDPs are intentionally designed to involve multiple stakeholders. A variety of multi-
lateral and bi-lateral donors provide funds to the government, international non-government
organizations (INGO), and local non-government organizations (NGO) to promote different
aspects of conservation and development for targeted regions, institutional development, and

African Studies Quarterly I Volume 3, Issue 2 I Fall 1999

4 I Marcus and Kull

policy establishment. These funds often come with conditionalities that affect other aspects of
governance from tax collection to property rights. Again, in an environment of economic
scarcity, such funds attract the interest of diverse parties.
This issue of ASQ seeks to explore the relationship between these political and
environmental challenges. It brings together policymakers with scholars coming from such
diverse disciplines as geography, anthropology, political science, law, sociology and biology, in
the hope of shedding some light on, and, perhaps, lend suggestions to, this process as it is
unfolding. In so doing, these authors address both the details of various efforts and actors and
the broader picture.
Included in this issue are a collection of papers which illuminate different angles of the
interplay between environmental change and politics in Madagascar. The papers address three
general themes related to environmental land management: the factors which determine land
and resource use, the importance of interest groups and politics in normative environmental
change, and specific legal and project-based techniques to influence environmental
management. Together, the papers show that environmental change is closely related to the
interplay of political and economic interests, from the conservation-oriented politics of foreign
donors to the livelihood interests of rural farmers. Before outlining the papers individually, let
us look at these three unifying themes.
One, several of the papers describe factors which have shaped environmental resource use,
outside of the realm of recent conservation efforts. Most dramatically, Bertrand reveals how the
urban wood fuel market and land tenure concerns led to the dramatic aforestation of several
highland regions. Similarily, Gezon and Freed, as well as Kull, describe the agro-ecological
rationale behind rural landscape practices including agricultural expansion and grassland
Two, the central role of interest groups and politics in environmental management is
treated in all of the papers. Conservation as we know it is based, after all, largely on the
normative views of foreign donor groups (and, before them, the colonial state). Implementing
these norms is a political process that includes, at various times, negotiation, repression,
conflict, and reconciliation. Most of the papers suggest a path to the future involving stake
holder participation moving towards contractual shareholder involvement.
Three, several papers discuss specific legal, institutional, and project-based techniques
which environmental actors use to try to affect change. Historical land tenure policies and fire
repression laws form the focus for short papers by Bertrand and Kull. The 1996 GELOSE
(Gestion Locale Securise) legislation, which sets the framework for a decentralization of
resource management to local communities, features prominently in the papers by Bertrand and
Henkels, as well as Kull. Rabetaliana and Schachenmann look more towards institutional
solutions, emphasizing a collaborative approach to ICDPs. Finally, Gezon and Freed present a
detailed consideration of the use of agroforestry projects by ICDPs to promote specific
environmental changes. Below, we introduce each paper individually.
Lisa Gezon and Benjamin Freed explore agroforesty issues particular to protected area
management, using the Amber Mountain complex of protected areas as an example. Tracing a
trajectory for agroforestry from the colonial period forward, they assert that agroforestry has
not been successful on the Ankarana Massif. Specifically, they have found that while tree

African Studies Quarterly I Volume 3, Issue 2 I Fall 1999

Setting the State: The Politics of Madagascar's Environmental Efforts I 5

planting has met with some success, tree survival has been rare and the popular participation
necessary for conservation has not been stimulated. People living in areas adjacent to the
National Park have not identified with the interest of protecting new trees. Instead, they see the
planting of trees as corresponding to international conservation actors much in the same way
that it corresponded to French interests during the colonial period. Furthermore, there is not a
history of commodification of tree products by local people. If policymakers continue to ignore
land use history then it is unlikely that agroforestry efforts can succeed. Instead, local
participation in the project must be employed to a greater degree. A closer rapport between
city-based officials and the local population must be cultivated. And, increased emphasis needs
to be placed on local economic needs. They conclude that agroforestry might not be a universal
solution. Even if all of these factors are met, agroforestry still may not lead to reduced resource
In the first of his three short papers, Alain Bertrand discusses afforestation on Madagascar's
central plateau, coming to a different conclusion than Gezon and Freed. He argues that
eucalyptus, though not indigenous to Madagscar, has historically been a valuable income-
generating crop through the urban fuel wood market, and a key strategy in asserting claims to
property rights. According to Bertrand, the combination of tenurial and commercial
motivations explains the persistence of this dynamic of peasant plantations over the course
century. As clarified in his second short paper on tenure insecurity, Bertrand feels that
ultimately the state has been poor at formal land tenure immatriculation. Traditional,
community-based tenure systems still dominate, yet their legitimacy is challenged by the overly
complex legal rules. Ultimately, the failure to maintain land tenure security has been one of the
primary stumbling blocks to development. This failure is part of the same failure of the state to
engage effectively the rural citizenry in a participatory process of conservation. His third paper
outlines in detail the GELOSE legislation and program, which aims to devolve management of
renewable resources to local communities This program is funded by the World Bank, French
Aid, and the U.S. Agency for International Development. Moving beyond a participatory
approach to conservation, GELOSE focuses on a contractual approach whereby local
communities gain the rights and responsibilities of local resource management through formal
legal contracts with the national government and other stakeholders.
Diane Henkels addresses these links between local and national resource management
rules through a legal evaluation of the case of Ranomafana National Park. She sets out to
explain the key points of Malagasy environmental law, placing the relationship between local
and national institutions in law-making in a historic and cultural context. According to Henkels,
until recently local and national law-making institutions existed in a state of perpetual conflict.
First the colonial then the independent Malagasy state attempted to supercede local laws and
resource-use strategies in an attempt to protect resources for its own gain. It was only in 1996
that the GELOSE legislation incorporated the primary local rule-making process (the "dina")
into official management. Under this law the dina establishes the norms by which local actions
are measured; judicial redress cannot exist until after the dina mandates key procedures.
Henkels argues that it is too soon to tell if the unification of local and national law-making will
be successful, but she is hopeful that this innovative approach will lend to the participation and
local voice necessary for conservation and economic development. She concludes that a

African Studies Quarterly I Volume 3, Issue 2 I Fall 1999

6 I Marcus and Kull

successful implementation of laws depends on the creation of a judicial structure which respects
and legitimizes local cultural and legal systems.
Christian Kull, working on Madagascar's central plateau, uses an anecdotal observation as
a window to discuss the politics of grassland and woodland burning. He briefly traces the
history of fire for agricultural use in Madagascar and the way in which both colonial and
independent state powers have acted to criminalize its use to the detriment of the local
population. Curtailing such an important agricultural tool without considering local economic
needs means that attempts at conservation are unlikely to succeed. Kull argues, like Gezon and
Freed, Bertrand and Henkels, that participation is the key to successful policy creation. The
devolution of the management of landscape burning also falls under the rubric of the GELOSE
legislation, but this shift has been slow in implementation. Kull further contends that fire
management policy is a good example of an area in which researchers tend to be biased. We
judge the issue and create a solution before they truly understand the problem. He concludes by
arguing that as researchers it is necessary for us to confront our biases, "seeking alternative
explanations, listening to the logic of [our] informants."
Hanta Rabetaliana and Peter Schachenmann give us an example of the ways in which the
Andringitra ICDP has attempted to coordinate local needs and values, scientific research, and
conservation. They share the story of the creation of the protected area and then outline the
goals of the ICDP. Key to the process is the coordinated participation of local, state and
international actors. In an important summary of lessons learned, Rabetaliana and
Schachenmann state that conservation must be done by local people, not to local people, if
conservation goals are to be met. International actors play an important role in education and
national actors play an important role in institutional development, but "conservation objectives
can [...] better be considered by inclusion rather than exclusion of people and by favoring a
synergistic co-evolution of the transformation process." For them, responsible stakeholders at all
levels must be accountable shareholders. If participation and local voice had been excluded
from the Andringitra ICDP then the project would have been a failure from the start. But,
through the inclusion of multiple voices the ICDP has successfully "set the foundation stone for
a future functional systems approach to eco-regional conservation and development."
Given the broad implementation of the Yellowstone model the world over, policy-makers
in Madagascar, both Malagasy and international, have demonstrated a willingness not only to
write innovative policy, but to create innovative institutions that allow room for public
participation. In 1997, Madagascar shifted from the first to the second Environment Program (of
three set out by the National Environmental Action Plan). With this shift came the beginning of
a slow movement away from relying on locally-oriented ICDPs for the integration of
conservation and development, towards a broader "landscape approach" working not only in
the peripheries of parks and protected areas, but in larger priority corridors throughout the
country. The degree to which the ICDPs have successfully met their goal of increased
participation, and the degree to which a form of participation that is valuable enough to
incorporate local voice while not allowing the international and state-level communities to set
the tone of the discussion is still in question2. Furthermore, the success of integrating
conservation and development in an ICDP or even broader landscape format has yet to be
empirically proven as a path to the attainment of the component parts14. Yet, this collection of

African Studies Quarterly I Volume 3, Issue 2 I Fall 1999

Setting the State: The Politics of Madagascar's Environmental Efforts I 7

papers demonstrate that far from pouring old wine from new bottles, Madagascar is attempting
to confront the political difficulties of resource management and the environmental imperative
in imaginative ways that engage rather than deter stakeholders at all levels.


1. Kemf, E., "In Search of Home: People Living in or near Protected Areas," in Indigenous
peoples and protected areas: the law of mother Earth, E. Kemf and E. Hillary, Editors.
1993, Earthscan: London. p. xix, 296, [40] of plates.
2. Pimpert, M.P. and J.N. Pretty, Parks, People and Professionals: Putting "Participation"
into Protected Area Management. 1995, Geneva: United Nations Research Institutute for
Social Development.
3. Brechin, S.R., et al., "Resident Peoples and Protected Areas: A Framework for Inquiry,"
in Resident Peoples and National Parks: Social Dilemmas and Strategies in International
Conservation, P.C. West and S.R. Brechin, Editors. 1991, University of Arizona Press:
4. Calhoun, J.B., "Plight of the Ik," in Resident Peoples and National Parks: Social
Dilemmas and Strategies in International Conservation, P.C. West and S.R. Brechin,
Editors. 1991, University of Arizona Press: Tuscon.
5. Kutay, K., "Cahuita National Park, Costa Rica: A Case Study in Living Cultures and
National Park Management," in Resident Peoples and
National Parks: Social Dilemmas and Strategies in International Conservation, P.C. West
and S.R. Brechin, Editors. 1991, University of Arizona Press: Tuscon.
6. Raval, S.R., "The Gir National Park and the Maldharis: Beyond 'Seting Aside,'" in
Resident Peoples and National Parks: Social Dilemmas and
Strategies in International Conservation, P.C. West and S.R. Brechin, Editors. 1991,
University of Arizona Press: Tuscon.
7. Sharma, N., "Managing the World's Forests." Finance & Development, 1992. 29(2): p. 31(3).
8. West, P.C., "Introduction," in Resident Peoples and National Parks: Social Dilemmas and
Strategies in International Conservation, P.C. West and S.R. Brechin, Editors. 1991,
University of Arizona Press: Tuscon.
9. Davey, S., "Creating Communities: Planning and Comanaging Protected Areas," in
Indigenous Peoples and Protected Areas : the Law of Mother Earth, E. Kemf and E.
Hillary, Editors. 1993, Earthscan: London. p. xix, 296, [40] of plates.
10. Gezon, L., "Institutional structure and the effectiveness of integrated conservat ion and
development projects: case study from Madagascar." Human Organization, 1997. 56(4): p.
11. Kamugisha, J.R. and M. Stahl, eds. Parks and People: Pastoralists and Wildlife,
Proceedings from a Seminar on Environmental Degradation in and Around Lake Mburo
National Park, Uganda. 1993, Regional Conservation Unit, Swedish International
Development Authority: Nairobi.

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8 I Marcus and Kull

12. Lewis, C., "Nature in the Crossfire," in Indigenous Peoples and Protected Areas : the
Law of Mother Earth, E. Kemf and E. Hillary, Editors.
1993, Earthscan: London. p. xix, 296, [40] of plates.
13. Thongmak, S., "The Winds of Change: Karen People in Harmony with World Heritage,"
Indigenous Peoples and Protected Areas : the Law of Mother Earth, E. Kemf and E.
Hillary, Editors. 1993, Earthscan: London. p. xix, 296, [40] of plates.
14. Wells, M., K. Brandon, and L. Hannah, People and Parks: Linking Protected Area
Management with Local Communities. 1992, Washington D.C.: World Bank.
15. White, A.T., Collaborative and Community-Based Management of Coral Reefs : Lessons
From Experience. 1994, West Hartford, Conn.: Kumarian Press. xiv, 130.
16. Mbanefo, S. and H. De Boerr, "CAMPFIRE in Zimbabwe," in Indigenous Peoples and
Protected Areas : the Law of Mother Earth, E. Kemf and E. Hillary, Editors. 1993,
Earthscan: London. p. xix, 296, [40] of plates.
17. Wainwright, C. and W. Wehrmeyer, "Success in integrating conservation and
development? A study from Zambia." World Development, 1998. 26(6): p. p933(12).
18. Grimble, R.J., J. Aglionby, and J. Quan, "Tree Resources and Environmental Policy: A
Stakeholder Approach." 1994, Washington D.C.: Overseas Development Administration,
Natural Resources Institute.
19. Jarosz, L., "Defining and Explaining Tropical Deforestation: Shifting Cultivation and
Population Growth in Colonial Madagascar (1896-1940)." Economic Geography, 1993.
69(4): p. 366(13).
20. Hyden, G., No Shortcuts to Progress : African Development Management in Perspective.
1983, Berkeley: University of California Press. xv, 223.
21. Kull, C. A. 1996. "The Evolution of Conservation Efforts in Madagascar." International
Environmental Affairs 8(1): 50-86.
22. Neumann, R. P. 1998. Imposing Wilderness:Struggles over Livelihood and Nature
Preservation in Africa.Berkeley: University of California Press.

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African Studies Quarterly I Volume 3, Issue 2 I Fall 1999

Agroforestry and Conservation in Northern Madagascar: Hopes

and Hinderances


Abstract: In this manuscript we pursue the question, under what circumstances is
agroforestry a viable component of conservation? We describe tree-planting and
conservation efforts in two protected areas in northern Madagascar. Mt.d'Ambre and
Ankarana lie dose to each other, have been subject to similar historical pressures, and are
administered by the same conservation authorities. Yet aspects of local ethnicity,
economy, political organization, social organization, and land tenure differ. The areas
also differ in forest structure and conservation pressures. We pay particular attention to
the agroforestry efforts of the integrated conservation and development (ICDP) phase of
conservation. We note issues particular to protected area management and to the dual
needs of protecting forest resources while providing for the needs of the people living
around the forests. While some potential and identifiable benefits exist, tree-planting has
not always aided conservation efforts in northern Madagascar. Problems have occurred
when planners have ignored local forest use, recent forest history, and socioeconomic
issues (e.g., land tenure, immigration/migration, local traditions, intergroup conflict,
subsistence patterns, kinship). This paper highlights factors that have deterred the overall
effediveness of tree-planting efforts in this region and identifies favors that resource
managers and conservationists need to address when initiating successful projeds. While
critical of many aspects of the agroforestry efforts, we argue that agroforestry should not
be abandoned as a component of conservation and proteded area management. Such
efforts may work in this region if planners: 1) encourage local participation in the
development, implementation, and maintenance of these projects, working within the
context of local political organization; 2) enhance and maintain long-term communication
between planners and local people; 3) facilitate communication both within and between
villages; 4) assure individuals or households the ultimate rights or responsibilities for
land use; 5) establish a fair distribution of projed benefits; and 6) separate the roles of
extension workers and enforcement agents.

Lisa Gezon is Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the State University of West Georgia. Since 1990, she has
conducted ethnographic interviews about local forest use, recent forest history, and aspects of community life
throughout her extended field visits. Along with a team of researchers and conservation workers, she developed and
administered socioeconomic surveys in villages south of Ankarana and west of Mt. d'Ambre in 1991. During 1992 -
1993 she lived in and studied local resource use in villages around Ankarana (Gezon 1995). She returned for brief
follow-up visits in 1995 and 1999. Gezon's primary field site was a commoner village named Bevary in northwestern
Ankarana. She also conducted ethnographic research in the royal Antankarana village in southwestern Ankarana.
Benjamin Z. Freed is Adjunct Assistant Professor of Biology at Emory University. He conducted a three-year study
of primate ecology and conservation in Mt. d'Ambre. In 1989 he surveyed and interviewed local people throughout
Mt. d'Ambre. He conducted follow-up interviews in northeastern and western Mt. d'Ambre during 1990 1991.

University of Florida Board of Trustees, a public corporation of the State of Florida; permission is hereby granted for individuals
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10 I Gezon and Freed


Since colonial times in Madagascar, the major goal of tree-planting has been to increase
forest surface area in degraded areas. During colonial times and at present, woodlots have
dominated as the preferred planting strategy. However, in the early to mid-1990s, integrated
conservation and development (ICDP) projects advocated tree planting on household lands,
either next to houses or in fields and gardens, according to the principles of agroforestry.
Agroforestry (i.e., social or communal forestry) is a multiple land use system in which small-
scale farmers raise tree crops with agricultural and animal crops (Benneh 1987). Typically
resource managers have identified agroforestry as a strategy for restoring degraded areas,
increasing people's access to valued forest products, and conserving existing forest resources
(Hough 1991, Nair 1990). In targeting small holders, agroforestry has largely replaced industrial
plantation-style forestry schemes. This change in approach arose because of agroforestry's
potential for sustained improvement in rural living standards (Guggenheim and Spears 1991,
Cernea 1991). Agroforestry strategies have recently focused on introducing nutrient-enhancing
species that improve soil quality while providing tree products. Although such species have
been introduced in some parts of Madagascar, agroforesters in the north have continued to use
the traditional woodlot species of eucalyptus and pine, as well as selected fruit trees.
In this paper, we analyze tree-planting efforts in the Mt. d'Ambre and Ankarana regions of
northern Madagascar, paying particular attention to the agroforestry efforts of the ICDP
approach to conservation. We note issues particular to protected area management and to the
dual needs of protecting forest resources while providing for the needs of the people living
around the forests. We argue that while some potential and identifiable benefits exist, tree-
planting has not always aided conservation efforts in northern Madagascar. Planners have
ignored local forest use, recent forest history, and socioeconomic issues (e.g., land tenure,
immigration/migration, local traditions, intergroup conflict, subsistence patterns, kinship). As a
result, most attempts at forestry and conservation have faced a myriad of problems. This paper
highlights factors that have deterred the overall effectiveness of tree-planting efforts in this
region. We also identify factors that resource managers and conservationists need to address
when initiating successful projects. While critical of many aspects of the agroforestry efforts, we
argue that agroforestry should not be abandoned as a component of conservation and protected
area management. Instead, a more socially, politically, and historically informed tree-planting
program must become part of a successful effort to reduce pressures on existing forests.


Mt. d'Ambre and Ankarana lie in far northern Madagascar (Figure 1). Many endemic
species of birds, reptiles, and mammals, including at least eleven species of lemurs, inhabit this
region (e.g., Rand 1935; Petter et al. 1977; Tattersall 1982; Langrand 1990; Raxworthy 1988, 1995;
Rakotosamimanana 1995; Freed 1996). Floristically, the forests of Mt. d'Ambre and Ankarana
are isolated from Madagascar's eastern rainforest and the Sambirano, or northwestern forest
(Ganzhorn et al. 1997). Mt. d'Ambre and Ankarana are close to each other; only twelve
kilometers of savannah separate the two. Both forests are accessible from the east by a paved

African Studies Quarterly I Volume 3, Issue 2 I Fall 1999

Agroforestry and Conservation in Northern Madagascar I 11

national road that connects the northern port city of Antsiranana (formerly Diego-Suarez),
Ambilobe (a city south of Ankarana), and the rest of Madagascar.
Located on an extinct volcano, Mt. d'Ambre contains 23,000 hectares of continuous humid
evergreen forest. Forest exists between 200 and 1,475 meters in elevation. Above 600 meters, the
climate is mostly cool and humid; below, the climate is warm and dry, especially in the north
and along the forest edge. The forest canopy is generally tall (18-25 meters), closed, and
continuous, and contains little undergrowth. Many trees common in humid Malagasy forests
comprise the forest canopy (e.g., Canarium madagascariensis, Chrysophyllum ferrugineum,
Cryptocarya spp, and Harungana madagascariensis). Areas where the canopy is neither closed
nor continuous are: above 1000 meters; subject to disturbance from humans or cyclones; or lie
along steep slopes or the forest edge. Disturbed areas contain dense undergrowth. Although
researchers usually classify Mt. d'Ambre as humid rainforest, the climate, forest structure, and
disturbance vary with each region (Figure 2).
Mt. d'Ambre is readily accessible to Antsiranana (formerly Diego-Suarez), Madagascar's
fourth largest city. Well-established roads lead from this city to towns (estimated population
1,000 10,000), and paths connect these towns with many smaller agricultural villages (est.
population 50 1,000 people) that lie along the forest's periphery and rivers. Light and intensive
agricultural communities occur along northern, eastern, and southern Mt. d'Ambre. Local
people raise a few crops throughout the year, including rice, mangoes, papaya, litchis, bananas,
and small vegetables (e.g., greens, carrots, and beans). In western Mt. d'Ambre, people grow
rice near rivers, and herd cattle. In the north, people harvest timber and collect charcoal.
Tourism has been a source of income for some families in Joffre-ville, Sakaramy, and
Although Antankarana and Sakalava ethnic groups are common, many groups have
migrated here within the last century. Antsiranana and Joffre-ville have long been associated
with the French colonial administration. The former is also a vital Indian Ocean port; its
population includes people from throughout Madagascar, other Indian Ocean islands, France,
Africa, southern Asia, and China. In those regions accessible by roads (eastern and northern Mt.
d'Ambre), Freed encountered no town where one ethnic group predominated. Only in less
accessible regions of western Mt. d'Ambre, did most identify with one ethnic group,
Antankarana. Also, people in every village have kin in most regions of the forest, and in
Antsiranana. People have traversed forests for economic and familial reasons during the last
sixty years or more. Freed observed an average of four families traveling from western to
eastern Mt. d'Ambre each day during 1990 1991.
Ankarana is best known for its Massif, a limestone karst formation with "sunken" forests
and more than 160 kilometers of cave passageways. Ankarana (including the massif) contains
18,200 hectares of deciduous dry forest (Figure 2). The canopy is rarely continuous, and is
usually 15 20 meters tall. The forest consists of species that are usually found in dry forests of
northern Madagascar. Undergrowth is extremely dense, particularly around the forest edge.
Except for the startling limestone outcropping, the terrain is flat and the elevation is
approximately 100 meters. The climate is dry and warm, with only a four-month long wet
season. Although karst formations render inaccessible portions of forest, local people have

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12 I Gezon and Freed

traversed Ankarana for many years. People from villages and cities access the forest by local
paths and roads.
Villages surround the Massif, and the city of Ambilobe lies fifteen kilometers south.
Ambilobe is an especially busy hub that connects the far north with economic activities
elsewhere in Madagascar. Most of the people inhabiting villages identify themselves as ethnic
Antankarana. This primarily means that they maintain allegiance to a royal indigenous leader
who resides in Ambilobe, but whose royal capital village lies in the periphery of Ankarana. The
religious and political leader, or Ampanjaka, claims part of the protected forest as sacred ritual
grounds (Gezon 1997a). Many immigrants to the region have also adopted Antankarana
identity; few people claim other ethnicity. Immigrants have often come from drought in
southern Madagascar either to work in the sugar processing industry or to herd cattle. The
dominant subsistence activities are herding and rice agriculture. Patrilineal residential groups
usually combine their labor relating to these activities. On the southern side of the massif,
however, many people engage in cash-cropping sugar cane or in commercial fishing activities
(Gezon 1999).
The research sites share much in common. For one, the same administrative office has
managed conservation efforts in both areas. They also share some similarities in that the
majority of both their populations identify themselves as ethnic Antankarana; their subsistence
activities are both focused on rice cultivation and herding; and their language, material culture,
and social organization in general are similar.
The sites also differ significantly. The forest ecology and terrain differ markedly. Villages
west of the Ankarana Massif also tend to be located further away from the forest than are most
villages of Mt. d'Ambre. Many more people also live around Mt. d'Ambre than do around
Ankarana. These factors lead to different resource use patterns and needs. Culturally, the two
populations differ somewhat, despite their mutual Antankarana affiliation. Those of Mt.
d'Ambre, for example, contain more immigrants, are further removed from the cultural
influence of the Antankarana royalty, and are more exposed to the urban influences of



Current agroforestry efforts must be evaluated in the context of histories of both
deforestation and tree-planting. Scholars have debated the causes of habitat change that
occurred in Madagascar before French political hegemony in the late 1800's. An extinction of
Malagasy megafauna species and rapid aridification of Malagasy flora occurred between 1,000
and 2,000 years before present (see, e.g., Burney 1993, 1997; Jungers et al. 1995). Researchers
have attributed the ultimate cause of this environmental change to anthropogenic or natural
causes (Martin 1966; Dewar 1984; Jungers et al. 1995). Yet Dewar (1997) has shown that strong
supporting evidence does not exist for any one of these hypotheses.
What is indisputable is that human-induced habitat degradation in Madagascar has
occurred during the past century. The current ambiguity lies in determining who is responsible.
During the last two hundred years many have blamed deforestation on the tavy (shifting

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Agroforestry and Conservation in Northern Madagascar I 13

agriculture) of the people living in Madagascar's eastern rainforests (see reviews in Bergeret,
1993; Jarosz 1993). The perception of local responsibility for deforestation has even pervaded
the popular conservation literature. For example, Knox (1989, 81) reported that the people living
in the eastern rainforest "are the forest's worst enemy, slashing and burning huge swaths of
trees to clear land for crops." Only recently have Sussman et al. (1994) shown quantitative
evidence that tavy (a type of slash and burn agriculture), not timber operations, accounts for
most of Madagascar's recent rainforest destruction in lower elevations.
Yet while tavy may be the proximate cause of rainforest degradation, colonial economic
goals probably fueled the destruction of much of Madagascar's primary forest. Jarosz (1993, 375
citing Hornac 1943) estimated that nearly "70 percent of primary forest was destroyed in the 30
years between 1895 and 1925." Beginning in the late 1880's, French colonial policies probably
greatly affected environmental degradation. In 1896, Governor-General Joseph-Simon Gallieni
instituted policies that assured control of the exploitation and distribution of forest resources
(Raoely-James 1965; Bergeret 1993; Jarosz 1993). At the heart of these policies was the desire to
harness resources that would be of great value for both export and use within the colony.
Bergeret (1993, 46), for example, observed that elsewhere in Madagascar, colonial French sought
controls of forest resources throughout Africa by imposing rules and reserve systems. This
policy separated forest from local farmers and herders. Jarosz (1993) also noted that as the
French violently conquered central and eastern Madagascar, people sought refuge in the forests.
As a result, subsistence activities shifted from irrigated rice to shifting cultivation on the
forested hillsides. Jarosz further stated that people sought farmland in the rainforest directly
because of cash crop production. As cash-crop plantations occupied the best land, people
moved into the margins, including rainforests, for subsistence farming. Thus, tavy may be a
significant cause of environmental degradation. Yet ultimate responsibility may also lie with
complex historical and economic forces that have changed unpredictably since the beginning of
In the far north, however, we found little evidence that tavy decreased forest cover as it
had elsewhere in Madagascar. Instead, several factors contributed to regional deforestation.
First, increased amounts of agricultural land were necessary as people immigrated to the
extreme north. Second, colonials, recent immigrants, large foreign companies, and
impoverished local people readily exploited timber and other forest products as important
sources of income. Finally, cyclones and other storms have had staggering effects on forest
cover. In 1984, for example, Cyclone Camice struck far northern Madagascar and the Comoros
(see Tattersall 1989). The cyclone's effects on Mt. d'Ambre were massive: forest tracts, especially
around the periphery, were felled; people established villages beside this newly exposed arable
land; and paths that traversed interior forest became impassable.

Afforestation and Conservation

Even as French economic and political practices encouraged the denuding of the forest, the
colonial leadership recognized deforestation as a problem. The French took measures to rectify
it through the countrywide interdiction of tavy in 1913 (Jarosz 1993). They also initiated
afforestation projects. In 1897, Gallieni launched the first afforestation project in the high

African Studies Quarterly I Volume 3, Issue 2 I Fall 1999

14 I Gezon and Freed

plateau by establishing a nursery of eucalyptus trees (Raoely-James 1965). The French soon
established nurseries throughout most Malagasy reserves. As in other parts of French colonial
Africa, nurseries provided foresters with supplies of highly valuable tree species, including
pine, eucalyptus, ebony, poplar, palisandre, and Rhizophora (Raoely-James 1965, Bergeret
1993). These trees provided important supplies of fuel wood, furniture material, and resins.
State-sponsored tree-planting campaigns continued throughout the colonial period and
into the early postcolonial period. By 1965, five years after independence, thirty experimental
stations had been established, and 350 eucalyptus species had been introduced. The
independent government established a coerced tree-planting program, by which 21 55-year-
olds, as part of their obligatory national service, were required to plant trees. A government-
issued socioeconomic report from 1965 states that in 1962-63, around 60% of the target
population participated planting nearly fifteen million trees (Raoely-James 1965). Olson (1984)
noted that reforestation campaigns during this time had been "perennial and symbolic of
national self-consciousness." In 1972, this symbol of foreign domination was eliminated when a
more nationalist government took over. During the 1970s and early 1980s, reforestation
depended on the motivation of the local people. They could request tree-planting assistance
from the national forest service. Few, however, took advantage of this service (Olson 1984).
Donor-driven conservation efforts began in the 1970's, but remained small until the late
1980's. In 1988 Madagascar's government and the international donor community, led by the
World Bank, established a National Environmental Action Plan neapP). These organizations
established that the plan would comprise three five-year phases, beginning in 1991. For the first
phase alone, donors pledged nearly $120 million (Gezon 1997b). NEAP's strategy was
motivated by the recognition that forest conservation must address issues of local poverty. This
coincided with a trend in the international conservation community toward funding integrated
conservation and development (ICDP) approaches, in which multi-use buffer zones surround
protected core areas (UNESCO 1984, Western and Pearle 1989). The goal of buffer zones is to
allow people to continue to collect needed resources from specific portions of forest (usually a
concentric ring around the core area). During the first phase of the NEAP, conservation projects
established development projects, such as agroforestry, in the buffer zones of protected areas.
These development projects help reduce the pressure on the forest in two ways: they provide
desired resources from places other than protected areas, and they raise local living standards
(USAID/MSI 1994).
The philosophy of the second phase of the environmental plan has shifted from the ICDP
to a regional, or a landscape approach (USAID 1997, Hannah et al., 1998). This regional
approach targets a broader population base, and it addresses conservation issues that extend
beyond the buffer zones of protected areas. Proponents of this approach recognize the
importance, for example, of corridors between protected areas and rural-urban linkages.
Advocates of both the ICDP and regional approaches attempt to alleviate poverty and recognize
the need for people to find alternative sources of forest products.
In practice, the administrative switch to the second phase has emphasized a move from an
integrated approach (to protected area management) to a more institutionally
compartmentalized one. For example, the national park service, ANGAP, has conservation as its
mandate. It may, however, ask for help from other organizations in accomplishing development

African Studies Quarterly I Volume 3, Issue 2 I Fall 1999

Agroforestry and Conservation in Northern Madagascar I 15

goals. This means that the planners of a particular protected area may engage in the same
activities as during the ICDP phase (such as tree-planting), only under a different institutional
arrangement. Analyses of the effectiveness of ICDP interventions, then, remain useful in
designing tree-planting strategies under the landscape approach-either within buffer zones or
in other zones of conservation.
Since the late 1980's, conservationists in Madagascar adopted the protected areas gazetted
in the colonial era, developing projects that conform to current conservation approaches.
Protected areas were first established in the north in the late 1950's, when the government
designated Mt. d'Ambre a national park, and Ankarana Massif a special reserve. The Mt.
d'Ambre Project (henceforth called "the Project") was an ICDP that provided the framework for
conservation activities from 1989-1997. It consisted of four protected areas, including Mt.
d'Ambre National Park and Special Reserve, Ankarana Massif Special Reserve, and
Analamerana Special Reserve. Then, as part of an emphasis on local management in the second
phase of the NEAP, the quasi-governmental ANGAP took over the management of these
protected areas as of 1997. The Project received its first international funding from World Wide
Fund for Nature (WWF) and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), both of
whom have continued to provide a significant amount of support. A variety of non-
governmental organizations (NGOs), USAID, and Madagascar's government have continued to
support both the Project and ANGAP's subsequent efforts. These efforts have received several
million dollars with the mandate to maintain the quality of the environment through rural
development, education, and reserve protection (Nicoll and Langrand 1989, Stuart et al. 1990,
Greve 1991, Webster 1995).
Ever since the colonial era, development and conservation efforts in northern Madagascar
have focused on Mt. d'Ambre for several reasons. Historically, the forested mountain initially
attracted the attention of French colonials because it provided a valuable lookout post over the
northern eighty kilometers of Madagascar, including the valuable port of Antsiranana. It also
provided a vital outpost to administer over local people. Economically, Mt. d'Ambre supplied
the French with valuable forestry products, and paved roads have long made these products
easily distributed. Mt. d'Ambre has also been an invaluable watershed for much of northern
Madagascar (Nicoll and Langrand 1991, Webster 1995, USAID 1997). Since the 1970's, however,
conservation efforts have focused on both Mt. d'Ambre and Ankarana. Naturalists have long
recognized these forests as unique centers of floral, faunal, and geological interest. As a result,
both forests have drawn attention as potential revenue-generating tourist attractions. The
potential stems from the belief that tourists find the nature interesting, and can reach the areas
by paved roads. For each of these protected areas, conservation efforts have focused on the
eastern border due to proximity to paved roads, and the areas where the greatest potential lies
for ecotourism.
Although foresters have practiced state-sponsored plantation-style reforestation since the
beginning of the colonial period, resource managers have only recently adopted agroforestry in
their efforts at integrated conservation and development. In this section, we analyze the
destructive pressures on the forests of Mt. d'Ambre and Ankarana, the ways in which
conservation projects have executed agroforestry efforts, and their effectiveness in meeting
stated goals. We examine tree-planting in each of these two regions, placing these cases within a

African Studies Quarterly I Volume 3, Issue 2 I Fall 1999

16 I Gezon and Freed

comparative international context of agroforestry efforts.


Mt. d'Ambre

Land use and forest disturbance around Mt. d'Ambre vary greatly (Table 1). The interior
and west are where humans have least disturbed the forest, as roads do not lead directly to
them. No people inhabit the interior; those living west maintain small farms on irrigable land
near the rivers that lead from the forest. Perhaps the greatest forest pressures come from both
stray and domesticated cattle, which disturb undergrowth. Herds of stray cattle ranged in the
interior, at least since the 1984 cyclone. Domesticated cattle most commonly inhabit western
forest during the dry season, when water and lush new growth are unavailable in the adjacent
savanna. Otherwise, Freed found no evidence of agriculture, logging, or charcoal production in
these forest regions. Other potential pressures here are cyclones and neighboring forest
All other areas of the forest, however, are readily accessible by road, and are subject to
varying degrees of agriculture, logging, charcoal production, hunting, and tourism.
Agricultural practices vary around Mt. d'Ambre. For example, the northeast contains large
pineapple plantations in former forest land (by Sakaramy), mango and banana plantations,
riverine rice plots, horticultural plots beneath the forest canopy, and intensive agricultural plots
near Joffre-ville. To the east, villages expanded agricultural plots into cyclone-felled areas along
the forest edge. Other villages developed farmland along the rivers that flow from Mt. d'Ambre.
In the northwest where the forest is drier, many people have routinely felled trees and
produced charcoal. Cyclones and humans have felled the southernmost region steadily over the
last forty years.
Rousettes is the only village fully contained within the forest, and only forestry workers
and their families live there. In addition to pressures from subsistence gardening, his region has
been subject to intense tourism and hunting throughout the last century. The French established
the village as a forestry outpost, and constructed a road for tourists from Antsiranana. Tourists
have provided an infrequent income source for the forestry service. Yet tourism has never been
benign to the wildlife. Hunting was unenforced even as recently as 1989. Roads and paths made
accessible otherwise relatively protected forest. Endemic flora has been replaced with non-
native species, including mangoes, citrus, and other fruit trees. Finally, lemurs were
provisioned to assure that recent ecotourists would see them.
People have attempted reforestation in Mt. d'Ambre since colonial times. The colonial
French established nurseries where they introduced, raised, and transplanted many species,
including pine, eucalyptus, and palisandre. Pine and eucalyptus are fast-growing trees that
rapidly deplete soil nutrients from neighboring growth, especially undergrowth. Foresters
rapidly introduced these trees to areas most susceptible to deforestation. For example, pine
trees have served as a buffer to protect or demarcate the eastern forest edge. Also, a pine forest
now leads tourists from Rousettes' humid rainforest to the most spectacular region of Mt.
d'Ambre, the Grande Cascade. Deforestation from the northwest has threatened this touristed
region. Local people also reported that the forestry service sold pine trees to Antsiranana for

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Agroforestry and Conservation in Northern Madagascar I 17

Christmas decoration and woodworking. In contrast, foresters planted eucalyptus as fuel wood
in both Rousettes and in the northeast. The introduction of this species may have also slowed
deforestation near Sakaramy by relieving pressure for fuelwood. The French also introduced
palisandre, a hardwood used in furniture-making. This species is now found throughout Mt.
d'Ambre. In short, French colonials raised those species that they could grow rapidly, transport
readily, and sell easily in markets.


Land use practices around Ankarana are also diverse. Due to the limestone massif's
topography, a series of sharp spikes that Malagasy call tsingy, much of the biologically diverse
forest lies in inaccessible crevices within the Massif. Thus, the forests outside these regions are
most at risk. The forests northwest of the Massif are relatively protected, however, and humans
have had little overall impact on forests in this region. Overall, the pressures on Ankarana's
forest consist of a history of localized small-scale selective logging and local use of the forest as
a source of fuel wood, construction wood, shelter for cattle, and medicinal plants. Aerial
photographs show that despite these pressures, the forest near Gezon's primary research site
remained intact and even expanded between 1949 and 1990. Ground observations, however,
reveal that many forest patches lying between the massif and the villages (officially outside of
the protected area) consist of degraded scrubby secondary growth. Since these degraded
patches lie closer to the village than the forest surrounding the massif, they serve as a primary
source of fuel wood, construction wood, and other local needs, thus relieving the pressure on
the protected forest. People also carve gardens out of the scrubby areas nearest the village.
There, they plant bananas, cassava, beans, and other food plants for household consumption or
local sale.
In northwestern Ankarana, population density, the fertility of local farm fields, and the
location of villages have contributed to forest protection. Irrigated rice fields in the fertile
alluvial soils have provided well for the small number people who live there. If the population
exceeded what these rice fields could support, people would most likely prefer to farm tillable
open grassland, not the forest. Whereas the grassland occurs near villages, forest lies several
kilometers away, and is more difficult to clear.
Pressures on the forest are more intense in the southwest. Local people have used the forest
as a source of construction wood, medicinal plants, and as a sacred ritual site (Gezon 1997b).
They have also cleared forest to make fields for growing rice. Around the royal Antankarana
village, for example, people were actively transforming forest into farmland in 1993, despite the
presence of the Project. In contrast to the northwest, southwestern people do not use irrigation,
and the soil is markedly less fertile. As a result, harvests are also much smaller per unit than in
the northwest. Even though population densities are not high in this area, the southwestern
land has supported fewer people. Cutting down the forest for fields or farming on previously
cleared fields has increasingly become vital to many people. Once people invest the labor in
clearing a field, they rely on it for their overall harvest. Because these fields are located between
one and two kilometers away from the village, many farmers build homes that they occupy

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18 I Gezon and Freed

during the growing and harvest seasons. Thus, people have considerable initial and on-going
investments in these fields.
Several other methods of cultivation have supplemented the harvests from these
southwestern forest-cut fields. Local people used tractor-drawn plows on permanent fields
located nearby the village. They have also transplanted rice into plowed areas of the grassy
plain that collect water during the rainy season. In summary, many southwestern people
farmed several small fields, using a combination of planting techniques. Depending on the day
or season, people may spend their time transplanting seedlings, weeding tractor-plowed
permanent fields, or clearing new fields.
South of the Massif, pressure on the forest stems from the conversion of forest to sugar
cane fields. Proximity to roads and to a sugar processing plant west of the town of Ambilobe
has made this an attractive use of land. Based on aerial photos from 1949 and 1990, many
hectares have been converted this way. The forest that remains today and that is being
protected is small compared to the amount already cut. Many local people, recognizing that
clearing the forest is no longer viable, would still like to use the remaining forest as a source of
construction wood. As a result, their lack of access to the protected forest fueled a reluctance to
cooperate with the Project.

The Project

Agroforestry has been a core component in a multifaceted approach to conservation during
the ICDP phase. This analysis focuses particularly on the period from the late 1980's to the mid-
1990's, when conservation was managed by the Project and the ICDP was the major form of
intervention. Critiques of agroforestry under the Project can, however, serve as general
guidelines and warnings for conservation-oriented agroforestry either in northern Madagascar
or elsewhere. Many of the suggestions remain relevant within any administrative context.
In addition to agroforestry, the Project also attempted to police illegal activities, and to educate
and train local extension agents and tourist guides. To our knowledge, rural development
projects (i.e., income-generating activities and improved agropastoral techniques) were
confined to road-accessible regions near Mt. d'Ambre. The Project was, in fact, accused of
emphasizing conservation rather than development activities (Hough 1994a). In an attempt to
generate local support for conservation, the Project hired local people in key villages as Agents
pour la Protection de la Nature (APN). Unarmed APNs were trained to police protected area
boundaries and to report infractions. They were also expected to serve as primary agents for
training locals, and to generate local enthusiasm and willful compliance with Project goals.
APNs were given salaries (thus theoretically relieving them from the need to farm), uniforms,
and bicycles.
The Project also hired people to run tree nurseries in several villages. These people were
given a small salary, but were also expected to continue subsistence farming. The goal of the
nurseries was to provide local people with such products as construction wood, fuel wood, and
fruit. The trees were also to stabilize the soil, as well as provide shelter in the villages and
around their rice fields. As a major player in the Project's organization and management, WWF
used a common scheme when they organized similar tree nurseries in other projects within

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Agroforestry and Conservation in Northern Madagascar I 19

Madagascar. WWF would first hire a local person to run the nursery, and then organize
community tree-planting days, during which they would encourage locals to plant trees on
their land (Durbin and Ralambo 1994).
The Project applied the same agoforestry principles to Mt. d'Ambre and Ankarana. In 1989,
it began maintaining the national forestry service's nursery operation in Rousettes and
northeastern Mt. d'Ambre. Closely-related villagers from Rousettes and Joffre-ville worked
existing nurseries. The Project attempted to distribute information and seedlings to local people,
but the effectiveness of the program was not apparent in 1991. Throughout this initial phase,
more than twenty prominent household heads could not state clearly how this agroforestry
effort had benefited them. Despite the lack of positive results, overall perception of the Project
faltered when people in other Mt. d'Ambre buffer zone villages perceived that Rousettes and
Joffre-ville were unduly privileged. As one village leader in western Mt. d'Ambre asked Freed,
"What do we need to do to receive this attention or money? Cut down the forest like those in the
northwest? Cut down the forest so we can farm as they do in Joffre-ville?"
Gezon observed the same technique when it was applied to her study site, the Ankarana
village of Bevary. There, the project hired two APNs and one tree nursery supervisor. The
APNs were brothers and the nursery supervisor was their cousin. In the royal village, there
were no project employees, and in the south, there was an APN and a nursery. When Gezon
first arrived in the northwest in late 1992, the tree nursery thrived under the supervision of
Henri, a Project employee. He kept the small plastic bags with seedlings of eucalyptus and fruit
trees near his home and watered them regularly. The other villagers knew of his activities, and
they seemed to have a vague recognition that the trees were eventually to be given away to be
planted. At one point, a Project educational team held a village meeting in which they informed
people of the value of the trees and forest. Eventually the day arrived when Henri distributed
the trees. Anyone could claim some trees, with the understanding that people would plant and
look after them. Henri did not have difficulty distributing the trees. Children planted some near
the school as a class project, and others took them to plant somewhere on their property. No
one ever made reference to the trees again.
A return visit in 1999 revealed that many of the eucalyptus and fruit trees had survived.
When asked about the tree-planting project in retrospect, people gave varied responses. One
young man said that Project officials had told them that if they wanted to continue to be able to
gather construction materials from the nearby forests, they must agree to plant some of the trees
on their property. Another said that he had planted the trees because it had seemed like a good
idea at the time, although he had no use for the eucalyptus and did not imagine needing it in
the future. When asked if it was a useful project, many said that they liked the fruit trees and
would like to see more of them.


In both sites, the project was successful in maintaining tree nurseries and in distributing
trees. Yet in neither site did the project initially appear to be successful in establishing a
sustainable strategy that engaged the local people in addressing specific conservation needs.
Several reasons contributed to the limited success of the Project, including: local people's lack of

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20 I Gezon and Freed

a felt need for obtaining trees; their insufficient participation in designing and implementing the
project; their lack of identification with the Project's goals; and lack of Project engagement with
local decision-making processes.
In analyzing the effectiveness of these efforts, we examine agroforestry within a
comparative international context. We focus on local people's interest and participation in tree-
growing, issues of land tenure and social organization, and the distribution of benefits and costs
within and between communities in local tree-planting endeavors.

Adoption and Participation

A vital component of any agroforestry project is that local people must identify an interest
in obtaining trees. Critical to conservation is that human activity must reduce pressure on
existing resources. For example, although people in Ankarana desired fruit trees, few people
saw the trees as an alternative source of fuel and construction wood. In Mt. d'Ambre, the
agroforestry activities may actually have alienated people further from the Project because of
intercommunity rivalries. In Bevary, people felt little need for more trees, since they continued
to meet their needs for construction and fuel wood from forest both inside and outside the
Project's protected area. The local APNs reported violators and often confiscated their wood,
but enforcement was difficult, especially since the APNs sought to maintain their favorable
perception in the eyes of kin and neighbors. Thus, local people at both sites viewed APNs as
police, not as sympathetic extension agents.
One difficulty with conservation-related agroforestry is that the desire to plant trees
corresponds primarily with international conservation goals, not necessarily with local
perceived needs. As Kottak (1991) has found, projects that provide what people desire have a
higher success rate than do those that propose solutions to problems local people have neither
recognized nor embraced. People who recognize the need for trees engage more willingly in
foreign-initiated agroforestry projects. Castro (1991), for example, observed that certain Kikuyu
in Kenya have practiced agroforestry for decades. They have actively sought solutions to their
dual and contradictory needs for trees and land. In Haiti, people did not practice agroforestry,
but their need for fuel wood became so severe that they welcomed the opportunity to
experiment (Murray 1987).
Yet in northern Madagascar, local people generally had no inherent interest in growing
trees. Only in southern Ankarana did people express a shortage of tree products. But this lack of
construction wood came not because local people found no suitable trees. Rather, the Project
forbade their use of existing trees in the protected area. Thus, local peoples' animosity to the
Project's goals quickly arose, and it prompted local resistance to Project-initiated agroforestry.
Lack of interest in the trees as alternative sources of fuel wood was perhaps the single most
significant reason for the lack of lasting impact of the Project in Ankarana.
When using agroforestry as a means for conserving existing resources, then, projects may
need either to generate an interest in tree-planting or to embellish fledgling interests. One of the
difficulties, Cernea (1991) observed, is that a cognitive shift is necessary, where people see
themselves as producers not harvesters or gatherers of construction and fuel wood. That the
Project did not have problems giving the trees away in Bevary suggests that the people needed

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Agroforestry and Conservation in Northern Madagascar I 21

no additional incentives to plant a limited number of trees. That few of the planted trees were
targeted for construction or fuel wood suggests that the people would need greater incentives
to cultivate them as a resource. Some scholars have found that where there are capitalist
economic incentives and manageable risk, people are more likely to adopt agroforestry
practices (Scherr 1995, Suryanata 1994, Tisdell and Xiang 1996). Some have even stated that
agroforestry programs must be economically attractive to be successful. Hosier (1989, 1835)
stated that "it is the production from agroforestry systems that makes it an attractive land-use
system for farmers, not its environmental benignancy." However, Suryanata (1994, 1568)
cautioned that although agroforestry works best when market demand exists for the products,
"under market pressures, agroforestry loses some of the properties that earn it the reputation of
being a sustainable system." Caution must be maintained in balancing the benefits of marketing
tree products with the costs, especially the potential increased pressure on both land and social
Sometimes the sale of tree products is commercially viable. For example, Hosier (1989)
found that people in Kenya grow trees for sale as poles used in construction. The French
colonials also tried to exploit commercially at least three forest resources in Mt. d'Ambre: pine,
eucalyptus, and palisandre. In contrast, we saw no evidence that recent agroforestry efforts in
northern Madagascar have focused on the long-term commercial viability of tree products.
Nonetheless, given the population growth in Antsiranana, local people could probably profit
from the sale of agroforested construction and fuel wood to the nearby city-dwellers.
Southern Ankarana lies close to a well-traveled road to Ambilobe, and may also have
success in marketing tree products. Villagers (especially children) already collect cashews from
trees scattered on the countryside to sell to wholesalers. Therefore, they may welcome more
cashew trees on their land. But in northwestern Ankarana (the region of Bevary), local people
may be less interested in marketing agroforestry products because of distance from paved
roads, local availability of wood, and a lack of a history of commodification of tree products in
the rural areas.
Yet in western Kenya, Scherr (1995) found that agroforestry yields increase not just where
direct market incentives exist. Local people are also likely to adopt tree-planting if they
perceive: a decrease in the number of available trees; an increase in local subsistence-level
demands for tree products; and a perceived risk of livelihood-endangering environmental
degradation. Scherr emphasized that people do not just strive to maximize profit. They also try
to meet multiple household goals, including savings and a secure supply of household needs.
If local people of Mt. d'Ambre and Ankarana begin to perceive a shortage in necessary tree
products, they may become receptive to agroforestry as an alternative source of wood. To
encourage the adoption of tree-growing practices, Project planners must establish a rapport
with target communities. They must work with local people to design and carry out a program
that assures local subsistence needs in a sustainable way (Grimm and Byers 1994, Kottak 1999).
Intensive participation with local people is important for several reasons. First, Project leaders
may better identify how political and economic frameworks influence an individual's ability to
adopt a scheme (Suryanata 1994). Second, leaders will better comprehend how knowledge of
local divisions of labor are essential for developing a plan to sustain care of the trees. Another
reason is to identify those species (or qualities of species) that commonly and best suit local

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needs and interests. Some scholars have encouraged the use of native species mainly for
environmental reasons, but also because of some case-specific local interest in them (Butterfield
1995, Wright 1997, Richardson 1998). Others have noted the importance of identifying qualities,
such as hardness of the wood or compatibility for intercropping, in selecting trees for nurseries
(Stevens 1993, Newman 1997).
A final reason to emphasize local participation is that the alternative is to enforce
regimented schemes, and this has not had positive, sustainable results. Mgeni (1992), for
example, showed that the post-independence Tanzanian Village Afforestation Programme
(VAP) emphasized community self-help, but in fact it coerced local people to plant village
woodlots. This top-down approach ignored local needs and interests, and it failed to alleviate
fuel wood shortages. Similarly, both the French colonial government and the post-
independence regime in Madagascar mandated the planting of trees as part of a citizen's civic
duty. Some rural people living around northern Madagascar's protected areas recall having had
to participate in this. The association of tree-planting with top-down schemes may contribute to
their reluctance to take ownership in the goals of current planting activities. With careful,
consistent interaction between locals and project officials, this lack of communication need not
be permanent.
An important reason for the limited success of the Project is that rapport between city-
based project officials and local people has been neither consistent nor thorough. Even during
the initiation of the Project in the late 1980's, leaders merely informed local people of the
Project's existence instead of working with local leaders to establish it. In both Mt. d'Ambre and
Ankarana, hiring local APNs and nursery supervisors was the initial step toward local
participation. But people even those whom the Project employed remained unclear as to the
purpose of the seedlings within the context of the Project. They knew that WWF liked trees,
lemurs, and birds, but they did not see themselves as engaged in the endeavor to save the
forest. In Bevary, the educational team from the project arrived in the village only once or twice
in 1993. In both sites, local people often felt the team's presence more as a show than as the
interactive and familiar dialogue that would be necessary to carry out a viable agroforestry
strategy. Instead, discussions should occur regularly and often, not just at specially-orchestrated
Establishing positive communication requires familiarity with local political organization.
In Ankarana and along the western side of Mt. d'Ambre, two types of leaders prevail: the royal
indigenous leadership of the Antankarana Ampanjaka and the patrilineal/village elders. Ever
since the beginning of the Project in 1989, Project leaders have been aware of the need to work
together with the Antankarana leadership. They have continued to hold discussions with the
Ampanjaka and to participate in ceremonies aimed at pleasing the ancestors (Gezon 1997a).
While formal ceremonies and diplomatic ties with an indigenous leader are critical, however,
they are insufficient for establishing working relations with local people. In all but the most
immediate area at the southwest of the Ankarana region, for example, the Ampanjaka does not
definitively govern access to local resources. Even within that restricted area, the local people
do not always agree with the Ampanjaka's decisions regarding the use of local resources (Gezon

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Agroforestry and Conservation in Northern Madagascar I 23

In many of the villages surrounding the protected areas, heads of dominant patrilines
(especially men, but also women) take the lead in public decision-making. Decisions are made
by consensus during public meetings of the smallest state-recognized political unit at the time,
the fokontany (generally consisting of one large village or several smaller villages). The official
president of the fokontany need not be a respected elder. In 1992-3, the president of the
fokontany in Bevary was the school teacher-a known alcoholic who was not respected by the
community. The village elders seemed to enjoy having him responsible for signing official
fokontany documents, allowing them to remain powerful, yet invisible. On the other hand, in
Joffre-ville, the presidents of fokontany in 1989-92 and at present have been highly respected
members of the community. Despite the ambiguous position of the president, the fokontany
provided (and continues to provide) the context for decision-making between and patrilines at
the village level in the Ankarana region and on the western side of the Mt. d'Ambre.
The Project personnel seemed aware that the fokontany was the main arena for formal,
village-scale decision-making. In 1999, for example, a member of the ANGAP staff who had
previously been with the Project from its inception mentioned that it had been relatively easy to
mobilize people in those regions by making an appearance before the fokontany. But the Project
did not appear to act on this in designing the agroforestry intervention. In the case of the
Bevary, the Project did not actively engage the elders beyond asking for permission. The
villagers confirmed that Project officials had indeed told the fokontany of their intentions, but
they made all other decisions (such as who to hire, where to establish the nursery, how to
distribute and care for the plants) on their own. Future attempts must experiment with a more
fully participatory process one that recognizes the role of local leaders in the adoption and
maintenance of new practices. Local leaders must be considered critical sources of suggestions
and feedback in an iterative process of program design and implementation.


A second critical component in developing an effective agroforestry project is recognition
of the sociocultural context of the target area. Local configurations of land tenure, social
organization and divisions of labor can strongly influence the outcome of a project. After
discussing these issues in a broad comparative context of international agroforestry
interventions, we will specifically discuss the northern Madagascar cases and the particular
issues related to protected area management.
The relationship between land and tree tenure and resource use practices has been the
subject of significant scholarly attention (Raintree 1987, Fortmann and Bruce 1988). Bruce and
Fortmann (1988, 1) drew on Henry Maine's (1920) concept of tenure by defining it for
agroforestry as "rights to use land, trees, and their products in certain ways and sometimes to
exclude others from use." Cultural concepts of rights to resources vary considerably (Okoth-
Ogendo 1987, James and Fimbo 1988), and motivation for planting and caring for trees can be
directly linked to the way that they are owned and managed. This can have implications for
agroforestry projects in establishing individuals, households, village collectives, or other
associations as the owners and/or caretakers of trees. Sometimes agroforestry projects have
erred in making entire villages jointly responsible for the care of trees in community woodlots.

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Cernea (1991) suggested that the term "community forestry" is naive, because it assumes an
undifferentiated group and ignores the particular division of labor through which trees are
planted, cared for, and harvested. It also assumes joint, as opposed to individual, management
to be most productive. This miscalculation has led to the failure of many projects.
Agroforestry planners and researchers have also explored individual private ownership or
household management of trees (Cernea 1991). In this shift, communities are now regarded not
as collective wholes, but rather as larger units that are made up of individually motivated
economic units or actors. Not only does this shift question the relevance of the group at the
village level, it also questions the role of central governments in the management of subsistence
resources (Thomson 1987).
One reason for questioning the involvement of the state in local resource management is
that it can lead to confusion about rights to resources (Okoth-Ogenda 1987). In Madagascar, the
socialist government decentralized forest ownership in 1978 after villagers had complained
about their rights having been taken away. Village collectivities were then given ownership,
and federal agencies retained technical and managerial control (Olson 1984). For the villagers,
this has meant that they theoretically owned the forest domains outside the protected areas. Yet
they still must request a permit before cutting trees for, say, construction wood. Those
influencing conservation policy have decried such local-state overlap as a source not only of
uncertainty over individual rights, but as a disincentive for people to conserve forest resources.
As one report stated, "this lack of confidence [over rights] leads to a situation where the user
believes he or she must use the resource today for fear that either it will not be there in the
future, or that future access to it will be cut off (Leisz et al. 1995, 60-61)." In response,
conservationists have emphasized individual rights, and international funding has contributed
to state efforts to assign individual titles to the users of land around protected areas.
Complications can arise, however, when planners assume that motivation is best
guaranteed by establishing individual property rights. Effective management of common
property has been demonstrated in many places (McCay and Acheson 1987, Peters 1994,
Freudenberger et al. 1997). Okoth-Ogenda (1987) suggested, for example, that in contrast with
English property law, exclusive individual ownership of property is unknown in Africa. As an
example of community-based resource management, Grandin (1987) discussed the cooperative
management of pasture resources among the Maasai of East Africa, which is based on long-term
mutual social obligations. Grandin argued that a local agroforestry project should explore the
possibility of creatively adapting these social networks in devising a way to meet needs for dry
season fodder.
In any case, the proper social unit to be responsible for maintaining trees cannot be broadly
proscribed, since it must be compatible with existing sociocultural and politico-legal
frameworks (Benneh, 1987; Steinberg 1998). But social organization is never static, existing
relationships can form the basis for creative new syntheses. Cernea (1991), for example,
paralleled Grandin in advocating the formation of social groups (based on age, gender, kinship,
or common interest) appropriate to the management of tree resources. Agroforestry projects, as
with all development interventions, have complex sets of social relationships that extend even
beyond local geographic boundaries. They are not just sets of scientific and technical solutions
to material problems.

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Agroforestry and Conservation in Northern Madagascar I 25

In northwestern Ankarana and western Mt. d'Ambre, cooperation is based primarily on
collaboration in farming and herding activities between patrilineally-related households either
within the village or in nearby villages. In Bevary, recent immigrants may work with each other
or with members of existing patrilines. A less common form of cooperation was between
similarly-aged men, who formed associations and together harvested each other's or other
people's rice fields for a set fee (Gezon 1995). The most important way the patrilineal work
groups pool their resources was in bringing their cattle together to till the soil and to trample
the cut rice. For the other tasks, the individual farming household took charge of calling others
to help them. For example, the women worked together to pull weeds, to tie the rice, and to
winnow it. For their labor, these women would be compensated with a basketful of paddy at
harvest. Single women often took advantage of these opportunities, since many did have a field
of their own.
Kottak (1999), who visited Joffre-ville (eastern Mt. d'Ambre) in the early 1990s, also
suggested that local school, ethnic, and religions associations may be used to implement
projects in that area. While such associations have not tended to be as successful in Madagascar
as in other parts of Africa, groups in Joffre-ville have formed at least since 1989 with mixed
success. In the early 1990's, for example, a religious group worked with local people to raise
small garden plots. In 1999, a local woman also reported that a women's group had been
effectively implementing small-scale economic development projects. Specific data on the
success of these measures is lacking at this time, however.
As part of a plan to protect biodiversity, buffer-zone agroforestry efforts must contend not only
with getting people to plant and care for trees, but also with the larger legal framework of land
tenure. The perception that individual ownership leads to conservation of resources has led to
the urgency of issuing individual titles to land. Because of this, agroforestry planners in
Madagascar may be less flexible in working with local people creatively to form groups
appropriate to the management of trees. Since in most instances households are primary
economic units in the Ankarana region, it did, in fact, make sense for the Mt. d'Ambre Project to
distribute trees to individuals, who in turn planted them on land maintained by the household.
But, given the lack of long term interest in tree-planting, it may be ideal for project officials to
experiment with other ways of designing agroforestry interventions.
Local land tenure practices support cooperation within and between households. Usually,
people hold individual titles for land, but some patrilineages jointly own land. In these cases,
the rights to farm are passed between siblings. For example, a prominent patriarch in Bevary
died, leaving nine living children to inherit several hectares of irrigated rice fields. Since there
was not enough for each of the children to inherit land separately, they agreed to take turns
managing the fields (Gezon 1995). Villages manage the surrounding land as a commons, with
patrilineages holding customary rights to certain patches of land. When an individual clears
land for a garden or digs canals for a new rice field (an unusual occurrence), rights usually
transfer from the patrilineage to the individual.
Based on knowledge of these land tenure and cooperative work practices, we suggest that
agroforestry efforts may be most successful when ultimate rights and responsibility are held
either by an individual or by a household. Owners could then call on others for help if labor
requirements were too great for a single individual or household. Since people already plant

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some tree crops on land used for gardens (especially banana plants), agroforestry planners may
employ the concept of the garden in developing potential sites for small household treelots.
These treelots could form part of an overall agroforestry strategy that includes trees planted for
protection of rice fields, shade, and fruit. Despite our experience with cooperative practices in
several target locations, we recognize that agroforesters must define the best unit of cooperation
for individual projects. Project planners can do this by working intensively with target
communities during design, implementation, and evaluation phases.

Distribution of Benefits

A final caution is that scientific agroforestry models, if they do not carefully examine the
socioeconomic and cultural context, may privilege dominant groups and contribute to the
further marginalization of others. Forestry models in the past have focused on meeting colonial
interests (Bryant 1994). In Madagascar, plantation-style forestry for cash crops pushed local
people to marginal lands. But even in agroforestry systems, which were designed to mitigate
against these inequities, certain members of local communities have reaped the majority of
benefits, usually at the expense of women (Rocheleau; Schroeder 1994) and itinerant
populations (Brokensha and Riley 1987, Fortmann, Wells and Brandon 1992). Especially where
valuable markets exist for tree products, involvement in agroforestry intensifies socioeconomic
stratification both within and between households (Suryanata 1994). So pervasive is this
problem that some have cautioned against assuming that agroforestry is of value in all contexts
(Rocheleau and Ross 1995, Schroeder and Suryanata 1996).
Several issues of equity face agroforestry planners in northern Madagascar. First, within
each community, agroforestry planners should have accounted for local inequities that resulted
from kinship and divisions of labor. In each site, people from one family became privileged
recipients of information and Project funds. For example, in Bevary, the Project should have
recognized each of the three dominant patrilines, as well as from the newcomers (vahiny),
instead of hiring only members of one family. In both sites, the Project did not account for local
divisions of labor. Local women particularly received neither salaries nor information and
training relevant to their needs and interests. Had the Project addressed these intracommunity
issues immediately, it would have encouraged broader participation and interest in its
Second, at the intercommunity level, a concentration of efforts within a single village
resulted in the envy, and perhaps intransigence, of surrounding villages. In Mt. d'Ambre, the
Project team initially targeted most efforts on specific regions. The team failed to discuss and
listen to local people in many communities surrounding the forest. Favoring one region over
another is especially risky in biodiversity conservation, since ICDP efforts rely on the
compliance of all communities surrounding a protected area. The solution to this is not easy,
since any development project covering a wide geographic region must choose whether to
intensify activities in several sites or to spread themselves so thinly as to reduce any hope of
effectiveness. What is minimally needed in seeking sustainable resource use is greater
communication between communities. At a minimum, project planners should facilitate
dialogue among fokontany leaders within the targeted region. Moreover, Project activities

African Studies Quarterly I Volume 3, Issue 2 I Fall 1999

Agroforestry and Conservation in Northern Madagascar I 27

should focus not on historical preferences for people or communities, but on meeting the
specific resource needs of individual communities and regions.


Each of the northern Madagascar Project areas was partially successful in that local paid
employees maintained nurseries and gave away trees. It seemed, however, that neither
established a sustained agroforestry program that could reduce pressure on forests by
providing an alternative source of tree products. Many of the difficulties facing the Project are
not unique to conservation-related agroforestry. As with other projects, they face the challenges
of ensuring adequate participation, and paying attention to the needs of women and the
landless. They both face the irony that the motivation to engage in agroforestry, when it is
based on the ability to sell the products for a profit, may prevent the project from being
sustainable. Both types of projects must also look beyond immediate pressures on forests in
order to understand how land tenure, market incentives, and even international lending
policies encourage certain land use practices (Larson 1994, Kull 1998, Rappel and Thomas 1998).
Yet conservation-oriented agroforestry faces some unique challenges. The first regards the
effectiveness of agroforestry in furthering the conservation of resources, both within and
outside of protected areas. Even if an agroforestry program is successful in terms of producing
mature trees, the question remains as to whether or not it is effective in meeting the goals of
conservation. Wells and Brandon (1992), in critiquing the ICDP approach, note that raising
economic standards of living will not automatically reduce pressure on local resources. In the
Mt. d'Ambre, for example, agroforestry trees would not make planting in the forest less
attractive. In other words, it would not eliminate the motivation to degrade the forest. For the
region of Bevary, a successful agroforestry project may reduce pressure on non-reserve forest
stands. It would do nothing, however, for reducing pressure from cattle or from small-scale
selective logging by non-locals. To the southwest of Ankarana, an agroforestry would not
alleviate the intense pressure from the transformation of forest to field. To the south, a
successful project may in fact provide an alternative source of construction for the local people,
although selective cutting for construction wood was not the original cause of deforestation.
Conservation planners must remember that agroforestry is not a universal solution to
habitat degradation (Tinker 1994). Recent conservation planners have focused heavily on
agroforestry in an attempt to address what they have perceived to be the cause of deforestation
in Madagascar. Indigenous land use practices, such as tavy, have been blamed for forest
destruction from colonial times until the present. Planners have inherited this perception in part
from historical concepts of forest exploitation and management. Colonials, for example, used
plantation-style reforestation as an attempt to compensate for deforestation from indigenous
agriculture. Today, emphasis has shifted to agroforestry projects, which attempt to remedy
deforestation by providing small landholders with trees so that they no longer need to degrade
the forest. Yet a blueprint strategy of conservation-oriented agroforestry projects will not
contribute to protecting resources in all cases. Where agricultural land is the greatest local need,
for example, an inflow of trees will not remove the incentive to cut down the forest. Planners
need to recognize the history of particular approaches before automatically adopting them. No

African Studies Quarterly I Volume 3, Issue 2 I Fall 1999

28 I Gezon and Freed

matter what the cause of deforestation, it would be valuable to initiate agroforestry projects if
local people express an interest them. But as an effort to reduce pressure on forests, agroforestry
should arguably be actively pursued where the danger to the forest arises from local
exploitation of tree products.
Complex historical factors also contribute to local misunderstandingss of a project's
objectives. The Project in northern Madagascar, for example, was operating in an area of heavy
colonial and post-independent state influence. This affected the local people's perceptions of the
project and their reactions to it. In the absence of an intensive participatory approach on the part
of the Project, local people were left with their preconceived notions of foreigners and their
development projects. In the case of Mt. d'Ambre, local people were familiar with the nurseries
and the reforestation activities of the French colonial outpost at Joffre-ville. They associated the
French with the powers of enforcement, taxation, and land take-over. The Project in many ways
resembled this characterization, in that it claimed jurisdiction of the protected area; its
employees were hired to enforce its boundaries; and that it was concerned with nurseries and
reforestation with exotic species. In Ankarana, even though many had a rather benign
perception of colonialism, some remembered with disfavor the coerced planting campaigns of
the 1960s and early 1970s. Their perception of agroforestry projects, then, may on some level be
tainted by this unpleasant memory.
Agroforestry projects have suffered in both Ankarana and Mt. d'Ambre because of their
association with the state enforcement capacities and wealthy foreign interests, both of which
they had experienced since colonial times. The local credibility of the nursery supervisors
remained low because of their close links with the APNs, who were Project-employed
enforcement agents. As a result, the village-level supervisors do not inspire broad enthusiasm
for conservation activities. The case of resentment against APNs in Bevary suggests that
agroforestry planners be aware of the difficulties in assigning development roles to enforcement
personnel and their close associates (e.g., nursery workers).
Furthermore, the Project's association with expensive equipment and an inflow of money
interfered with its ability to accomplish its goals. Rather than generating grassroots interest in
sustainable development, such a presence tends to lead merely to a desire to get some of the
goods for oneself (schools, bicycles, or-in this case-trees) (Grimm and Byers 1994, Gezon 1997b).
As Hough (1994b) observed in Benin, an approach that combines compensation (with vehicles,
equipment, etc.) with intensified law enforcement will be unlikely to provide sufficient
motivation for local people to develop sustainable resource use practices. Also worth noting is
that any conservation-oriented agroforestry project may have profound difficulties in obtaining
genuine local participation if people see conservation planners as barriers to existing trees.
Agroforestry around protected areas cannot change a history of tension. Conservation
planners, aware of histories of land use practices, can work with local people in meeting needs
for tree products. To begin with, they can design projects together with local people, paying
attention to such factors as local divisions of labor, land tenure, and desired types of trees.
Furthermore, they can explain their interventions in terms that make sense to people,
emphasizing the economic value of the forest for agriculture, for example (Kottak 1999).
Although the second phase of Madagascar's environmental plan has institutionally separated
conservation and development activities, planners should not underestimate the importance of

African Studies Quarterly I Volume 3, Issue 2 I Fall 1999

Agroforestry and Conservation in Northern Madagascar I 29

integration. Richard and O'Connor (1997) are correct in observing that the value of integrating
conservation and development lies "in engaging local communities and their expertise
effectively in the pursuit of conservation objectives (412)." In the case of northern Madagascar,
this means that proponents of the landscape development and conservation approach must
seek and actively engage elders, fokontany leaders, members of politically marginal groups
(e.g., women, recent immigrants), and community groups local to targeted regions. Just because
buffer zone agroforestry projects have only had partial success in the past does not mean that
they should be rejected outright. The experiments of the past decade should instead guide
future agroforestry through a flexible, iterative process. While there are merits to including
regional perspectives in conservation approaches (Hannah et al. 1998), replacing one overall
strategy with another will not suffice to correct past errors of ignoring local land use histories
and practices.


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Agroforestry and Conservation in Northern Madagascar I 35

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African Studies Quarterly I Volume 3, Issue 2 I Fall 1999





1 Forest
X Protected Reserves

- Road

* City

KM 20 0 2

Figure 1. Map of field sites in northern Madagascar.

0 40 KM
















5 Km 0




ROYAL Bi-\ R ,.. \
CAPITAL, .- 1:




5 10 Km

Figure 2. Towns, cities, and regions of the study sites, Mt.d'Ambre and Ankarana.


Table 1: Regions of Mt. d'Ambre.

Climate Forest

North: Patchy


Paths to many

Nearby Towns
& Cities


Forest Pressures

Logging, hunting,

(200 800)

(950 1050)

(800- 1100)

(500 1200)


(600- 1100)






Dry & humid



Dry & humid
areas; Some


Dry & humid

Roads to cities;
Paths in forest

Road to cities;
Paths to most

Paths to villages

Paths to





No paths during
1984-91; few paths None
Southwest: Easy Andrvnv
Fews Bobakilandy
Few other paths


Tourism, garden
plots, hunting,
pine & eucalyptus

Southern limit
felled; Cyclone or



Region &

(300 700)


African Studies Quarterly I Volume 3, Issue 2 I Fall 1999

Une Vue De Pres Du Droit De L'environnement Malgache


Resum6: Void une 6tude sur le droit de l'environnement malgache. Cet article vise a
donner les connaissances de bases sur le droit positif moderne et le droit coutumier de
Madagascar gouvernant les resources naturelles. Depuis le dix-neuvibme siecle, et le
regne de la monarchie d'Imerina a travers les trois r6publiques, le pays essaye de
controler son environnement et surtout la perte de ses forces selon son systeme de code
civil. Maintenant, plusieurs textes s'adressent au domaine l1argi du droit de
l'environnement, y compris le droit international, la constitution, la gestion des aires
prot6g6es, et la gestion locale des resources naturellement renouvelables, parmi
d'autres. Ce travail se r6alise dans la region du sud-est, aux environs du Parc National de
Ranomafana, oi l'influence du droit coutumier est toujours forte. On fait l'effort
d'int6grer le droit coutumier, et surtout le dina, dans le droit positif moderne. L'article
d6montre les divers aspects juridiques, culturels, internationaux du droit de


Le manteau noir et rouge pli6 sur la grande chaise vide du procureur g6n6ral repr6sente
l'Etat dans le tribunal regional a Mananjary dans le sud-est de Madagascar. Le mur au fond de
la salle de ce meuble moderniste consiste en rang aprbs rang des Journaux Officiels. Les grandes
pages blanches de ces imprimees des textes juridiques du droit malgache, jaunies par 1'age et
peut-etre par le climate chaud de la cote, restent calmes sans avoir 1'air d'etre d6rang6es depuis
l'&re des colons frangais. Le juge se place devant la salle en haut posant les questions tour-a-tour
aux parties, aux t6moins, et aux avocats a la cour. Une foule de gens s'assoit dans la salle ou
dehors ce jour-1a pour plaider leur cas ou pour se d6fendre, esp6rant ne pas devoir revenir le
Peut-etre cent kilometres de 1l, dans un village Tanala accessible par un sentier 6troit, un
kabary a lieu dans un tranobe, la maison principal du village. Assey6 par terre sur le sol fait de
1'Hcorce d'un palmier qui pousse dans la f6ret proche, le Mpanjaka ou roi du village, et ses
conseillers entendent deux paysans, habitants du village, se disputent pour un champs de riz.
Avant le kabary, le Mpanjaka demand aux ancktres de le guider dans les d6lib6rations et il leur
verse du toka gasy, une distillation de 1'eau de canne-a-sucre, en tant qu'offrande. Le Mpanjaka

Diane Marie Henkels, Esq., is currently working on an environmental ordinance project for the Confederated Tribes
of Siletz Indians in western Oregon. She completed her JD at Vermont Law School in 1997. From October 1997 to
May 1998, Diane conducted multi-disciplinary legal field work in south eastern Madagascar. A National Security
Education Program fellowship enabled her to pursue an internship with the Development and Environmental Law
Center (DELC) in Madagascar in order to complete her Masters of Studies in Environmental Law from Vermont Law
School. The author thanks Vermont Law School, DELC, Jean Rakotoarison, Docteur d'Etat en Droit, Lalaina
Rakotoson, M.S.E.L., and other colleagues in Madagascar whose assistance made this field work possible.
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ISSN: 2152-2448

38 I Henkels

raconte comment son people g6raient leurs actions dans leur milieu natural suivant un code
traditionnel. Par example, leur droit coutumier d6fendait la chasse des varika ou 16muriens, sur
lequel depend le renomm6 du parc national voisinant.
II y a environs dix ans que ce meme Mpanjaka a vu les vahiny, comprenant les strangers et
les Malgaches parvenant des autres coins du pays, venir 6tablir ce parc national, dans la f6ret
humide, les lieux sacr6s de ses ancetres. Les villageois vivant autour de ce lieu, devenu le Parc
National de Ranomafana, ont eu peu d'occasion de n6gotier puisque ces terres abritaient des
animaux don't la sauvegarde fut r6clam6e au niveau international autant que national. Vers les
ann6es 1970, la biodiversity unique de File entire avait attire 1'oil d'abord des savants
malgaches et ensuite des acteurs internationaux. En d6couvrant la quality unique de la flore et
de la faune a Madagascar, File est devenu un patrimoine mondial. En tenant compete de l'allure
de la degradation de l'environnement malgache, surtout des fort, les acteurs internationaux et
malgaches ont cherch6 les moyens juridiques de les prot6ger davantage. Jusqu'aujourd'hui,
l'etat malgache pursuit la conservation par voie du droit. Ors la population vivant autour du
parc national veulent que les autorit6s 6tatiques, les organismes non-gouvernementaux, et les
autres vahiny ne leurs nient pas le droit de d6cider comment ils vivent dans la region de leurs
ancetres. Apres tout, ils ont leur code a eux qui est un droit l1gitime. Ce qui concern les gens
de cette region, oh la majority de la population subsiste des haricots, d'autres vivrieres et le riz
qu'ils cultivent, c'est que 1'on respect les terrains de leurs ancetres et que la terre les nourrit.
Une tension entire le droit traditionnel et le droit moderne caract6rise, donc, le droit de
1'environnement malgache et la gestion des resources naturelles de File. En meme temps que le
droit coutumier 6voluait, la richesse naturelle de < la Grande Ile fut bien connue aux
gouvernements francais et malgache. L'6conomie d'6change du pays restait fondue sur les
resources naturelles, et dans 1'ensemble, agriculture 6tait, et reste toujours, la resource
principal. 1 Depuis deux siecles sous la royaut6 Merina, les colons francais, et le gouvernement
malgache, le droit de l'environnement malgache vise d'abord les fort. Avec la Charte de
l'Environnement Malagasy en 1970, le droit de l'environnement malgache 6panouit pour inclure
d'autres problemes, des lacunes, et des m6thodes de precaution et de gestion. Les d6cennies
suivantes consistaient en mettant en place un squelette de droit moderne consistent en textes
progressifs, et la mise en ouvre des plans d'action pour conserver la biodiversity. Maintenant,
on essaye de raffiner et rendre plus efficaces ces textes et de former un code de l'environnement.
Le droit de l'environnement malgache 6volue dans un context de 1'urgence de la
conservation, la forte pression national et international, et le croisement du droit moderne et
le droit traditionnel. D'abord le double systhme dans les regions ou la population mane une vie
plus proche a la tradition des ancetres, d6montre le r6le c16 que joue la culture dans le droit en
g6n6ral. Le droit coutumier vit toujours dans le sud-est du pays, la region oh se trouve le Parc
National de Ranomafana, habit par les ethnies Tanala et Betsileo. De plus, 1'6tat 6conomique
pauvre du pays demand une reconnaissance des forces internationales qui poussent la
croissance 6conomique et qui financent la protection de l'environnement. Aussi que la
devolution r6cente du gouvernement demand une connaissance des r6alit6s politiques de
chaque region.
L'objectif de cet article est d'expliquer les points cl6s du droit de l'environnement malgache
en ce qui concern la conservation des resources naturelles. Pour ce faire, la premiere parties

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donnera les connaissances de base sur l'historique du droit de l'environnement malgache, le
droit coutumier du pays, surtout comme il se manifeste dans le sud-est aux environs du Parc
National de Ranomafana, et influence du droit civil. La deuxikme parties fait connaitre les
rapports entire le droit positif don't la nouvelle loi forestikre, la gestion des aires prot6g6es, la
decentralisation, et le droit coutumier don't surtout le dina. La troisikme parties traitera de la
gestion communautaire des resources naturelles renouvelables qui a comme objectif de rendre
concrete la participation communautaire dans le d6veloppement durable. Une conclusion
expliquera pourquoi le coin sud-est, et peut ktre ailleurs a Madagascar, est bien situ6 pour
r6ussir si les d6positaires des enjeux augmentent leur communication et si les communaut6s de
base comprennent rapidement les techniques de partage des responsabilit6s des resources


Le droit de l'environnement ancient

Au d6but du dix-neuvieme sicle, les forts de File appartenaient a 1'Htat soit les Merina, la
monarchie dominant. Cette dynastie originaire de Tananarive habitat des hauts plateaux de la
region central. C'est la royaut6 Merina qui a r6alis6 1'unit6 politique de ile en 1829. La royaut6
Merina a interdit le d6boisement, pour des raisons, semble-t-il, de s6curit6 ext6rieure. Pourtant,
meme a cette 6poque-la, la fort ne couvrait plus guere qu'un dixieme de File, mais le tavy, soit
la culture-sur-brulis continuait comme dans le passe.2 Autant qu'il enrichit le sol, cette pratique
est devenue moyenne d'expression de la mentality contestatrice des habitants tanala de la f6ret
du sud-est. Le mot << tanala > d6signe a la fois une ethnic (Tanala) ou "gens de la f6ret", qui
occupe la region des falaises du sud-est, et aussi une communaut6 de mode de vie base sur
l'exploitation de la f6ret par la cueillette et 1'essartage dans ce milieu. 3 Pendant que la royaut6
Merina unifie progressivement ses dominions qui furent nomm6 enfin "Madagascar," les Tanala
6voluaient leur systhme de droit parallklement.
L'6tat malgache reconnaissait des le d6but 1'importance des resources naturelles a la vie de
la population. "La fort est un patrimoine commun ou tous ceux qui manquent de moyen
d'existence (veuves, orphelins, pauvres), doivent pouvoir continue a trouver de quoi subsister
et se vetir par la cueillette. En outre, elle fournit les bois n6cessaires aux constructions."4 Des
provisions interdisant le d6boisement, surtout les feux de v6g6tation, furent annonc6es pendant
le dix-neufieme sicle. Au d6but du sicle, le premier roi d'Imerina, Andrianampoinimerina, a
limit le d6boisement en d6clarant comme propri6t6 royale toutes les forts dans son royaume.
Le livre Tantaran'ny Andriana rapporte une declaration du roi: << Cependant, il est interdit que
des personnel viennent forger clandestinement des armes en fort car elles peuvent preparer
une rebellion. >5 Cette initiative a &t6 la premiere tentative de la conservation des regions
bois6es connues parmi les pays africains pr6-coloniales.6 Des 1868 parut le Code des 101
Articles, et plus tard en 1881, le Code des 305 Articles, legislation touchant a la fois le droit civil,
le droit p6nal, et la procedure. 7 Parmi les articles du code, les num6ros 101-106 interdisaient le
brfilis de la fort et installation d'habitants en fort, toujours par souci de garantir la s6curit6
int6rieure et ext6rieure. 8 L'Article 105 interdit la pratique du tavy: <

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40 I Henkels

la fort par le feu sans le but de cultiver les champs de riz, le main's ou d'autres cultures.
Seulement ces sections d6brouss6es et bral6es auparavant peuvent etre cultiv6es. Quelqu'un qui
d6brousse par le feu un nouveau terrain ou 6panouit ceux qui existent d6ja, cette personnel sera
mise aux fers. )9 Pour les habitants des forts de 1'est cette politique Merina envers les forts
avait moins a faire avec la conservation des terrains de 1'6tat, et tout avoir avec la cloture des
champs et le contr6le des resources naturelles de grandes valeurs. 10
Les restrictions sur l'utilisation des fort durent jusqu'aujourd'hui. Suivant la
colonialisation francaise, le Service des Eaux et Forkts, 6tablit en 1896, introduisit la notion de
domaine de l'Etat et de zones en defense oh tout d6frichement fut interdit. En 1900, les autorit6s
francaises ont d6clar6 propri6t6 domaniale toutes forts de Madagascar. Mais la biodiversity de
File disparaissait ce qui a provoqu6 la creation par le D6cret du 31 d6cembre, 1927, les premiers
dix < R6serves Naturelles Int6grales de Madagascar. > Ces reserves furent ferm6es a tout etre
human, y compris les habitants voisins, a 1'exception des scientifiques autoris6s. Avec
l'ind6pendance de Madagascar en 1960, une legislation environnementale plus ou moins
comprehensive fut cr6e. Les droits fonciers ont accentu6 l'obligation de d6velopper la terre et de
mettre le terrain non-cultiv6 encore sous le plouc. 11 Pourtant 1'utilisation du feu fut strictement
r6gularis6e. Parmi ces measures fut un d6cret cr6ant une liste des especes menaces. En 1968,
Madagascar a adopt les categories de l'IUCN pour les aires prot6g6es et des textes tres
restrictifs, n'admettant aucun visiteur pour mieux prot6ger 1'6cologie.
Apres une d6cennie de socialisme ferm6, Madagascar s'est concern6e de nouveau avec la
degradation de File. En 1984, Madagascar a adopt la Strat6gie Nationale de la Conservation et
le D6veloppement. 12 La Grand Ile 6tait le premier pays africain d'avoir une politique
environnemental nationale.3 La loi de base du droit de l'environnement malgache moderne est
la Charte de l'Environnement Malagasy (CEM), adopt en 1990.14 La Charte reconnait
l'environnement en tant que preoccupation prioritaire d'int6ret g6n6ral de l'Etat, et le devoir de
chacun de le prot6ger, et le droit de toute personnel d'etre inform6e sur les decisions susceptibles
d'exercer quelques influences sur l'environnement et de participer a des decisions.
Pour r6aliser les objectifs dans la CEM, un Plan d'Action Environnementale fut 6labor6 bas6
sur la protection et 1'am6lioration de l'environnement tout en ouvrant pour un d6veloppement
durable. Lors de la premiere des trois phases du PAE, le gouvernement malgache a pass
plusieurs lois et d6crets encadrant les objectifs du PAE sus-mentionn6es. Ces textes
comprennent le d6cret relatif a la mise en compatibility des investissements avec
l'environnement, la legislation forestiere, les lois gouvernant les aires prot6g6es, et la loi relative
a la gestion des resources naturelles renouvelables. Cette activity gouvernementale est
impressionante si 1'on tient compete du fait que la procedure legislative malgache boite sur une
jambe. Parmi les deux chambres pr6vues par la Constitution, la mise en ouvre de la legislation
appartient a 1'Assembl6e Nationale seule car le S6nat n'existe que sur du paper. De toute facon,
la deuxieme phase du PAE, le Programm Environnemental II (PE II) est en train d'etre mise en
ouvre a present. II a comme objectif de determiner le r6le de l'Etat, des Collectivit6s Territoriales
D6centralis6es et de leurs partenaires dans la mise en ouvre du PAE et de fixer les regles et les
cadres institutionnels de cette mise en ouvre.15
L'orage d'activit6 conservationiste depuis 1980 souligne comment il est impossible de
parler du droit de l'environnement malgache aujourd'hui sans remarquer comment les actions

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Une Vue De Pres Du Droit De L'environnement Malgache I 41

dans l'int6rieur du pays s'accrochent au cadre du droit international. D'abord, la communaut6
international exerce beaucoup d'influence sur la politique environnementale malgache. Pour
finance son programme, il a fallu s'appuyer aux bailleurs de fonds internationaux. Un r6sultat,
comme dit un fonctionnaire, c'est les bailleurs qui conduisent tous les textes environnementaux
maintenant. << II n'y a plus de texte sans un project derriere. 16 Deuxiemement, le droit
international est une source des principles qui dirigent les rapports des membres de la
communaut6 international. De ces textes merge le droit international << mou >, c'est-a-dire les
concepts qui servent comme lignes directrices de la politique environnementale d'un pays.
Parmi ces concepts sont le principle de la precaution, et le principle que celui qui pollue doit
accepter les coits des reparations. 17 Ces principles se manifestent a Madagascar dans la forme
des traits ratifies autant que dans les aspirations de la politique environnementale. 18
Troisiemement, le droit international fait parties du droit positif national et se fait sentir a niveau
communal a Madagascar. Chaque 6tudiant en droit a Madagascar apprend que la Constitution
malgache incorpore formellement dans son pr6ambule la Charte africaine des droits de
l'homme et des peuples et la Charte Internationale des Droits de l'Homme. 19 MWme les gens
moins scolaris6s a Madagascar ont des notions de influence de la communaut6 et du droit
international. Les interactions sur le terrain des officials strangers visitant de nombreux projects,
l'6tablissement de infrastructure, de nouvelles regles, et la croissance du tourism donne
l'impression que ce sont les strangers qui dirigent les travaux de conservation. De plus, les
n6gociations locales concernant la gestion communautaire des resources renouvelables sont un
signe concrete de la mise en ouvre de la Conf6rence International des Nations Unis sur
l'Environnement et le Developpement, autrement dit < Rio >>.


Le droit coutumier

Dans le sud-est de Madagascar, le droit coutumier prend trois formes: le hazomanga, associd
au pouvoir du Mpanjaka, lefomban-drazana, et le dina. Le Mpanjaka ou roi, detient tout pouvoir
d'un clan ou tribu Tanala. II partage ce pouvoir avec les Rayamendreny, les plus agees du clan,
qui le conseillent quand il s'agit d'une decisions a prendre, cela aprbs consultation des
villageois. Le dialogue direct entire le Mpanjaka et le people est possible avec le concours et la
benediction du conseil des Rayamendreny en tant qu'adjoints et conseillers du roi.20 Le Mpanjaka,
homme ou femme, assure la transmission des traditions et la portee du < Hazomanga >>. Ceci est
un morceau de bois que chaque clan garde dans un panier place en haut sur une 6tagbre 6levie
dans le tranobe. La plante la plus important au Malagasy, le hazomanga est un arbre sacr6,
respect, et protg&6. II symbolise la delgation du pouvoir des ancktres aux descendants et est
utilise dans les rituels dans tout Madagascar.21' Par voie du hazomanga, le Mpanjaka a comme
attribution de diriger toutes ceremonies ancestrales, faire respecter toutes les rbgles

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42 I Henkels

traditionnelles, donner des conseils, et assurer d'autres functions d'arbitre des litiges dans la
Outre le hazomanga dans 1'organisation traditionnelle malgache, le droit est form par
l'ensemble desfomban-drazana soit les coutumes des ancktres. Les fomba comprennent les
habitudes typiquement malagasy, et les pratiques plus particulieres a une region ou un clan. Par
example, dans le sud-est, lefomba de tavy reflete le genre de vie de tavy, la culture-sur-brulis,
prescrivant I'acchs libre aux forts 22 aufokonolona. Dans la soci6t6 tanala, lefokonolona 6tait
autrefois une lign6e unissant sur un territoire fokontany les descendants d'un meme ancktre.
Maintenant, lefokonolona est d6crit comme l'union des gens qui ont une maison dans le village,
qu'ils soient auparavant les hova "nobles" ou vahoaka "autochtones".23 En habitant le meme
village ils acceptent l'autorit6 du Mpanjaka. Cette style Tanala de governance se trouve dans les
villages mixtes comprenant des Betsil6os et des Tanalas. Lefokonolona assure la participation et
l'entraide de tous les villageois, non seulement pour les grands travaux, mais aussi pour les
simples relations quotidiennes.24
En dehors du hazomanga et lefomban-drazana, le droit coutumier comprend le dina. Le dina
est un pacte traditionnel formel des membres dufokonolona qui applique la loi coutumiere. II y a
plusieurs genres de dina selon les champs d'action: les dinas qui reglent les d6lits, ceux qui lient
les usages traditionnels avec les lois modernes, ceux qui traduisent toutes relations
contractuelles, ceux qui 61aborent et adoptent les travaux dans l'int6ret communautaire, et les
dinas securitaires.25 Lefokonolona 6tablit le dina en assemblee generale a la majority des gens. En
tant que l'expression de la volont6 dufokonolona, le dina est le droit l1gitime qui suit les
membres de la communaut6.26 Souvent on r6dige un dina sur du bois ou du paper. (En d6pit du
taux 6lev6 d'analphabetisme dans lesfokonolona 6loign6es de la route, il se trouve toujours
quelqu'un instruit qui sert la function de scribe). On voit par example le dina s6curitaire du
village de Sahavoemba, les diff6rents noms des gardens inscrits sur une tranche de bois la taille
d'un plateau. Ors dans ce meme village et celui d'Ambatovory de 1'autre c6t6 du parc national,
l'on voit le dina concernant le parc national voisinant r6dig6 en stylo sur des feuilles de paper
Les divers dina doivent etre respects. La violation d'un dina devrait etre r6solue au niveau
inf6rieur par les arrangements entire les parties. Si on n'arrive pas a le r6soudre a ce niveau, il y a
une consultation avec des Rayamendreny.27 Si la dispute n'est toujours pas r6solue, alors elle est
renvoy6e jusqu'au niveau du Mpanjaka et les conseillers ensemble dans une palabre qui
s'appelle "kabary". A ce point le transgresseur sera assurement sanctionner soit par le devoir de
sacrifier un z6bu ou un bouf ou par d'autres punitions don't la pire est le "akondromainty" par
lequel le d6liquant perd tout droit de vivre en collectivit6.28
Parmi ces trois formes de droit coutumier, c'est le dina qui resemble le plus au droit positif
moderne. Formalis6 par le vote majoritaire, le dina reflete le caractere d'une soci6t6
d6mocratique. Etant le droit 16gitime local, 1'6tat malgache tente d' int6grer le dina dans le droit
moderne. Nous verrons plus tard les textes qui formalisent ce lien entire le droit moderne positif
et le droit coutumier par voie du dina. Pourtant, la valeur du dina en tant qu'expression de la
volont6 des gens parait limit6e. Selon les observations, sur la question du droit civique et
politique, les Tanala ne << bougent que par 1'ordre du Mpanjaka. 29 Par example, dans plus d'un
cas les habitants d'un village apparaissaient de jouir de leur droit de participer dans la politique

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lorsqu'ils ont tous vot6 dans une election 6tatique. Ors, les villageois ont vot6 selon ce que le
Mpanjaka leurs avait ordonn6, donc ils n'exercaient pas leur propre volont6 en ce qui concern
les decisions en dehors du dina dufokonolona.30 Connaitre le vrai sentiment des individus
concernant une question en dehors des affaires dufokonolona demand plus qu'une r6f6rence au
droit coutumier. D'ailleurs, comme 1'on trouve dans plusieurs cas, le droit coutumier et le r6le
des autorit6s coutumieres peuvent changer oh la vie des gens est bouscul6e par les influences
parvenant de l'ext6rieure. A cet 6gard, comme nous verrons plus tard, la region autour du Parc
National de Ranomafana a Madagascar ne fait pas exception.

Le droit civil et le pouvoir de la parole

Comme d'autres pays de droit civil, Madagascar ouvre une nouvele voie en donnant place
au droit coutumier malgache dans le droit moderne. Les racines de la soci6t6 malgache
comprennent une population a base africaine et indon6sienne mais une identity plus liWe a
l'Indon6sie qu'a l'Afrique, et une structure gouvernementale model6e apres celle de la France.
Ayant adopt de la France cette tradition juridique, le droit moderne malgache d6montre
surtout l'importance des r6dactions des textes de la legislation. D'abord, les pays du droit civil
ont des codes compr6hensifs, souvent le r6sultat d'un seul processus. Par contre, les status des
pays de droit commun sont d'origine ad hoc, souvent les r6sultats des prises des decisions
judiciaires. Deuxiemement, sous le code civil, c'est le choix des mots des textes, leurs port6es, et
les documents d'interpr6tation qui d6terminent comment le juge va appliquer un texte donne.31
Finalement, la science juridique du droit civil n'admet pas la consideration d'autres
circonstances outre que le droit positif. En voyant le droit de l'environnement malgache a
travers ces trois fenktres 1'on peut reconnaitre influence du droit civil. Une telle reconnaissance
aide a comprendre quelques difficulties syst6miques dans la mise en ouvre des textes
environnementaux et aussi la facon dans laquelle le droit moderne a Madagascar reflkte la
culture malgache.
A travers la premiere fenktre, 1'on voit que sous le code civil, les normes juridiques d'un
domaine de droit donn6 s'exprime dans un code compr6hensif. C'est ainsi que Madagascar a
adopt le code commercial francais entier. Pourtant au lieu d'un seul code environnemental
malgache, le droit positif environnemental du pays est un tricotage de plusieurs lois, d6crets, et
arret6s qui a comme objectif de mettre en ouvre sur le terrain des divers aspects de la politique
global de la Charte de l'Environnement Malagasy. Par example, Madagascar ne posshde pas de
texte r6gissant les Aires Prot6g6es. A present, 1'Association National pour la Gestion des Aires
Prot6g6es (ANGAP) s'occupe des aires prot6g6es sous 1'autorit6 d'un statut gouvernant les
associations. De plus, les terrains des Aires Prot6g6es couvrent une superficie de seulement cinq
pour cent du pays. La nouvelle loi forestiere porte sur une 6tendu beaucoup plus large, mais sa
mise en ouvre est tres faible. La port6e de la loi obligeant les 6tudes d'impacts est large mais elle
a produit jusqu'au present moins d'une dizaine d'6tudes. Le plaint commun est qu'il n'existe pas
de texte qui 6tablit des standards pour toute action portant sur 1'environnement. 32 Selon un
official, "il faut mettre une 6chelle entire le ciel et la terre. II faut une m6thodologie."33 Les juristes
ouvrent maintenant a former un code pour pouvoir unifier les textes dans un processus

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44 I Henkels

Par la deuxibme fenetre, 1'on voit l'importance des mots des textes. En g6n6ral, le droit
commun permet le juge d'interpr6ter un texte de droit selon les cas pr6c6dents. Ors dans le droit
civil, influence des cas pr6c6dents est n6gligeable. Les juges cherchent les provisions des codes
pour r6soudre des cas et appliquent les provisions du code appropriees a 1'aide des ouvres des
juristes savants. Ce champ d'interpr6tation diminu6 oblige une r6daction correct et profonde
des textes juridiques environnementaux a Madagascar. A cet 6gard, les difficulties se
manifestent parfois par les simples accidents de bureaucratic. Par example, dans le cas des
6tudes d'impacts environnementaux, une parties du texte pr6liminaire d'une annexe a &t6
adopt6e au lieu de l'annexe finalist. Ceci a fait que la port6e trop 6tendue de l'Annexe fut
adopted au lieu d'un texte moins compr6hensif. Le d6cret resultant aurait exig6 une 6tude
d'impact pour chaque mise en place d'un canal d'irrigation, ce qui aurait &t6 impossible a mettre
en vigueur meme s'il y avait suffisamment de resources. La solution est la refonte de la
legislation, mais le temps perdu dans la solution d'une telle erreur ralentit la mise en ouvre des
6tudes d'impacts. D'ailleurs, il n'y a pas encore eu lieu de < litige environnemental > proprement
dit, bien que plusieurs proces concernent le droit foncier. A moins que les juristes malgaches
puissent se r6f6rer au droit d'autres pays, les r6dactions des textes malgaches seront difficiles de
mettre en vigueur a cause des fautes bureaucratiques, les provisions trop g6n6rales, ou la
manque des cas pr6c6dents.
La troisibme fenetre laisse voir que selon le code civil ce qui imported dans le droit sont les
principles d6riv6s d'une 6tude soigneuse de la legislation positive seulement. Les juristes
analysent les codes de base et la legislation pour formuler les theories g6n6rales, et d'extraire,
d'6num6rer, et d'expliquer les principles juridiques qu'elles d6tiennent. Les caract6ristiques du
droit civil n'admettent pas automatiquement des considerations des facteurs autres que le droit
moderne, telles que 1'anthropologie, la sociologie, la science politique, ou l'6conomie.34 Pourtant,
int6grer le droit coutumier a Madagascar, oi la population avait d6ja d6velopp6 une tradition
forte du droit coutumier, n6cessite un regard sur ces diff6rentes disciplines. Depuis le d6but, la
legislation malgache tenait en compete la culture agricole du pays. Le Code des 305 Articles a
supprim6 cette culture. Contrairement a 1'ancienne legislation, les textes r6cents d6montrent
comment le droit malgache appr6cie et tient en compete les r6alit6s culturelles et politiques des
regions, des communes, jusqu'aufokonolona. C'est peut ktre a ce dernier niveau que les effects du
droit de l'environnement se font sentir le plus.
D'ailleurs la culture malgache tient au pouvoir de la parole. L'habilet6 de bien parler est
trbs estim6e partout dans le pays. Raconter un tantara ou une histoire, comme l'histoire du
village, est un 6vbnement r6serv6 a ceux qui sont qualifies. Une 6tude anthropologique
d6montre 1'accent que l'on met sur le choix et 1'ordre des mots dans les discours malgaches, que
ce soit d& livr6 par un Mpanjaka ou un official de 1'6tat.35
Etant donn6 l'importance des textes juridiques, c'est d'autant plus difficile qu'ils ne soient
ventil6s plus librement. La disponibilit6 des informations est une pierre angulaire de la
participation publique. Ce sont les textes prot6geant le droit aux informations qui deviennent
l'Np6e premier du droit de l'environnement americain par example. Hors dans la capital
r6gionale de Fianarantsoa, il faut chercher au moins trois bureaux pour trouver un texte donn6.
Souvent un service public ou meme un tribunal n'a pas de texte courant parce que le niveau
central ne les envoie pas. D'ailleurs il n'y a point de comparison entire les bibliothbques

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universitaires de la region de Fianarantsoa et celui du capital Antananarivo, ou << Tana , cette
derniere 6tant beaucoup plus dot6e de livres. Depuis deux sikcles, information du pays reste
centralis6e au capital, loin des coins d'application. Cette absence d'information est une lacune
surtout si on constate qu'une politique dominant du droit de l'environnement malgache est la
participation communautaire et le respect des traditions.
Avec ces informations de base sur le droit de l'environnement malgache, il devient possible
d'entrer voir de pres la mise en ouvre des textes. Actuellement, on tente de tresser le droit
moderne avec le droit coutumier dans un context marqu6 par la pression du temps et des
bailleurs, les difficulties politiques et logistiques, et le courant de la participation locale qui
conduit la gestion communautaire des resources naturelles.


Depuis la Charte de l'Environnement Malagasy, plusieurs textes nationaux furent
promulgues pour mettre en ouvre les principles exprimes par la Charte et prevue dans le Plan
d'Action Environnemental. Les nouveaux textes prennent en compete explicitement les droits et
les responsabilites des communautes de base soit lesfokonolona. Cette parties de l'article discute
premierement des textes principaux qui agissent sur la gestion des resources naturelles
renouvelables, surtout les fort, et deuxiemement les premiers pas vers l'integration du droit
coutumier au droit moderne.

La devolution

Jadis, la Republique malgache a manifesto une politique centralisee a 1'6gard des resources
naturelles, ce qui a susdt6 une reaction locale negative. < meres. C'est a nous d'en faire ce que nous voulons. )36 Depuis ce temps-la, de differents states
de devolution ont taille la politique centralisee. La loi no. 94-007 est le texte le plus recent
gouvernant la devolution << des pouvoirs, competences et resources des Collectivites
territoriales decentralisees . L'objectif de la devolution est de transferer les responsabilites et les
benefices du niveau central aux regions du pays. Ce texte agit gendralement sur le
developpement 6conomique et social.37 Par example, parmi d'autres responsabilites, la region de
Fianarantsoa veillera, a l'amenagement du territoire en eau et assainissement, le developpement
d'un plan regional de developpement, la gestion des routes, la protection de l'environnement
dans la prefecture. Le texte attribue a chaque niveau y compris la region, les departements, et
les communes, en ordre descendant, les teaches propres au niveau design. Les autorites
politiques dans les Collectivites Decentralisees qui veillent sur la realisation des teaches
comprennent les maires des communes, les sous-prefets des sous-prefectures, et les prefets des
Le frere de la loi numero 94-007 est la loi 94-008 qui fixe les regles relatives a 1'organisation,
au fonctionnement et aux attributions des collectivites territoriales decentralisees. C'est par voie
de 94-008 que le gouvernement malgache tente d'integrer le dina formellement dans le droit
moderne malgache. Ce texte prescrit des functions traditionnelles aux autorites 6tatiques. Selon
94-008, les representants de l'Etat serviront aux litiges d'ordre individual << en tant que

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rayamendreny . Nous nous rappelons que les rayamendreny sont les conseilleurs des mpanjakas.
De meme, la loi autorise le Maire de prendre initiative d'6tudier, de proposer ou de faire
adopter, de diffuser et de faire appliquer les conventions du dina dans le respect des lois et
reglements en vigueur et des usages observes et non contests par sa commune. 38 Cependant,
ces provisions contredisent 1'essence du dina. D'abord nous avons vu comment le dina est une
regle plut6t democratique qu'executif. De plus, ce texte represente une imposition du droit
positif sur le milieu local, ce qui est un style de governance qui n'a jamais &t6 accueilli jadis.
Donc, il semble que le texte redig6 comme tel ne peut reussir a integrer le droit coutumier dans
le droit 6tatique moderne. D'ailleurs, la mise en ouvre de cette provision au niveau local n'est
pas encore 6vidente, en depit de sa reconnaissance par les autorites 6tatiques locales.
La devolution est a la base des revisions de 1997 de la constitution malagasy de 1992. La
constitution exprime les droits et les principles de base sur lesquels le gouvernement fonde tout
autre texte l1gislatif. La legislation qui se repose sur une foundation constitutionnelle solide porte
le plus de poids et de 1'autorite. D'habitude, chaque texte juridique malgache porte l'autorite de
la constitution en premier lieu. La Constitution malgache de 1992, revisee en 1997, decentralise
la responsabilit6 de la mise en ouvre de la politique environnementaliste affirmant les droits des
communautes de base lesfokonolona, de prendre en charge ce devoir. Etant une nouvelle
disposition, la mise en vigueur de la devolution demand une comprehension de l'importance
et des responsabilites et des benefices. Etant donn6 la structure gouvernementale tres
centralisee auparavant, la population du milieu rural dans le sud-est ne semblait pas
comprendre ce que signifierait la devolution lors de la vote en 1997 pour cette revision a la
constitution. La forte publicity en faveur de la revision avec le manque d'opposition a rendu
difficile la tache de sensibilisation. Donc, la mise en ouvre de la devolution represente un travail
de sensibilisation autant que la prise en charge des responsabilites.

La loi forestiere

La Constitution reconnait aussi le besoin de conserver des resources naturelles et le devoir
de proteger le droit de chaque citoyen a un environnement sain et une identity culturelle. Ces
provisions serviront comme mandat pour les autorites publiques pour attaquer les racines des
problemes environnementaux assurant que les gouvernements ont une base incontestable
pour ce faire.39
Sous cette autorit6, le gouvernement malgache a promulgu6 une nouvelle loi forestiere en
1997. Le regime forestier est 1'ensemble des dispositions lgislatives et reglementaires ayant
pour objet la protection et la bonne gestion durable des resources forestieres.40 Ce texte reflete
la meme politique de devolution,41 et abroge toutes dispositions anterieures contraires a la
presente loi. (Pour abroger un texte juridique a Madagascar, il faut le faire formellement et
explicitement; il n'y a pas de question de passer un autre texte contradictoire.42 Maintenant la loi
forestiere permet les permis de coupe qui seront fixees par decret et les droits d'usage des
fokonolona. En meme temps elle incorpore les dispositions de 1'ordonnance No. 60-127 d'octobre
1960 fixant le regime des defrichements et des feux de vegetation. La portee du texte est tres
large, la prise en charge des forts restant toujours la preoccupation primaire du droit de
l'environnement a Madagascar. La nouvelle loi inclut dans la definition d'une f6ret une grande

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vari6t6 des surfaces, et elle assimile meme plus des 6cosysthmes y compris des mangroves, les
marais, parmi d'autres. En plus des forts de l'Etat et des Collectivit6s D6centralis6es, d'autres
forts des personnel priv6es peuvent ktre soumis au regime forestier.
La coquille du texte forestier cache de grandes lacunes dans la mise en ouvre. La Direction
des Eaux et Forkts, est la seule comp6tente en matiere de police forestiere. Ses responsabilit6s et
la definition d'une f6ret sont aussi large que la competence du service est petit. Au niveau
national s'entendent les bruits d'un grand r6forme du D6partment des Eaux et Forkt don't la
corruption est bien connue partout dans O'lle. Cette maladie s'infiltre dans toute 1'organisation.
En plus, la mise en vigueur du code forestier sur le terrain est emp&ch6e par un manque de
personnel et de resources mat6rielles. Par example, un seul agent forestier, Chef de
Cantonnement, s'occupe de toute activity forestiere dans le fivondronona, soit la sous-
pr6fecture, d'Ifanadiana. Cette sous-pr6fecture couvre treize communes et une superficie de
kilomhtres carr6s y compris une parties du Parc National de Ranomafana. Sans aucun moyen de
transportation, cet agent essaye de boucher les trous a l'aide des Organisations Non-
gouvernementales, un personnel retrait6 et la collaboration avec l'Association National pour la
Gestion des Aires Prot6g6es (ANGAP). La d6faillance de suivi et de mise en ouvre n'am6liore
pas les pressions sur le parc. Avec le tavy, 1'exploitation ill6gale des essences de bois de parc et
ses environs, par example, constitute une des premieres pressions du Parc National.43

L'Association National pour la Gestion des Aires Protegees

Les Eaux et Forkt et 1'ANGAP sont obliges de travailler l'un avec 1'autre a Ranomafana bien
qu'ils aient chacun une structure et mode d'emploie tres different au niveau national. Le DEF
fait parties du gouvernement malgache appauvri, et 1'ANGAP, une association priv6e a but non-
lucratif, fut fond dans de bonnes conditions, bien financee par les bailleurs de fonds. Le regime
forestier est 1'ensemble des dispositions l1gislatives et r6glementaires ayant pour objet la
protection et la bonne gestion durable des resources forestieres. Commes le DEF, l'ANGAP
doit veiller aussi sur le d6veloppement, bien que ce soit un but secondaire a celui de la
conservation. Cr66 en 1990, l'ANGAP a pour objectif de g6rer les parcs et les reserves dans
l'int6ret public. Une des sept composantes du PEI, le Programme Aires Prot6g6es s'affichent en
priority: 1'6tablissement d'un r6seau de cinquante aires prot6g6es, le d6veloppement d'une
agriculture durable associ6e a des actions de conservation dans les zones p6riph6riques de l'aire
prot6g6e, et le enforcement de la protection et 1'exploitation durable des forts classes. La
mission d'ANGAP est d'6tablir, conserver, et g6rer d'une maniere durable un r6seau des parcs
nationaux et des reserves repr6sentant la biodiversity et 1'environnement unique a Madagascar.
Tant que les fort occupent une place prioritaire dans le pays, les Aires Prot6g6es sont une
source de la fiert6 national pour le present et les g6n6rations futures compete tenu de la
biodiversity extraordinaire qu'elles h6bergent.
Quoique ANGAP soit gestionnaire, seulement le DEF peut sanctionner les gens pour les
d6lits commis dans les bornes des aires prot6g6es. Les agents des deux organizations se
coordonnent. Les agents d'ANGAP qui patrouillent le parc jouent le r6le des agents de
renseignements et on exp6die le compete rendu de ces informations au chef du Cantonnement.
C'est ANGAP qui fourni les moyens de chercher et suivre les coupables. Avec les cas de suivi

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des d6lits, 1'ANGAP et le DEF font les tourn6es conjointes. L'entente des services dans cette
locality est donc important, et des fois surr6aliste lorsqu'il s'agit de poursuivre une autorit6
politique locale pour le tirer enfin d'un proces concernant 1'exploitation ill6gale oh il est
Ce partenariat entire l'ANGAP et le DEF a Ranomafana 6voluera encore selon le statut
d'ANGAP. La mise en vigueur difficile de la loi forestikre sur le plan local fait que les bailleurs
des fonds exigent que les agents de conservation d'ANGAP aient une autorit6 d'impliquer la
legislation. De plus, le plus grand d6fi auquel l'ANGAP fait face maintenant est le financement
durable du r6seau des parcs et des reserves.44 ANGAP doit apprendre g6rer ses resources vers
le but de 1'autogestion, objectif redoutable compete tenu du fait qu'aucun parc national n'a r6ussi
dans cette tache. De plus, le statut d'ANGAP est en train d'etre r6vis6 ce qui pourrait changer la
nature de l'Association. II parait que dans le proche avenir un Code de Gestion des Aires
Prot6g6es (COGAP) servira de document de r6f6rence en matikre de gestion des Aires
Prot6g6es. 45
Ce qui 6voluera aussi est le rapport entire ANGAP et les communaut6s de base a cot6 des
Aires Prot6g6es, surtout au niveau local. Depuis la creation du Parc National de Ranomafana en
1991, l'ANGAP remplit son devoir de promouvoir le d6veloppement durable de facon
unilat6rale. Les promesses non r6alis6s, la manque de n6gociation, parmi d'autres rapports
difficiles, ont renforc6 la barrikre historique du soupcon que tenaient les autochtones des
villages Tanala et Betsileo pour les vahiny, c'est-a-dire les malgaches parvenant de l'int6rieur du
pays pour diriger les travaux des parcs et des projects de d6veloppement, et les strangers. Au fur
et a measure que 1'on constatait que le but de la conservation du parc ne pus ktre r6alis6 sans la
pleine participation des communaut6s de base dans la zone p6riph6rique, la communication des
personnel du parc et les agents de d6veloppement avec la population augmente. Avant, on
avait r6dig6 des dina pour incorporer la conservation dans le droit traditionnel desfokonolona.
Six ans apres la creation du parc national, pour la premiere fois, les repr6sentants des villages
tanala furent invites a Ranomafana en group pour s'entendre avec les responsables du parc
national. Cet ordre des 6v6nements signal les premiers pas boitants d'int6gration du droit
coutumier avec le droit moderne.

Le droit environnemental moderne et le dina

Souvent c'est les changements parvenant de l'ext6rieur qui incite les modifications de la vie
int6rieure communale. La creation des parcs nationaux a c6t6 de ou dans les bornes
traditionnelles des villages a provoqu6 les communaut6s de bases dans la zone p6riph6rique
des parcs a changer leur dinas. En 1996, la population autour du Parc National de Ranomafana a
r6dig6 les dina, m6langeant les idWes du droit forestier. Par example, le dina du village de
Sahavoemba concernant le Parc National de Ranomafana interdit 1'6tendu de terre cultivable,
coupe les arbres pour la construction des cases ou le bois a beche et hache, ou chercher le
satrahana (le palmier) dans le parc. De plus, toute personnel qui voulait pratiquer le tavy et
chercher de bois de construction devait obtenir un permis de coupe. Ce meme dina prescrit des
procedures a suivre pour pratiquer le tavy et chercher de bois de construction dans la zone
p6riph6rique du parc. Selon ce dina 6crit sur une feuille de paper blanche, quiconque ne

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respect pas ce dina devait etre envoy aufanjakana ou 1'autorite d'etat. Cependant, 1'existence
de ce dina n'empeche pas que le personnel du parc constate une degradation continue du terrain
du au tavy pres de Sahavoemba. D'ailleurs ce village voit peu de visiteurs du parc, peut etre a
cause de son 6loignement de la route et il n'y a pas d'6cole dans le voisinage dufokonolona. Cet
isolement semble etre un facteur dans le non-respect de 1'autorite etatique et la predominance
du droit traditionnel.
Comme l'exemple de Sahavoemba demontre, les tentatives d'integrer le dina au droit
moderne sur le terrain rencontre les questions de la lgitimation. En tant que droit local, une
population locale qui n'6prouve pas une pleine solidarity avec le gouvernement etatique
malgache reconnait le dina comme le droit lgitime.46 Ce qui met en question la legitimit6 d'un
dina cr66 sur initiative des vahiny, comme les dinas defendant les activities traditionnelles dans
les bornes du parc national. De plus, il y a de diverse experiences de la nature changeante du
dina. D'un c6te, des dinas sont adapts pour repondre aux nouvelles necessites de la vie de la
communaut6. De l'autre cote, il est difficile de naviguer les dinas qui peuvent changer, surtout
dans le cas oh le dina est tres courant et les juges de dina tres corrompus. Dans ce cas, les agents
d'ANGAP, surtout ceux qui parviennent d'une autre parties du pays, ont du mal a distinguer
entire un dina lgitime et ceux qui sont plut6t expedients.
En plus, 1'integration du droit traditionnel se fait dans un context changeant. Selon des
observations de diverse malgaches, la forme et influence des institutions traditionnels
changent depuis 1'arriv6 des strangers. Dans la zone peripherique de Ranomafana, par example,
plusieurs villages mixtes des gens Tanala et Betsileo s'organisent plus ou moins selon la
structure des Tanala mais le Rayamendreny exerce plus d'influence. Dans un cas, par example, le
Rayamendreny, qui est essentiellement le phre du clan, agit en tant que Mpanjaka. De plus, dans
quelques societes Tanala, les Mpanjakas constatent 1'effondrement du respect de la hierarchie. Ils
n'ignorent ni l'influence des strangers ni le besoin de repondre a ce derangement, et ils
repondent des falcons diverse. Comme dit une anthropologue malgache, la culture itinerante
fait que les gens de cette region du sud-est sont tres habiles a s'adapter aux nouvelles
conditions.47 Dans un cas, le Mpanjaka d'un village pittoresque quelques kilomhtres de la route
du parc national mane son village a s'ouvrir au parc en 6tablissant un camping et accueillant le
tourism. II remarque que le personnel du parc et les strangers respectent 1'autorite des
Mpanjakas, mais le people ne les obeissent pas. Dit-il, "Auparavant, les Mpanjakas furent
respects et ils travaillaient avec les autorites locales 6tatiques. Maintenant, les gens oublient ce
respect et c'est les Mpanjakas qui ont plut6t peur du people."48 A Sahavoemba, 6loign6 une
dizaine de kilomhtres par un sentier de la route national, le Mpanjaka exprime 1'approche de
son clan a lui: "Nous pouvons travailler avec le parc s'ils nous disent ce qu'ils veulent.
Seulement nous voulons gerer nous-memes nos resources. Nous pouvons le faire. J'ai des
enfants, grands enfants qui sont alphabetises."49 Cet esprit vif autonome est toujours evident
dans la region de Ranomafana. Ce meme Mpanjaka declare son desir de prendre la parole,
"J'aime cet intervu. J'aimerais aussi parler a la television. Mais je ne le peux pas faire cela sans
respecter notre coutume ancestrale malgache parce que c'est une grande chose."
Ces chefs traditionnels ne sont pas reticents a saisir 1'avenir. Seulement, comme les deux
examples demontrent, il s'agit d'augmenter et d'individualiser 1'approche aufokonolona. Le
language dans les textes des lois 94-007 et 94-008 concernant les Collectivites Decentralisees ne

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corresponde pas avec la culture qui produit le dina, donc elles ne reussiront probablement pas a
integrer le droit coutumier dans le droit moderne. En ce qui concern la loi forestiere, on voit
que tant qu'il y a de grosses lacunes dans la mise en vigueur du texte lui-meme au niveau local
et national, tant que l'on se refererai plus a l'ANGAP pour la mise en ouvre de la conservation
dans la region de Ranomafana. Au fur et a measure que l'ANGAP joue son r6le de gestionnaire
en vraie collaboration avec lesfokonolona, la population locale peut lgitimiser les objectifs du
parc national dans leur code a eux. A cet 6gard, il faut susciter cette collaboration qui accentue
l'autonomie de la population locale sur les resources de leur terrain. Un texte recent qui
formalise les rapports de la communaute de base et 1'etat en ce qui concern la gestion des
resources naturelles reflete la quality progressive des textes modernes de l'environnement a


Un v6hicule juridique qui promouvoit 1'autonomie locale est la Loi num6ro 96-025 relative
a la Gestion locale des resources naturellement renouvelables. L'Etat malgache a promulgu6
cette loi dans le but de faire participer les populations rurales a la gestion directed et durable de
certaines resources naturelles. La loi met en ouvre la composante de la Gestion Locale
S6curis6e du PA II, soit GELOSE. Selon la loi 96-025, la communaut6 de base, dot6e de la
personnalit6 morale et fonctionnant comme une Organisation Non-Gouvernementale, peut
conclure un contract avec 1'6tat qui transfere la gestion d'une resource sp6cifi6e a la
communaut6 de base. Le contract de gestion comprend le cahier des charges qui organise les
conditions du transfer de gestion et les prescriptions et des regles d'exploitation que la
communaut6 doit respecter. L'agr6ment confere a la communaut6 de base b6n6ficiaire pendant
la p6riode indiqu6e 1'acte de gestion, l'acchs, la conservation, exploitation, et la valorisation des
resources objet du transfer. Les b6n6ficiaires du transfer de gestion auront droit a certain
avantages pour la commercialization et la valorisation des resources renouvelables et des
products d6riv6s. Ces avantages, institu6s par voie 16gislative, seront de caractere
essentiellement 6conomique.50

La governance

Parmi les textes juridiques environnementaux malgaches, la Loi no. 96-025 met en ouvre les
obligations prescrites par la Charte Internationale des Droits de l'Homme et la Charte africaine
des droits de l'homme et des peuples d'assurer la governance des autochtones. Madagascar
fait exception des pays en faisant une mention express int6grant tous les deux textes en droit
interne malgache.51 Le premier texte assure le droit de g6rer et de profiter de la biodiversity.52 Le
deuxieme oblige le gouvernement malgache de respecter la governance des autochtones de
leur territoire. 53 L'on d6finie la governance comme l'exercice des pouvoirs politiques,
6conomiques et administratifs dans la gestion, oh cet exercise s'effectue et s'6value a tous les
niveaux de la structure du systhme national, regional, et local.54 La governance des
autochtones a Madagascar fait allusion aux dinas qui reglent administration des especes
communautaires. Ainsi que la gestion communautaire des resources naturelles constituera un

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Une Vue De Pres Du Droit De L'environnement Malgache I 51

des types de dina r6glant 1'Hconomie de la communaut6 de base. 55 Oh la decentralisation assure
la governance administrative du territoire d'une communaut6 de base, la gestion
communautaire autorise et structure la governance 6conomique des resources naturelles
Les principles de la governance se manifestent dans la participation communautaire par
laquelle les int6rets de tous les villageois soen repr6sent6es. II parait un conflict entire la structure
de 1'ancien ordre social oih 'Mpanjaka tenait le dernier mot et la population votait selon sa
command. Les n6gociations pour la gestion des resources naturelles d6montrent la facon dans
laquelle on arrive a susciter les contributions d'autres membres de la communaut6. Dans un cas
oh les n6gociations sont plus avanc6es, le repr6sentant du parc sensibilisait les villageois sur le
dina du village sans que le Raiemendreny n'assiste. Etant phre du clan, il occupe la place du
Mpanjaka. Le responsible du parc a parl6 d'un dina cr66 lors de la mise en place du parc. Ce dina
fut r6dig6 lors d'une p6riode don't la manque de participation publique est bien documented et
suscite un soupcon que le programme n'a pas &t6 16gitimis6 par le village. Le document
interdisait la recherche du miel et du pandanus, une plante qui fournit les matieres premieres
pour le tissage des nattes, dans les bornes du parc. Plus tard, apres la sensibilisation de la
communaut6 par l'officiel du parc, l'observateur a compris que les discussions ont lieu lors des
pour-parlers avec le Rayamendreny. Celui-ci ne d6montre pas de volont6 de communiquer
franchement avec les officials du parc national, peut etre a cause des soupcons historiques. Dans
ce cas il semble n6cessaire de fournir une assistance technique oh le m6diateur prend plus
d'initiative en avancant les premiers pas des n6gociations pour que la communaut6 comprenne
le processus de n6gocier la gestion, sans parler d'un contract entire 1'6tat et la communaut6. Dans
un autre village, les facilitateurs conduisent le processus qui dure des annres avec une s6rie de
visits aux villages, et au fur et a measure qu'un rapport s'6tablit, on peut tenir d'autres reunions
avec les villages. Les facilitateurs malgaches suscitent les avis des villageois par moyen des
m6thodes courantes de la communication en milieu rural. Ce va et vient est le premier pas dans
la direction d'une n6gociation 6ventuelle d'un contract de gestion.

La gestion locale et le dina

En principle, r6aliser la gestion communautaire rendrait concrete des liens entire le droit
traditionnel et le droit positif. Ceci suit le principle par lequel la mise en ouvre des parcs
nationaux devait int6grer le dina, selon le concept de la participation communautaire, pierre
angulaire th6orique des Projets de Conservation et de D6veloppement Int6gr6. Comme le texte
r6glant les collectivit6s d6centralis6es, la Loi no. 96-025 relative a la gestion locale des resources
naturelles renouvelables incorpore le dina. D'une part, le texte reconnait le dina et son r6le dans
la communaute: "Les rapports entire les membres de la communaut6 de base sont r6gl6s par voie
de 'Dina'. Les 'dina' sont approuv6s par les membres de la communaut6 de base selon les regles
coutumieres r6gissant la communaut6. Au cas oh deux ou plusieurs communaut6s de base sont
associ6es dans la gestion des resources, le 'Dina' applicable aux membres de chaque group
conforment aux regles r6gissant chaque communaut6. Dans ces provisions, le texte utilise le
'Dina' en tant que loi de base. En effet, le dina 6tablit les normes par lesquelles les actions locales

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52 I Henkels

sont mesur6es et le recours devant la justice ne doit etre engage qu'apres 1'6puisement des
procedures pr6vues par le 'Dina'.
Cependant, selon ce meme texte, le dina occupe le second lieu derriere le droit 6tatique.
"Les 'Dina' ne peuvent comporter des measures pouvant porter atteinte a l'int6ret g6n6ral et a
l'ordre public. Les prescriptions qu'ils contiennent doivent etre conformes aux dispositions
constitutionnelles, l1gislatives et r6glementaires en vigueur, ainsi qu'aux usages reconnus et
non contests dans la Commune rurale de rattachement." D'ailleurs, le texte soumet le Dina a
l'autorit6 du Maire, soit le repr6sentant de 1'6tat au niveau communal: "Les 'Dina' ne deviennent
ex6cutoires qu'apres visa du Maire de la Commune rurale de rattachement"; < Les 'Dina'
r6gulierement approuv6s et vis6s par l'autorit6 comp6tente ont force de loi entire les membres
de la communaut6 de base. L'application du 'Dina' est toutefois suspendue jusqu'a intervention
d'une decision de justice, en cas de recours exerc6 contre la decision du Maire autorisant
l'application du 'Dina.' Comme r6dig6, ce texte soumet le dina au droit 6tatique et ne reflete
pas son champ d'application. De meme, la definition de la communaut6 de base telle qu'elle a
&t6 conque l1galement pourrait etre source de conflict entire la population d'un meme fokontany
ou des fokontany diff6rents.56 Donc meme ce texte, bien qu'il soit mieux adapt aux r6alit6s sur
le terrain que la loi 94-007, laisse des problemes d'application.

Les contraints et les solutions de la mise en ouvre de la gestion communautaire

En dehors des problems des textes, la mise en ouvre de la gestion communautaire est un
travail a long haleine. Le processus heurte contre tous les obstacles contemporains y compris la
manque de comprehension des textes dirigeants qui ne sont pas disponibles au niveau local
gouvernemental, les contraintes urgentes des resources limit6es, le calendrier agricole et les
maladies qui font reporter a plus tard les reunions, des officers corrompus qui s'en foutent des
cas de leurs constituents. Pour r6pondre aux d6fis, les responsables du parc, les NGOs
malgaches et strangers forment une strat6gie de travail qui a pour but de faciliter le processus
de la negotiation et les m6thodes de conservation durable. La loi identified la mediation
environnementale comme moyen de faciliter les n6gociations entire les diff6rents partenaires, et
peut-&tre obligatoire ou facultatif. D'ailleurs, du point de vue global, un b6n6fice du processus
de la gestion locale est que 1'aptitude de gestion des malgaches impliqu6s augmente lors du
processus de la n6gociation. Ces experiences concretes mettent en valeur le savoir-faire en
matiere de n6gociations tres estim6 par la culture malgache. Ainsi que la gestion
communautaire et la mise en ouvre des textes ont la possibility d'int6grer tres efficacement les
atouts sociaux.
Dans le cas de Ranomafana, la gestion communautaire doit franchir toujours les soupcons
historiques. Une r6ussite se produit par des visits fr6quentes des vahiny aux villages aux
environs du parc, et les invitations des residents aux reunions de decision ou de conference.
Cette communication est un 616ment de base de la participation communautaire, sur lequel le
transfer de la gestion communautaire est fond6. A Ranomafana, c'est un ph6nomene assez
nouveau, de communiquer r6gulierement avec les villages dans les zones p6riph6riques. Lors
d'une premiere reunion en 1998 avec les leaders des villages Tanala, le group a pass deux
jours en discutant et comparant leurs experiences tout en 6tant sensibilis6 sur la conservation et

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Une Vue De Pres Du Droit De L'environnement Malgache I 53

le fonctionnement du parc. La gestion communautaire oblige une n6gociation entire un village et
les autorit6s de 1'6tat et du parc national. Ainsi que les visits parmi les parties devraient se
multiplier. Comme nous voyons dans les deux cas d6crits ci-dessus, un nouveau group de
personnel du parc national et des collaborateurs des organizations non-gouvernementales fait la
navette beaucoup plus ces jours-ci afin d'achever des negotiations concernant la gestion des
resources naturelles.
De ces actions naissent lefihavanana. Lefihavanana est un de ces mots qui n'a pas besoin
d'explication sur File de Madagascar. Lorsqu'on le dit les autres comprennent. Lefihavanana est
la source traditionnelle primaire de la confiance, caract6ristique n6cessaire a l'6change r6ussite.
Lefihavanana existe entire les individus lids par le sang. Pour les gens qui n'ont aucun lien de
parents, la confiance nait dufihavanana renferme une idWe de proximity, de solidarity et de
cohesion qui cr6e une parents fictive entire deux ou plusieurs personnel. La fiabilit6 des contracts
a Madagascar depend de cette confiance.57 Assez jeune dans sa conception, la gestion
communautaire d6pendra dufihavanana qui d6veloppe parmi les parties. Esp6rons que ce beau
concept ne deviendra abus6 avec le temps.
Par voie de 1'outil juridique du contract 1'on tente a tisser une base juridique pour mettre en
oeuvre la gestion communautaire des resources naturelles renouvellables. Tant que 1'on peut
rediger les contracts selon la volont6 et les capacit6s des parties, ce v6hicule offre un moyen
pratique d'achever les buts de la conservation et la participation communautaire dans de
diverse communaut6s de base.


Beaucoup de systhmes juridiques ont pris en charge les risques d'un d6s6quilibre social et
une depression 6conomique entrain6e par la degradation de l'environnement. La litt6rature
relative a l'Environnement et 1'6cologie parle de < module am6ricain , de < module japonais ,
de < module francais et tant d'autres. Aucun d'entre eux ne semble cependant transposable a
Madagascar qui ne pr6sente pas les memes caracteres territoriaux, climatologiques, culturels, et
surtout humanss.8
En ce qui concern le droit de l'environnement moderne, comme plusieurs autres pays, le
programme environnemental a Madagascar est progressif et il vise la biodiversity plus que les
actions sanitaires. Ce programme est dui autant a son histoire conservationiste qu'aux influences
des bailleurs de fonds. A cause de sa biodiversity unique, Madagascar est devenu une priority
international, ce qui a provoqu6 une forte croissance d'activit6 dans la preservation, et plus
tard, dans la gestion durable. Pouss6e par les citoyens malgaches autant que les bailleurs de
fonds, la politique environnementale de File est au premier rang des pays sur le plan de
biodiversity. Madagascar fut le premier pays associ6 au continent africain d'adopter une
Strat6gie Nationale de la Conservation et de d6veloppement. Un systhme priv6 fonctionnant des
parcs nationaux t6moigne une capacity de la bonne gestion des aires prot6g6es, au moins au
niveau local ou regional. Depuis presque une d6cennie, le gouvernement malgache incorpore
dans son droit positif les droits de l'homme et des peuples. Ceci fourni les textes de bases pour
sa mise en ouvre des innovations juridiques dans la gestion locale des resources naturelles.

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54 I Henkels

Le droit de l'environnement malgache est aussi 6tonnant dans ses qualit6s. En d6pit de son
programme progressif et une jeune constitution prometteuse, le courant changeant du
gouvernement et de la devolution rendent difficile la mise en ouvre, sans parler de la mise en
ouvre uniform des lois et d6crets progressifs. Ajout6 a ces difficulties sont des emp&chements
institutionnels, la corruption dans les services, et la pression du temps et des fonds. De plus, la
mise en vigueur du programme environnemental n'a pas encore pass par 1'6preuve des
tribunaux. Bien que la grande ile b6n6ficiait des atouts qui favorisait une protection
environnementale depuis plus de vingt ans elle est toujours au stade de d6veloppement.
Les scenes dans le tribunal et le tranobe d6montrent la quality contrastant du droit de
l'environnement malgache aujourd'hui. A vol d'oiseau, 1'on voit que le gouvernement essaye de
concilier les textes modernes avec le droit coutumier. L'int6gration du droit traditionnel dans la
gestion des resources naturelles repr6sente ce qu'il y a de plus nouveau au niveau international
dans cette mise en ouvre. Dans la region de Ranomafana, la gestion locale offre une occasion de
chercher une connexion durable entire le droit positif et le droit coutumier. Ce lien ne sera pas
cr66 seulement par la legislation car elle ignore des aspects fondamentaux du dina, le droit
coutumier de base. N6gocier les contracts pr6sente un moyen d'int6grer le dina dans la gestion
locale. Ceci repr6sente une integration de ce qu'il y a de plus nouveau dans le droit de
l'environnement au droit coutumier, soit ce qu'il y a de plus ancien. II faut attendre pour
connaitre le r6sultat de ce marriage.
De toute facon, la gestion locale des resources naturelles renouvelables repr6sente ce qu'il
y a de plus progressive en ce qui concern le droit de l'environnement. Plusieurs pays en voie
de d6veloppement essayent d'augmenter la governance des populations locales, y compris les
communaut6s situ6es a cot6 des aires prot6g6es, sur les resources naturelles dans leurs
territoires. Solliciter 1'aide de la population vivant autour d'un parc national telle que le Parc
National de Ranomafana, de g6rer les resources naturelles qu'elle exploit r6gulierement
semble inviter les loups a garder les moutons. Comme dit un observateur am6ricain, ce plan est
aussi inou'f que l'id6e de demander aux propri6taires des ranchs autour du parc national de
Yellowstone aux Etats-Unis de g6rer eux-memes les vastes 6tendues du parc. Pourtant, comme
ces derniers apprennent a vivre avec les loups r6introduis 1a-bas, les voisins des Aires Prot6g6es
malgaches, les autorit6s du parc et de 1'6tat, a l'aide des ONG, prennent de petits pas vers la
gestion durable n6cessaire. De plus, ce sont les malgaches eux-memes qui manipulent les
diff6rents outils a ce stage, y compris la mediation, association priv6e, 1'utilisation des contracts
avec les communaut6s de base, et 1'int6gration du droit coutumier, et tout cela sous la pression
de 1'urgence 6cologique.
Comme tout pays est unique dans 1'ensemble de sa culture, son environnement, son
histoire, son 6conomie, et la combinaison de ces 616ments, Madagascar ne fait pas exception.
Cependant son champ de la protection juridique de l'environnement m6rite un regard de pres.
La vue d'ensemble de son droit de l'environnement fournit le modulee malgache , soit celui
d'un pays au premier rang des pays en voie de d6veloppement autant pour sa politique et la
mise en ouvre des nouvelles m6thodes de gestion de l'environnement que pour les
emp&chements a leur r6alisation.

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Une Vue De Pres Du Droit De L'environnement Malgache I 55


1. Country Commercial Guide Madagascar, Fiscal year 1998, US Department of State, pp.1-
22, 3.
2. Hubert Deschamps, Histoire de Madagascar, Mondes d'Outre Mer 3me ed. 1965 Pp. 346;
J.Valette, Etudes sur le regne de Radama Ire, Imprimerie national, 1964; R. Deval,
Radama II, Ecole de Paris, 1972, dans Francois Julien-Laferriere, Les Institutions de la
IIIe R6publique Malgache, Revue du Droit Public et de la Science Politique en France et
a 1'Etranger (R.D.P. 3-1994 mai-juin) pp. 635-673.
3. Ravololomanga, Bodo, Etre Femme et Mere a Madagascar (Tanala d'Ifanadiana),
L'Harmattan 1992, p. 23.
4. Ratovoson ou Deschamps, Hubert, Histoire de Madagascar, Mondes d'Outre Mer me
ed. 1965 Pp. 346.
5. Id.
6. Daniel W. Gade, << Deforestation and Its Effects in Highland Madagascar, Mountain
Research and Development, Vol. 16, No. 2, 1996, pp.101-116, 106.
7. C. Ratovoson, Les Problemes du Tavy sur la Cote Est Malgache, Mad. Rev. de Geo. No.
35, Juil-Dec. 1979, pp. 141-165.
8. ID.
9. Code 105, traduction par 1'auteur.
10. Paul Hanson, The Politics of Need Interpretation in Madagascar's Ranomafana National
Park, dissert., U. Penn., 1997, pp. 370, 69.
11. Kull 55
12. Cette strat6gie national fut demandee par la Strat6gie Mondiale de la Conservation
produit de 1'Union Internationale de la Conservation, (Gland, Suisse: IUCN 198.
13. Madagascar, qui n'est un Etat africain ni g6ographiquement--elle est s6par6e du
continent par le canal de Mozambique large de quatre cents kilometres--, ni <<
6thniquement--ses habitants sont majoritairement d'origine asiatique--est toutefois
membre de diverse organizations r6gionales africaines, don't I'O.U.A. Julien-Laferriere,
14. Loi No. 90-133 du 21 d6cembre 1990 (dor6navant CEM).
15. Loi No. 97-012 du 6 juin 1997, modifiant et compl6tant certaines dispositions de la loi no.
90-033 du 21 d6cembre 1990 portant Charte de l'environnement malgache.
16. Communication avec ONE.
17. Le principle de la precaution demand a ce qu'un pays prenne des m6sures pour
prot6ger l'environnement bien que la certitude scientifique n'existe pas concernant les
dommanges potentiels a l'environnement pour un project donn6.
18. Voir la Constitution de 1994.
19. G.A.Res 217A, U.N. GAOR, 3rd Sess., at 139, U.N. Doc. A/810 1948, dans le J.O du 16
juillet 1949, pp. 1049-1052.
20. Rakotoson, Lalaina, La Rencontre du D6cret de Cr6ation du Parc National de
Ranomafana avec les Coutumes et Traditions Locales, M6moire de Maitrise, Universit6
de Fianarantsoa Facult6 de Droit, 1994.

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56 I Henkels

21. Philippe Beaujard, Princes et Paysans Les Tana de l'Ikongo, (L'Harmattan 1983 pp. 670,
22. Beaujard.
23. foko=lignee ayant en commun un tombeau et son ancetre fondateur. Bodo 211
24. Bodo 25
25. Jean Mananga Rakotonirana, Le Dina et La Protection de la Foret a Madagascar,
University de Fianarantsoa, 1997.
26. Rakotoson, Lalaina.
27. Mpanjaka d'Ambatovory.
28. Rakotoson.
29. Rakotoson, p 20.
30. Id.
31. James G. Apple, and Robert P. Deyling, A Primer on the Civil-Law System, Federal
Judicial Center, 1995.
32. A cet effet, on se report a l'Acte des Especes Menac6es aux Etats-Unis.
33. Propos de 1'ONE.
34. Apple.
35. Hanson, supra.
36. Propos du Mpanjaka de Sahavoemba.
37. Loi No. 94-007 relative aux pouvoirs, comp6tences et resources des Collectivit6es
territoriales d6centralis6es. Cette loi esst associe a la Loi No. 94-008 du 28 mars 1994
fixant les regles relatives a 1'organisation, au fonctionnement et aux attributions des
collectivit6s territoriales d6centralis6es.
38. Collectivites Decentralisees
39. Conservation International, p. 45 ; Raul Branes, < Institutional and Legal Aspects of the
Environnement in Latin America, Including the Participation of Nongovernmental
Organizations in Environmental Management Inter-American Development Bank 1991,
40. Loi No. 97-017 du 8 aout 1997 portant revision a la legislation forestiere.
41. Loi No. 97-017 du 8 aout 1997 portant revision a la legislation forestiere.
42. En fait c'est ceci qui fait qu'il existait plusieurs textes forestiers qui se contradisaient. Par
example, le d6cret qui a cr66 le Parc National de Ranomafana d6fende l'exploitation des
resources naturelles de la region du parc, mais les droits d'usage assuraient depuis 1987
les droits d'usage y compris les permis de coupe et des exploitations forestieres. Decret
87-110 du 31 mars 1987.
43. Parc National de Ranomafana, 1998.
44. Propos d'un repr6sentant de l'ANGAP, 1998.
45. Jacqueline Rakotoarisoa, Legislation en matiere d'aires prot6g6es, ANGAP, Atelier vers
la mise en place du droit effectif de l'environnement a Madagascar, 18-20 mai 1999.
46. Rakotoson
47. Rasoamampionona, Clarisse, Musee Faniahy-Universite de Fianaratsoa, 1998.
48. Propos du Mpanjaka du village d'Ambatovory.
49. Propos du Mpanjaka du village de Sahavoemba.

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Une Vue De Pres Du Droit De L'environnement Malgache I 57

50. La Loi No. 96-025 a comme deuxieme objectif la s6curisation foncieres des terres
agricoles. Cet objectif se r6alisera par la confirmation de droits d'occupation coutumiers
d'espace agricole, et la s6curisation fonciere des possessions de sols individuelles,
familiales, lignageres ou collectives sur les spaces agricoles du terroir villageois.
51. Julien-Laferrierre, Frangois, Les Institutions de la IIIe R6publique Malgache, Revue du
Droit Public et de la Science Politique en France et a 1'Etranger (R.D.P. 3-1994 Mai-Juin)
pp. 635-673, 644.
52. Declaration Universale des Droits de l'Homme, G.A. Res. 217 A(III), Dec. 10, 1948,
Article 17, concernant le droit a la propri6t6.
53. La Charte Africaine des droits de l'homme et des peuples, le 27 juin 1981, Organisation
de l'Unit6 africaine, art. 20, 21 I.L.M. 591981(mise en vigueur le 21 octobre 1986.
54. Rakotoarison, J. et al, Vers la Gestion et la Gouvernance communautaire des Ressources
Forestieres dans la Contexte de la Politique de Decentralisation a Madagascar: Cas des
Parcs Nationaux de Ranomafana et Masoala, Dimensions Sociales, Economiques, et
55. Rakotoarison, J. et al, Dimensions Legales de 1'Utilisation des Ressources Naturelles et
de la Gouvernance locale a l'int6rieur et P6riph6rique du Parc National de Ranomafana.
56. Rakotoninindrina, Narson, Dina et Communaute de Base, Atelier vers la mise en place
du droit effectif de l'environnement a Madagascar, 1999.
57. Razafiminiarantsoa, R., La Confiance et les Contrats Chez les Paysans: de la Tradition au
Droit Positif, Fac/Droit, Universite de Fianarantsoa, 1992, pp. 194.
58. Jean Rakotoarison, Le Role du Droit de l'Environnement dans le Processus de
D6veoppement Durable, Atelier vers la mise en place du droit effectif de
l'environnement a Madagascar, le 18-20 mai 1999.

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African Studies Quarterly I Volume 3, Issue 2 I Fall 1999

La Dynamique Seculaire Des Plantations Paysannes

D'eucalyptus Sur Les Hautes Terres Malgaches


Resume: Cette combinaison de trois articles courts traite de l'aboisement, le bail, et la legislation
sur l'environnement a Madagascar. Le premier article soutien que bien que l'eucalyptus n'est pas
originaire de Madagascar, il a 6t6 historiquement un produit de grande valeur, source de revenue
par la voie du march de bois urbain d'6nergie, et une strat6gie clef pour affirmer le droit a la
propri6t6. La combinaison des motivations du bail et du commerce explique la persistence de cette
dynamique des plantations paysannes pendant un sibcle. Le deuxieme article qui traite de
l'insecurit6 du bail affirme qu'en fin de compete l'6tat n'a pas bien fait au sujet de l'immatriculation
formelle du bail. Le systbme du bail traditionnel bas6 sur la communaut6 domine toujours,
neanmoins leur legitimit6 est mis a l'6preuve par la complexity 6norme des rbgles 16gales. En fin de
compete, l'insuccbs de maintenir la s6curit6 du bail est l'une des pibrres d'achoppement du
d6veloppement. Cette 6chec fait parties de la meme insuccbs de l'6tat d'engager 6ffictivement la
population rurale dans un proc6ssus de conservation participatif. L'article dernier explique dans
les grandes lignes detaill6es la legislation et le programme GELOSE qui a le but de d6l6guer
l'amenagement des resources renouvelables aux comunit6s locales. Ce programme est finance par
la Banque mondiale, I'Aide Frangais, et l'Agence Am6ricaine pour le D6veloppement International.
Passant au-dela d'une approche participative a la preservation, GELOSE concentre sur une
approche contractuelle par laquelle les communaut6s locales gagnent les droits et les
responsabilit6s de l'amenagement de resource locale par le moyen des contracts l6gales et formelles
avec le gouvernement national et d'autres financiers.


L'Eucalyptus, et en particulier l'Eucalyptus robusta est arrive a Madagascar au d6but du
si&cle dans les bagages du colonisateur francais. On observe depuis une dynamique de
plantation paysannes spontan6es qui s'est d6velopp6e depuis un si&cle sur les Hautes Terres et
en particulier sur la zone orientale des Hautes Terres autour d'Antananarivo. Une telle
dynamique de plantations paysannes spontan6es se d6veloppant sur tout un si&cle constitute un
ph6nomene remarquable qui ne se rencontre pas ailleurs en Afrique a une 6chelle comparable.
Un certain nombre de facteurs expliquent le d6veloppement et la poursuite de cette dynamique
de sylviculture paysanne qui fait des paysans malgaches, pourtant montr6s du doigt comme
responsables de la deforestation de la Grande Ile, de v6ritables < paysans de 1'arbre >>
(Rabetaliana, 1988).

Alain Bertrand, CIRAD-Foret, Programme "Forets naturelles", Campus de Baillarguet, Montpellier.
http: //www.africa.ufl.edu/asq/v3/v3i2a4.pdf

University of Florida Board of Trustees, a public corporation of the State of Florida; permission is hereby granted for individuals
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ISSN: 2152-2448

60 I Bertrand


D&s la conquete en 1898, le Gouverneur General Gallieni decide le lancement des travaux de
creation simultanee de la route et du chemin de fer entire Tamatave et Tananarive, aujourd'hui
Toamasina et Antananarivo (Louvel, 1952).

L'arrivee De L'eucalyptus Avec Les Colons Frangais, La Route Et Le Chemin De Fer

Des le debut des travaux 1'Eucalyptus et en particulier l'Eucalyptus robusta est introduit
tout le long des travaux a la fois comme arbre d'alignement plant au bord des routes et comme
arbre a planter pour pouvoir approvisionner le future chemin de fer en combustible. Au debut
de la colonisation francaise le project colonial francais etait de faire de Madagascar une colonie
de peuplement. L'installation de colons francais etait donc encouragee et en particulier le long
de l'axe Tamatave-Tananarive (Bertrand and Le Roy, 1991).
Les paysans malgaches, tout sp6cialement sur les Hautes Terres ont &t6 tres rapides a
s'approprier l'Eucalyptus. Des 1904 on observe les premieres ventes de plants entire paysans
dans les environs de Manjakandriana. Les plants d'Eucalyptus sont rapidement diffuses de part
et d'autre de l'axe routier en construction par les 6coliers qui les chapardent dans les pepinieres
scolaires et les ramenent dans les villages meme 6loign6s de la route.

L'eucalyptus Un Outil De La Defense Fonciere Contre L'installation Des Colons

L'installation programme des colons francais est bien entendu percue comme une menace
par les paysans malgaches. Ceux-ci sont tres rapides en maints endroits (en particulier autour
de Manjakandriana) a d6velopper une strat6gie defensive pour bloquer installation de colons
francais. Ils utilisent a cet effet une loi promulgu6e dans les ann6es du protectorat, avant la
conquete, organisant 1'immatriculation collective < indigene > des terres en nom collectif. La
majeure parties des terres est ainsi revendiqu6e et immatricul6e collectivement par des groups
de chefs de families ou de chefs de lignages en cercles sur les terroirs autour des villages
(Bertrand and Le Roy, 1991).
L'eucalyptus est aussit6t utilis6 comme arbre marqueur des limits des nouvelles terres
immatricul6es. II devient donc un outil essential de la defense fonciere contre installation des


La Combinaison Des Motivations Foncieres Et Financieres Explique La Persistance De Cette Dynamique
De Plantations Paysannes Sur Un Sikcle

Mais dans le meme temps nombre de paysans malgaches ont compris tout le parti
commercial qu'ils pouvaient tirer de la vente de bois au chemin de fer pour faire circuler les
locomotives. L'Eucalyptus ne reste pas seulement sur les limits des nouvelles terres

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Malgaches I 61

immatricul6es. II est progressivement plant sur les tanety collinse) deja d6forest6es de longue
date et qui sont des piturages pauvres couverts de landes a bozaka (gramin6es et 6ricac6es).1
Les plantations d'Eucalyptus les plus proches de la capital contribuent rapidement a
l'approvisionnement 6nerg6tique en bois de feu puis en carbon de bois des manages urbains
les plus favoris6s (Bertrand, 1989). En effet au d6but du siecle en raison de la raret6 des
resources ligneuses sur les Hautes Terres le combustible domestique habituel le plus courant a
Tananarive 6tait le bozaka de l'herbe s6ch6e.
La politique fonciere de Galli6ni de < domanialisation des terres < vacantes et sans maitre
et de d6veloppement par 1'extension de la propri6t6 priv6e contribua encore a l'extension de
l'Eucalyptus. Pour r6cup6rer des terres revenues domaniales et accapar6es par l'Etat il fallait les
mettre en valeur. La plantation d'Eucalyptus apparaissait a la fois comme un moyen
particulierement 6conomique de r6aliser cette mise en valeur, donc d'acc6der au foncier et
comme un investissement susceptible de rapporter de facon sure des revenues a intervalles
r6guliers de quelques ann6es.
Lorsqu'en 1945 le chemin de fer a abandonn6 le bois comme combustible pour les
locomotives, le d6veloppement de la demand urbaine de Tananarive 6tait d6ja sensible et la
demand finale persistent, la dynamique des plantations paysannes ne s'est pas arr6t6e.
C'est ainsi que l'Eucalyptus a progressivement conquis des spaces consid6rables sur les
Hautes Terres orientales proches de'Antananarivo. C'est aujourd'hui un veritable massif
forestier continue qui s'6tend sur une superficie de plus de 100 000 ha du sud d'Anjozobe
jusqu'au lac Tsiazompaniry. Sur certain terroirs l'Eucalyptus occupe aujourd'hui plus de 70 %
de la superficie total. Les cartes du terroir de Sambaina illustrent cette progression
spectaculaire de l'Eucalyptus sur plusieurs d6cennies.

L'eucalyptus, Source Indispensable De Revenus Ruraux Et Culture De Rente

Si i'Eucalyptus a pris une telle importance spatiale c'est bien parce qu'il constitute pour la
majeure parties des manages ruraux la meilleure source de revenues compl6mentaires
indispensables a la survive des manages et a 1'achat de riz. En effet dans cette zone l'exiguit6 des
bas fonds, la < forte density de population , de 1'ordre de 100 habitants/km et la rusticit6 des
pratiques agraires de la riziculture (labour manuel a l'angady, b&che lance) rendent impossible
l'autosuffisance alimentaire.2
Les paysans sont contraints a la pluriactivit6. Les activities les plus lucratives 6tant d'abord
la production de lait pour la vente en ville, le maraichage dans certaines zones proches
d'Antananarivo (Iten, 1994). Les m6tiers de la sylviculture et de l'exploitation de 1'eucalyptus
sont multiples : propri6taire forestier, exploitant forestier, tacheron bficheron ou charbonnier,
scieur de long, etc. Ils sont aussi parmi les plus facilement accessible a la majority des paysans
(Bertrand, 1989).
Par ailleurs les femmes et les enfants exercent aussi de multiples autres activities sur les
plantations forestieres paysannes d'Eucalyptus. Les besoins de revenues mon6taires sont tels que
tout ce qui peut se vendre se collect et se vend en bord de route : champignons, 6crevisses,
miel, products de cueillette a usage pharmaceutique ou aromatique (pour 1'exportation), fibres,

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62 I Bertrand

etc. et meme la litiere de feuilles decomposdes d'Eucalyptus se recolte et se vend comme engrais
de complement (Rakotovao, 1995).
L'Eucalyptus a progressivement 6limind les autres cultures pdrennes de rente : le cafe
(arabica) pourtant relanc6 par des actions de developpement il y a une dizaine d'annees reste
une culture d'autoconsommation. En effet 1'eucalyptus ne necessite que peu de travaux pour
l'installation d'une plantation qui va ensuite produire sans entretien pendant pres d'un siecle en
6tant exploit tous les 3 ou 4 ans. Dans certaines zones les paysans maitrisent tres bien la
regendration naturelle de l'Eucalyptus : pour installer une plantation il suffit de planter deux
lignes de plants sous la crete. Quand les arbres fructifient (parfois des 6 ou 7 ans sur sols
pauvres sous les crates), il suffit de braler systematiquement tous les ans. Les semis
d'Eucalyptus s'installent et rdsistent mieux au feu que le Philippia et lesfougeres des etendues de
bozaka. La vente des products est assure sans difficult a tout moment a un prix connu
d'avance. A l'inverse pour le cafe une plantation demand des travaux lourds, des entretiens
astreignants, et la production ne peut ktre vendue qu'occasionnellement au collecteur a un prix
jug6 souvent (a just titre) tres decevant par les paysans (Bertrand, 1992).

Croissance Urbaine, Extension De La Zone D'approvisionnement D'antananarivo Et Progression De

Depuis l'independance le developpement urbain d'Antananarivo a soutenu la demand de
combustibles ligneux, products de premiere necessity et d'usage quotidien, bois de chauffe mais
surtout carbon de bois. Le bassin d'approvisionnement en bois-dnergie d'Antananarivo s'dtend
au vers l'Est au delay de Moramanga jusqu'a Andasibe, presque jusqu'au Lac Alaotra, vers le
Nord jusqu'a Anjozorobe, vers le Sud jusqu'au massif du Vakinankaratra au delay
d'Ambohibary. Les plantations paysannes d'Eucalyptus du seul massif de Manjakandriana
fournissent plus de la moitid du bois-dnergie carbonn de bois et bois de chauffe) consommd a
Antananarivo representant pour pres de 1, 5 millions d'habitants une recolte forestiere de
l'ordre d'un million et demi de m3 de bois.
On peut affirmer que sur les Hautes Terres Orientales, l'Eucalyptus est la culture qui a
connu sur un siecle le developpement le plus spectaculaire. D&s qu'une piste s'ouvre les paysans
commencent a investor les tanety ddboisdes de longue date pour installer des plantations
d'Eucalyptus (Bertrand, 1992).
II existe a Madagascar, plusieurs zones oi les plantations d'Eucalyptus ont &td
suffisamment nombreuses, groupies et/ou importantes pour que 1'on puisse veritablement
parler de la constitution de massifs forestiers parfois plus ou moins morcelds:

La depression de l'Ankay et la cuvette de l'Alaotra entire la RN2 au sud et le lac Alaotra
Le massif de Manjakandriana entire Anjozorobe et les lacs de Mantasoa et
Le massif de Moramanga-Andasibe le long de la RN2 et de la voie ferree Toamasina-
La region de Fianarantsoa-Ambositra beaucoup plus au Sud des Hautes Terres (et hors
de la zone d'approvisionnement d'Antananarivo). (Schmitt and Rasamindisa, 1998)

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La Dynamique S6culaire Des Plantations Paysannes D'eucalyptus Sur Les Hautes Terres
Malgaches I 63

Sur la p6riph6rie de la plupart de ces massifs la progression de l'Eucalyptus se pursuit.
C'est le cas dans la region de l'Alaotra (oi 1'on a pu parler d'une guerre de 1'eucalyptus), vers
Anjozorob6, au Sud de Manjakandriana, vers Andasibe, etc.


Micro Propriete Forestiere Et Filieres D'approvisionnement Urbain En Eucalyptus

Les productions des plantations forestieres paysannes d'Eucalyptus sont nombreuses. Les
massifs surtout les plus vastes et les plus continues sont en fait constitu6s de la juxtaposition de
tres nombreuses petites parcelles g6r6es individuellement par un propri6taire forestier
foncierement individualiste (Bigot & al., 1992). Les peuplements d'Eucalyptus produisent par
ordre d'importance d6croissante (en volume bois brut exploit) du carbon, du bois de chauffe,
du bois d'oeuvre, du bois de service. Economiquement le bois d'oeuvre d'eucalyptus doit ktre
aujourd'hui plus important que le bois de chauffe.
Chaque propri6taire choisit de g6rer sa ou ses parcelles comme il l'entend, en g6n6ral pour
en tirer le revenue a la fois le plus important et le plus r6gulier et frequent possible. Les parcelles
les plus petites ont quelques dizaines d'ares apres que les plantations individuelles aient &t6
divis6es sur plusieurs g6n6rations. Les plantations r6centes sont en g6n6ral plus importantes de
l'ordre de quelques hectares a quelques dizaines d'hectares. II existe aussi en petit nombre des
plantations d'Eucalyptus de superficie plus vaste r6alis6es par des entreprises coloniales
(f6culeries, etc) ou le long des voies ferries pour approvisionner le chemin de fer.
Les petits propri6taires, les plus nombreux, et la majority des autres choisissent de g6rer
leurs plantation en taillis simple. Apres une premiere coupe op6r6e g6n6ralement entire 7 et 8
ans apres la plantation, les coupes se succhdent en fait tous les 4 ou 5 ans voire meme tous les 3
ans. Les propri6taires privil6gient ainsi la recherche de revenues les plus r6guliers et les plus
frequents possibles. Ces taillis sont exploits pour la fabrication de carbon de bois par des
tacherons dans de petites meules en fosses install6es a demeure dans les parcelles.
Certains propri6taires de parcelles plus importantes privil6gient la production de perches
de bois de service et/ou de bois de chauffe pour 1'alimentation des boulangeries et des fours a
briques traditionnels sur les Hautes Terres. Depuis une dizaine d'ann6es les propri6taires ont
adopt la pratique de 1'arrasage des souches observe sur une experimentation sylvicole du
FOFIFA-DRFP.3 L'exploitation des vieilles souches fournit un bois de chauffe particulierement
dense et appr6ci6 par les boulangers.
Comme dans la plupart des grandes villes du tiers monde, les filieres d'approvisionnement
en products ligneux d'Antananarivo sont des filieres informelles qui fonctionnent quasiment a
flux tendus avec une efficacit6 et une adaptability remarquable.

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64 I Bertrand

La Filiere Charbon Entre Pauvrete Urbaine Et Pauvrete Rurale

La filiere carbon de bois illustre parfaitement 1'efficacit6 des operateurs du secteur
informel pour assurer 1'approvisionnement des populations urbaines en carbon, combustible
domestique de base, produit de premiere necessity et d'usage quotidien. Les conditions
6conomiques qui s'imposent aux operateurs de la filiere carbon sont au fil des annees
revenues particulierement contraignantes. En raison de la misere urbaine et de la faiblesse du
pouvoir d'achat des consommateurs les prix du carbon sont en francs malgaches constants
stables ou meme orients a la baisse (Bertrand, 1992).
Pourtant les coats operatoires d'un certain nombre d'acteurs sont eux croissants depuis de
nombreuses annees : les coats de transport (essentiellement par camions) dependent
directement des prix des carburants et des pieces detachees; ils ont donc subi directement
l'impact de la depreciation du franc malgache par rapport aux devises. La repartition des
marges entire les differents niveaux de la filiere est donc remise en cause durablement. Les
marges des commercants se reduisent progressivement, comme les revenues des producteurs
La production de carbon n'est donc pas pour les ruraux un moyen de sortir de la misere
rurale, c'est seulement un moyen d'obtenir d'indispensables revenues de survive. Face a la baisse
tendancielle du prix du bois, la reponse des ruraux est donc de chercher a maintenir leur revenue
nominal et donc d'augmenter l'offre de bois. La contrainte 6conomique qui enserre la filiere
carbon entire la pauvrete urbaine et la pauvrete rurale contribute encore a entretenir la
dynamique seculaire des plantations forestieres paysannes.

Le Developpement Progressif De La Filiere Bois D'ceuvre Et Le Passage Du Taillis Simple Vers Le Taillis
Sous Futaie?

On assisted depuis quelques annees a un developpement sensible de la consommation
urbaine de bois d'oeuvre d'Eucalyptus. L'urbanisation et le developpement des chantiers de
construction et de travaux publics maintiennent la demand de sciages de bois de charpente
etou de coffrage a un niveau 6lev6. Pour cette game de products les malgaches ont decouvert
que leurs bois de plantations forestieres fournissaient des products adapts a la demand. Le
pin et 1'eucalyptus sont a la fois concurrents et complementaires sur ce march. La game
d'utilisation du bois d'Eucalyptus robusta est plus large que celle du pin meme si la fabrication
de meubles en pin se developpe rapidement (Gueneau, 1969).
Les gros Eucalyptus sont donc particulierement recherches par les scieurs de long. II
semble donc que depuis une dizaine d'annees de plus en plus de proprietaires forestiers laissent
lors de l'exploitation de leurs parcelles pour la production de carbon quelques arbres en
reserve, particulierement dans les fonds de vallon ou la croissance est la plus rapide. Va-t-on
vers le developpement progressif d'une sylviculture en taillis sous futaie?

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La Dynamique S6culaire Des Plantations Paysannes D'eucalyptus Sur Les Hautes Terres
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1. C'est a ce moment que 1'1evage se transform sur les Hautes Terres et passe d'un
6levage mobile extensif de troupeaux a un 6levage intensif de production de boeufs
d'embouche en fosse pour approvisionner en viande et en lait les consommateurs
urbains de Tananarive.
2. En 1991, autour de Manjakandriana, le deficit d'autoconsommation 6tait 6valu6 en
moyenne a 6 mois de consommation de riz.
3. Le traitement en taillis simple est bien souvent en fait un traitement en tktard avec une
souche qui monte progressivement a chaque cycle de coupe jusque vers plus d'1,50 m de


Bertrand, Alain & Le Roy, Etienne, 1991 ; < Appui M6thodologique Aux Volets Foncier Et
Economic Forestiere ATP FOFIFA-CIRAD L'6conomie Forestiere Sur Les Hautes Terres
Malgaches; Nogent/Marne.

Bertrand, Alain, 1989 ; < Analyse Economique De L'approvisionnement d'Antananarivo En
Produits Forestiers Et Propositions De RWforme De La R6glementation Et Des Redevances
Forestieres ; DEF; CTFT, Nogent/Marne.

Bertrand, Alain, 1992; < Les Filibres D'approvisionnement En Bois-Energie d'Antananarivo Et
De Mahajanga. Evolutions Et Perspectives, Propositions Pour La Planification Des Actions
UPED; CIRAD-Foret, Nogent/Marne.

Bigot, Yves, Rakotondrasata, Martin Fiddle, RAZAFINDRAIBE Rolland, 1992; < L'installation
D'un R6seau D'observations Par Placettes Dans Les Plantations Familiales d'Eucalyptus Robusta
De Sambaina Manjakandriana. ; FOFIFA-CIRAD, Antananarivo.

Gueneau, Paul; 1969 ; < Caract6ristiques Et Utilisations De l'Eucalyptus Robusta A Madagascar
> ; In Bois Et Forkts Des Tropiques, N 124, Nogent/Marne.

Iten, Karin, 1994; < Agro-Ecosysthme D'un Terroir Malgache ; Projet TERRE-Tany, Universit6
De Berne.

Louvel, M.M., 1952; < Les Reboisements ; Bulletin De l'Acad6mie Malgache, Antananarivo.

Rabetaliana, Hanta, 1988 ; < Le Paysan Malgache Est-Il Un Paysan De L'arbre ? ; USTL,

Rakotovao, Noel Ange, 1995 ; < Enquete Sur Les Activit6s Et Produits De Cueillette-
Extractivisme Dans La Zone De Manjakandriana Et Particulierement Dans Les Zones Bois6es En
Eucalyptus Robusta ; CIRAD-Foret & FOFIFA-DRD, Antananarivo.

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66 I Bertrand

Schmitt, Laurent and Rasamindisa, Alain, 1998 ; << Durabilit6 De La Production De Bois-Energie
Des Taillis d'Eucalyptus Robusta A Madagascar ; FOFIFA-DRFP, Antananarivo.

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Lever L'insecurite Fonciere: Une Des Premieres Clefs Du



Resume: Cette combinaison de trois articles courts traite de l'aboisement, le bail, et la
16gislation sur l'environnement a Madagascar. Le premier article soutien que bien que
l'eucalyptus n'est pas originaire de Madagascar, il a 6t6 historiquement un produit de
grande valeur, source de revenue par la voie du march de bois urbain d'6nergie, et une
strat6gie clef pour affirmer le droit a la propri6t6. La combinaison des motivations du bail
et du commerce explique la persistence de cette dynamique des plantations paysannes
pendant un siecle. Le deuxieme article qui traite de l'insecurit6 du bail affirme qu'en fin
de compete l'6tat n'a pas bien fait au sujet de l'immatriculation formelle du bail. Le
systeme du bail traditionnel bas6 sur la communaut6 domine toujours, neanmoins leur
legitimit6 est mis a l'6preuve par la complexity 6norme des rbgles 16gales. En fin de
compete, l'insucces de maintenir la s6curit6 du bail est l'une des pibrres d'achoppement du
d6veloppement. Cette 6chec fait parties de la meme insucces de l'etat d'engager
6ffictivement la population rurale dans un proc6ssus de conservation participatif.
L'article dernier explique dans les grandes lignes detaill6es la 16gislation et le programme
GELOSE qui a le but de d6l6guer l'amenagement des resources renouvelables aux
comunit6s locales. Ce programme est finance par la Banque mondiale, I'Aide Frangais, et
l'Agence Am6ricaine pour le D6veloppement International. Passant au-dela d'une
approche participative a la preservation, GELOSE concentre sur une approche
contractuelle par laquelle les communaut6s locales gagnent les droits et les
responsabilit6s de l'amenagement de resource locale par le moyen des contracts 16gales et
formelles avec le gouvernement national et d'autres financiers.

A Madagascar a peine 10% des terres ont &t6 immatricul6es en un sikcle. La tentative de
reconnaitre positivement les droits coutumiers lance sous la premiere RWpublique n'a pas
contribu6 a accroitre significativement 1'enregistrement ou le cadastrage des terres.
L'organisation et la gestion foncibre communautaire coutumibre reste dominant:

Dans nombre de zones c'est presque le seul mode de gestion des terres
les terres ancestrales, tanindrazana (en principle exclues du domaine de l'Etat si la
communaut6 rurale a pris soin de les faire constater par le service des domaines, mais
c'est exceptionnel) sont g6r6es par les tangalamena ou les chefs de ignage
Certains spaces communautaires ou lignagers sont g6r6s par des dina: ce sont
gen6ralement des piturages, des forts, des lacs ou des course d'eau (ou des sources),
voire des zones de p&che en mer

Alain Bertrand, CIRAD-Foret, Programme "Forets naturelles", Campus de Baillarguet, Montpellier.
http: //www.africa.ufl.edu/asq/v3/v3i2a5.pdf

University of Florida Board of Trustees, a public corporation of the State of Florida; permission is hereby granted for individuals
to download articles for their own personal use. Published by the Center for African Studies, University of Florida.
ISSN: 2152-2448

68 I Bertrand

Dans certaines zones (Manjakandriana, Marovoay, etc.) 1'immatriculation domine
largement, mais la regle communautaire persiste et interdit la vente de terres hors de la
communaut6: 1'immatriculation n'est pas ipso facto la propri6t6 priv6e des terres.

En un siecle, l'Etat n'a pas r6ussi a 61iminer les droits fonciers locaux. La pratique
administrative h6rit6e de la colonisation a enlev6 toute 16galit6 a la gestion coutumiere des
terres par les communaut6s rurales et a r6duit sensiblement la 16gitimit6 des structures sociales
coutumieres et leurs < spaces de pouvoir face a la monte des strategies individuelles et des
comportements a court terme. Malgr6 la domination effective des r6glementations et des
institutions officielles et 16gales, les logiques, les pratiques et les institutions locales ou meme
coutumieres continent de pr6dominer et jouissent d'une certain 1egitimit6 social. On se
trouve dans une situation paradoxale: la 16galit6 des institutions et des r6glementations
officielles et l1gales n'est pas l1gitim6e, tandis que la 1egitimit6 des logiques et des pratiques
locales n'est pas 16galis6e.
Madagascar pr6sente une grande vari6t6 de situations foncieres locales qui ont en regle
g6n6rale une caract6ristique commune: un haut niveau d'inskcurit6 fonciere et le
d6veloppement recent et rapide de conflicts fonciers parfois violent.

La tragddie de l'acces libre

Lorsque la politique de repression et d'exclusion n'a pas les moyens de fonctionner, la
domanialit6 combine au manque de moyens de l'Etat aboutit a 1'absence de administration
sur le terrain et cr6e une situation d'acchs libre aux terres et aux resources. L'acchs libre, c'est la
possibility de r6cup6rer ce qui a &t6 confisqu6 par le Fanjakana, mais 1'absence de l'Etat peut ne
pas durer, d'autre part ce que je ne prends pas aujourd'hui un autre le prendra a ma place
demain: c'est la course aux resources et a la terre, c'est le processus de degradation et de
deforestation acc6l1r6. Si le manque de moyens de l'Etat est durable, il faut remettre en cause ou
transformer la domanialit6 et attribuer le droit exclusif de la gestion et de l'exploitation des
resources aux populations locales, aux communaut6s rurales.

L'echec d'une politique seculaire d'immatriculation fonciere

En un siecle a peine 10% de la superficie de Madagascar a &t6 immatricul6, la politique
colonial, reprise par les R6publiques successives, base sur le principle du < d6veloppement par
l'instauration de la propri6t6 priv6e des terres et 1'immatriculation fonciere n'a pas vraiment
fonctionn6. Meme en zone urbaine la majority des terres (70%) ne sont pas cadastr6es. Peut-&tre
parce que la domanialit6 liWe a la politique d'exclusion a cr66 une inskcurit6 fonciere g6n6ralis6e
trop forte et une defiance par rapport au Fanjakana. Sans doute aussi et surtout parce que la
notion de propri6t6 (exclusive et absolue, ce qui en fait une merchandise) est 6trangere a la
soci6t6 malgache qui considere plut6t la terre comme un patrimoine sacr6, 16gu6 par les
ancktres. Seuls, a la suite des colons, les initi6s ont en regle g6n6rale profit des dispositions
l1gales pour faire main basse sur des terres. Dans certain cas cela a renforc6 la m6fiance des
communaut6s rurales a 1'6gard des dispositions de la r6glementation fonciere.

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Un cadre juridique et reglementaire complex, obscur et inaccessible pour les populations rurales et

La r6glementation fonciere reste ignore de la majority de la population, a la champagne
comme en ville. Le code foncier reste m6connu, trop complex et trop obscur pour la majority
des malgaches. Le code foncier ne profit qu'a une minority d'initi6s qui utilisent souvent le <
16gal pour d6pouiller le << lgitime . Dans une situation de pauvret6 g6n6ralis6e, les
populations rurales n'ont bien souvent (lorsqu'elles les connaissent) pas les moyens de r6aliser
les formalit6s et les d6marches foncieres en vue de l'immatriculation des terres: le b6n6fice et la
s6curit6 absolue de la r6glementation fonciere sont inaccessibles a la majority des malgaches.
Les d6lais (quinze ans en moyenne) pour r6aliser l'ensemble de la procedure d'immatriculation
d'une terre sont dissuasifs vis a vis de cette procedure.

La diversity des situations d'insecurite fonciere: une typologie a complete

L'immatriculation des terres ne signifie pas la propri6t6 des terres quand g6n6ralement, le
possesseur n'a pas le < droit > de vendre la terre a l'ext6rieur de la communaut6 rurale.
L'immatriculation cr6e elle aussi l'inskcuritW fonciere g6n6ralis6e lorsque (du fait des
populations et/ou de administration) les mutations ne sont pas assures sur plusieurs
g6n6rations: la g6n6ralisation de 1'indivision cr6e une ins6curit6 forte, des conflicts permanents et
une situation inextricable. (Cas de Manjakandriana.) Nombre de paysans malgaches sont
juridiquement des << occupants de fait sur des terres domaniales plus ou moins mises en
valeur, mais sans avoir eu recours aux procedures d'immatriculation. L'insecurit6 r6sulte du
risque, r6el, de 1'intrusion d'initi6s utilisant les procedures l1gales pour d6pouiller les occupants
coutumiers. C'est vraiment opposition entire le < 1gal externe > et le < lgitime interne >. Sur
les anciens domaines coloniaux don't certain initi6s ont pu r6cup6rer les titres fonciers < l1gaux
> les terres sont occupies, parfois depuis plusieurs g6n6rations, par d'anciens ouvriers agricoles
<< sans titres qui sont rests lorsque ces domaines ont &t6 abandonn6s (les procedures de
reintegration au domaine priv6 de l'Etat n'ayant jamais &t6 realisees). II en resulte aujourd'hui
des conflicts parfois violent et des situations d'imbroglio juridique. La r6glementation sur le
fermage et le m6tayage est inapplicable et inappliqu6e. Les << propri6taires ont peur d'une
mainmise des tenanciers et interdisent toute pratique cultural p6renne, ils organisent la
rotation r6guliere des tenanciers. Ceux-ci sont maintenus dans une ins6curit6 permanent. Des
paysans << vendent a des immigrants des terres qui sont en fait des paturages communautaires
<< kijana a l'insu des tangalamena charges de la gestion de ces kijana: il en r6sulte une
ins6curisation d'ensemble des pratiques pastorales et des terres coutumieres regies par des dina.
La diversity des situations locales malgaches se retrouve dans le domaine foncier. Si les
principles situations foncieres sont identifies, la diversity des situations foncieres locales et
des modes de gestion coutumieres des resources reste a appr6cier et la typologie de ces
situations reste a 6tablir.

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70 I Bertrand

L'importance des situations < d'entre deux >> la recherche spontanee d'une securisation fonciere relative

Les paysans qui veulent securiser une prise de possession fonciere sur le domaine priv6 de
l'Etat se contentent souvent de deposer une demand d'immatriculation fonciere au service
local des domaines. D&s reception du recepiss6 de dep6t de la demand ils considerent avoir
avec ce taratasa un titre apportant une security suffisante et ils arretent d'assurer les frais de la
suite de la procedure. C'est un example de mode de securisation relative spontanee. La < Revue
des fermages et des metayages a montr6 la variety et la variability adaptability6 a des
situations exceptionnelles: cyclones par example, etc.) des solutions contractuelles plus ou
moins intermediaires entire fermage et metayage. Ces solutions intermediaires ont pour objectif
essential de mieux securiser a la fois le < proprietaire et le < tenancier >.
D'autres situations < d'entre-deux > voient les acteurs jouer simultandment et dans chaque
cas de facon partielle ou limitee sur les deux registres du < l6gal et du < l s'assurer sur les deux registres une securisation relative a un coit accessible. Par example:

Un immigrant obtient 1'accord officieux des autorites coutumieres pour un defrichement
forestier illicite; il se fait volontairement verbaliser par le service forestier avant de <
revendre le terrain defrich6, donc agricole et mis en valeur a un autochtone qui pourra
le faire immatriculer.
En ville, une famille voulant occuper un terrain domanial legalement inaccessible en
l'absence d'operation de lotissement (non mises en oeuvre depuis 20 ans) depose une
demand a la commune (Fivondronana). Cette demand enregistree 6tait envoyee pour
instruction au service topographique qui ne pouvant titrer la demand hors d'une
procedure de lotissement 1'enregistre < au crayon sur la < minute . L'occupant < de fait
> a neanmoins un < taratasy >.

Une situation fonciere qui contrarie les processus d'industrialisation come d'intensification agricole et
la mise en valeur des terres et des resources

Les paysans occupants de fait des terres domaniales ou tenanciers (fermiers ou metayers)
de proprietaires fonciers absenteistes sont conscients de leur inskcurit6 fonciere: donc ils
n'investissent pas dans la fertility des sols et 1'intensification de leurs techniques agraires. Les <<
proprietaires , titulaires de titres fonciers, ont peur d'une depossession de fait de la part de
leurs fermiers ou de leurs metayers: interdiction de planter des arbres ou de pratiquer des
cultures perennes; rotation systematique des fermiers et metayers. Les investisseurs en
particulier les industries strangers, sont rebuts par la complexity et la lenteur des procedures.
La situation des jacheres forestieres n'est pas clarifiee par le code foncier actuel et par la
legislation forestiere: il n'y a pas de mise en valeur donc pas d'immatriculation possible, ce sont
des forts degradees a reintegrer dans le domaine forestier: cela incite les paysans a surexploiter
la fertility des terres et a 6puiser les sols. L'acchs libre de fait aux terres et aux resources se
combine avec une faible density de population: il en resulte de fortes disponibilites foncieres qui
rendent attractive la course a la terre. MWme dans les zones ou la capacity d'6pargne et
d'investissement des exploitations est moins contraignante, 1'abondance du facteur terre conduit

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Lever L'inskcuritW Fonciere: Une Des Premieres Clefs Du D6veloppement? I 71

Sl'extensification: augmenter les surfaces cultiv6es valorise mieux la productivity faible du
travail et garantit 1'avenir par occupation fonciere.
Pourtant, l'am6nagement de zones nouvelles contribute souvent de facon decisive a
l'intensification: ces zones am6nag6es fonctionnent comme des p6les d'attraction pour les
migrants et la density plus forte est g6n6ralement le principal facteur d'intensification.

En zone urbaine le blocage foncier est d'abord la consequence d'une absence durable de politique

Les actions foncieres prioritaires en milieu urbain sont apparemment les suivantes:

preparer des plans d'urbanisme en tenant autant que possible compete des occupations
de fait d6ja en place
6tablir un plan d'occupation des sols constatant toutes les occupations l1gales ou
ill6gales compatibles le plan d'urbanisme, une fois celui-ci adopt.

L'enjeu du foncier urbain est decisif pour la decentralisation dans les villes

De la maitrise durable des dynamiques du foncier urbain d6pendra le d6veloppement des
villes et la mise en place d'administrations communales qui pourront effectivement ou non
assurer la gestion des spaces urbains et conduire une extension humaine et spatiale des
agglomerations qui soit viable et urbanistiquement coh6rente. Par ailleurs le foncier sera en
zone urbaine au moins la clef du d6veloppement des communes par l'importance justifi6e du
r6le de la fiscalit6 fonciere dans les finances des communes urbaines. Comme en zone rurale
l'apurement de la situation fonciere constitute en zone urbaine un pr6alable a toute action de
d6veloppement urbain durable.

La monte des conflicts fonciers indique l'importance des enjeux et l'urgence de solutions

Les tribunaux signalent depuis peu une monte rapide du nombre des affaires concernant
des conflicts fonciers. Cette monte des conflicts fonciers apparait aussi clairement dans la press
et des que 1'on parcourt les regions. Cela indique l'importance des enjeux et l'urgence de mettre
en oeuvre des solutions seules a meme de permettre un r6el d6veloppement 6conomique. Les
actions en course ou pr6vues ne devraient-elles pas ktre acc616r6es et/ou 61argies? N'est-il pas
possible d'engager tres vite le processus d'apurement foncier?

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African Studies Quarterly I Volume 3, Issue 2 I Fall 1999

La Gestion Contractuelle, Pluraliste Et Subsidiaire Des

Ressources Renouvelables A Madagascar (1994-1998)


Resum6: Cette combinaison de trois articles courts traite de l'aboisement, le bail, et la
legislation sur l'environnement a Madagascar. Le premier article soutien que bien que
l'eucalyptus n'est pas originaire de Madagascar, il a 6t6 historiquement un produit de
grande valeur, source de revenue par la voie du march de bois urbain d'6nergie, et une
strat6gie clef pour affirmer le droit a la propri6t6. La combinaison des motivations du bail
et du commerce explique la persistence de cette dynamique des plantations paysannes
pendant un siecle. Le deuxieme article qui traite de l'insecurit6 du bail affirme qu'en fin
de compete l'6tat n'a pas bien fait au sujet de l'immatriculation formelle du bail. Le
systeme du bail traditionnel bas6 sur la communaut6 domine toujours, neanmoins leur
legitimit6 est mis a l'6preuve par la complexity 6norme des rbgles 16gales. En fin de
compete, l'insucces de maintenir la s6curit6 du bail est l'une des pibrres d'achoppement du
d6veloppement. Cette 6chec fait parties de la meme insucces de l'etat d'engager
6ffictivement la population rurale dans un proc6ssus de conservation participatif.
L'artide dernier explique dans les grandes lignes detaill6es la 16gislation et le programme
GELOSE qui a le but de d6l6guer l'amenagement des resources renouvelables aux
comunit6s locales. Ce programme est finance par la Banque mondiale, I'Aide Frangais, et
l'Agence Am6ricaine pour le D6veloppement International. Passant au-dela d'une
approche participative a la preservation, GELOSE concentre sur une approche
contractuelle par laquelle les communaut6s locales gagnent les droits et les
responsabilit6s de l'amenagement de resource locale par le moyen des contracts 16gales et
formelles avec le gouvernement national et d'autres financiers.


La loi 96-025 et la composante GELOSE du Programme d'Action Environnemental II

A Madagascar la politique de transfer contractuel de la gestion des resources
renouvelables aux communaut6s locales de base est n6e du triple constat de l'6chec sur un siecle
de la gestion ant6rieure marque par 1'interventionnisme de l'Etat, par le caractbre r6pressif et
centralisateur de la r6glementation sur 1'ensemble des sols, des spaces et des resources et de
l'incapacit6 de administration a exclure surveiller et punir partout en tout moment. Ce triple
6chec g6nere une situation d'acces libre et la degradation rapide des resources naturelles.
En septembre 1996 fut promulgu6e la loi 96-025 sur la gestion locale des resources
renouvelables, puis en 1997 fut institute dans le cadre de la deuxibme phase (1997-2001) du Plan

Alain Bertrand, CIRAD-Foret, Programme "Forets naturelles", Campus de Baillarguet, Montpellier.
http: //www.africa.ufl.edu/asq/v3/v3i2a6.pdf

University of Florida Board of Trustees, a public corporation of the State of Florida; permission is hereby granted for individuals
to download articles for their own personal use. Published by the Center for African Studies, University of Florida.
ISSN: 2152-2448

74 I Bertrand

d'Action Environnemental finance6 conjointement par divers bailleurs de fonds don't la Banque
Mondiale, la Coop6ration Francaise et 1'USAID) une composante << transversale , GELOSE,
Gestion Locale Skcuris&e. Cette composante du PE II est charge de la mise en place des tous les
outils institutionnels, r6glementaires, fiscaux et 6conomiques n6cessaire pour la mise en place
sur l'ensemble de Madagascar dans un d6lai raisonnable de 10 a 20 ans des contracts de transfer
de gestion des resources aux communaut6s rurales de base ditss << contracts GELOSE ).

Les deux elements constitutifs complementaires des contracts < GELOSE >>

Les contracts GELOSE doivent au terme d'une negociation entire administration et la (ou
les) communaut6(s) demanderesse assurer simultandment (1) le transfer de la gestion des
resources renouvelables concernees sur le terroir et assurer le benefice exclusif de cette gestion
pour la communaute signataire, (2) la securisation fonciere < relative (par opposition a une
securisation fonciere < absolue censee etre assuree par cadastrage) de l'ensemble des terres du
terroir concerns. Les contracts GELOSE sont signs a la fois par administration, par la
communaute rurale signataire et par la commune, collectivity territorial de base.

Une politique a l'echelle de tout Madagascar

La loi 96-025 a lance de facon officielle une nouvelle politique a l'echelle du pays visant a
assurer aussi rapidement que possible une gestion viable a long terme des resources
renouvelables par les communautes rurales de base (environ 13 000) en liaison avec les
communes (environ 1300). Un tel objectif ne sera realiste que si sont d'emblee mis au point des
outils institutionnels, reglementaires, fiscaux et economiques adapts a la diversity des
resources, des situations sociales ou naturelles et a la modicit6 durable des moyens publics
malgaches. Ces outils et les procedures pour les mettre en oeuvre devront donc etre a la fois
adapts, faciles d'emploi, simples, duplicables, flexibles et peu coiteux.


Gerer l'ensemble des resources

Dans les annees 1994 et 1995, apres trois ans de mise en oeuvre du Programme d'Action
Environnemental, il est apparu clairement que la creation de quelques dizaines d'aires
protegees, si elle permettait de sauvegarder sur de petites surfaces des resources menacees,
n'6tait pas une solution efficace et suffisante pour assurer a long terme une veritable sauvegarde
de la biodiversity malgache et qu'il convenait de gerer l'ensemble des resources a l'echelle du
territoire de la Grande Ile pour que la conservation puisse etre efficace.

Sortir de la logique de la gestion etatique et reconcilier le Legal et le Legitime

A Madagascar 1'6laboration et la mise en oeuvre des politiques environnementales en
general et la gestion des resources renouvelables ont toujours &t6 du resort exclusif de l'Etat.

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La Gestion Contractuelle, Pluraliste Et Subsidiaire Des Ressources Renouvelables A Madagascar
(1994-1998)1 75

Depuis la p6riode colonial, le dispositif institutionnel et r6glementaire mis en place excluait les
populations et les communaut6s locales de la gestion des spaces naturels et des resources
renouvelables, propri6t6s exclusives de l'Etat. Cependant, la domination de ce mode de gestion
6tatique des resources renouvelables n'a pas pour autant hypoth6qu6 1'existence d'un mode de
gestion locale, traditionnelle et communautaire. Ce dernier est rest predominant, meme de nos
jours. II en r6sulte une situation ambivalente qui fait qu'un systhme 16gal et dominant coexiste
avec un systhme predominant, souvent 16gitim6 localement. Une telle situation aboutit le plus
souvent a une impasse qui se traduit par une situation de libre acchs aux resources. C'est ce
libre acchs qui explique la course a la terre et aux resources et leur degradation rapide a

Une emergence rapid concomitante au processus de decentralisation politique

A partir des ann6es 90, et sous l'impulsion conjointe de diff6rents bailleurs de fonds
(Banque Mondiale, USAID, Coop6ration francaise, etc.), des chercheurs nationaux et
internationaux se sont engages dans des r6flexions autours des alternatives possibles a mettre
en oeuvre pour une politique efficace dans le domaine de la gestion des resources
renouvelables. En Octobre 1994 fut organism un atelier a Mantasoa, faisant suite a des 6tudes
men6es autour de certaines Aires Prot6g6es sur les formes de governance locale et sur les
capacit6s locales. En novembre 1994, un colloque international fut r6uni a Mahajanga avec la
participation de repr6sentants de l'Etat, des bailleurs de fonds, mais aussi de paysans issues des
communaut6s vivant dans la p6riph6ries des Aires Prot6g6es. II a conclu qu'il 6tait
indispensable de faire participer sur une base contractuelle les populations locales a la gestion
des resources renouvelables dans les zones environnantes des Aires Prot6g6es. Dans le meme
temps une 6quipe de consultants malgaches travaillait a laborer une proposition de politique
de gestion des feux de v6g6tation. Ils conclurent que le probleme prioritaire 6tait de mettre en
place une gestion locale contractuelle des resources renouvelables. Cela a about a
l'organisation d'un atelier national sur la gestion locale et communautaire des resources
renouvelables a Antsirabe au mois de mai 1995 avec la participation de repr6sentants de
communaut6s locales. Cet atelier fut a 1'origine de la loi 96 025 consacrant la mise en place de la
gestion locale s6curis6e a travers un processus de transfer de gestion des resources
renouvelables aux communaut6s locales.

La demand social des populations rurales

Les 6tudes a caractere participatif men6es sur le terrain ont montr6 que les populations ont
une appreciation positive d'une 6ventuelle mise en oeuvre de la GELOSE. Elles se sont
beaucoup exprim6, et de maniere negative concernant la politique centralisatrice, exclusive et
repressive de l'Etat. La population exprime souvent son d6sir de g6rer sous sa propre
responsabilit6 les resources de son terroir ou de sa region. D'autant plus que la mise en place
de cette nouvelle politique de gestion des resources s'inthgre dans un context de
disengagement de l'Etat et de mise en oeuvre d'une decentralisation effective.

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76 I Bertrand

Gestion contractuelle et approche patrimoniale: les < mediateurs environnementaux >>

Cette politique implique cependant la mise en place de structures op6rationnelles et
d'outils. La gestion contractuelle n6cessite la mise en oeuvre d'une demarche patrimoniale
basee sur la definition pr6alable d'objectifs communs de tres long terme) en vue de d6passer la
situation d'impasse 6voqu6e plus haut. Cette demarche patrimoniale est conque comme un
facteur de redynamisation des communaut6s locales: Elle n6cessite intervention d'un <
m6diateur environnemental charge de faire merger de la n6gociation entire administration et
les communaut6s locales les objectifs communs de tres long terme d'oi seront d6duits des
contracts de transfer et des regles de gestion.


La mise au point de l'outil institutionnel et la preparation des actions locales

A l'heure actuelle, le processus de mise en place de l'outil institutionnel est en course et
parallklement des actions de mise au point m6thodologique et de demonstrations sont engages
ou en course d'engagement dans diverse conditions institutionnelles:

Les textes d'application de la loi 96-025 et le lien avec 1'61aboration des textes d'application de la
loi forestier

L'ensemble des principaux textes d'application de la loi 96-025 ont &t6 61abor6s sous la
supervision d'un comit6 interminist6riel, en coherence avec la preparation des textes
d'application de la nouvelle loi forestiere. Les projects de textes sont achev6s et transmis aux
instances politiques.

La m6thode d'identification-formation des m6diateurs et la preparation de la champagne

La m6thodologie d'identification, de formation et de mise en place op6rationnelle des
m6diateurs environnementaux est en voie d'ach&vement et 1'6quipe des formateurs des
m6diateurs est op6rationnelle. De meme la brochure d'information des acteurs locaux et des
populations rurales sur le processus et les contracts GELOSE est achev6e et sa diffusion dans
certaines zones prioritaires d6butera avec les actions de terrain.

Etudes de filieres et mise au point d'outils 6conomiques de gestion des resources renouvelables

La derniere section de la loi 96-025 pr6voit la mise en place d'outils de gestion,
6conomiques, institutionnels et fiscaux pour assurer une meilleure valorisation primaire et in
situ de la biodiversity et partant pour favoriser la gestion viable a long terme des resources

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La Gestion Contractuelle, Pluraliste Et Subsidiaire Des Ressources Renouvelables A Madagascar
(1994-1998)1 77

La preparation des actions de formation des acteurs locaux

Les actions de formation des acteurs locaux (maires des communes rurales, repr6sentants
des communaut6s rurales, agents des regions des diverse administrations d6concentr6es, etc.)
vont ktre d6finies et lances dans diverse zones prioritaires.

La preparation des tous premiers contracts GELOSE

Ces premiers contracts sont en course de preparation sur des terrains ou des projects de
d6veloppement ont engage depuis plusieurs ann6es des actions forestieres.

Politique de gestion locale des resources renouvelables et developpement regional

Il y a a Madagascar 1300 communes et 13000 communaut6s rurales environ. II n'est donc
pas envisageable d'6parpiller la mise en place des contracts GELOSE sur l'ensemble du territoire
national. Au contraire des zones prioritaires oh focaliser les actions ont &t6 choisies.

Les composantes GELOSE et AGERAS du Programme d'Action Environnemental

La mise en place des contracts GELOSE est pr6vue selon un processus combinant les actions
des deux composantes transversales du Programme Environnemental 1I (1997-2001), AGERAS
et GELOSE, (Actions de Gestion de l'Environnement R6gionalis6es et selon l'Approche Spatiale
& Gestion Locale Skcuris6e). II s'agit dans un premier temps de faire merger a un niveau
regional (a < g6om6trie variable d6fini cas par cas) une instance (a concevoir de facon
sp6cifique et adapt6e) de planification r6gionale concert6e du d6veloppement (et non pas de
l'environnement) qui soit r6ellement une construction autonome et viable issue de la
conjunction d'initiatives locales. C'est cette instance qui d6finira les priorit6s r6gionales pour la
mise en place des contracts GELOSE. C'est pourquoi il semble pr6f6rable de parler de gestion
subsidiaire (impliquant diff6rents niveaux spatiaux) plut6t que de se limiter a parler de gestion

Une premiere action de terrain engagee a Andapa sur financement FED

D'ores et d6ja une action de ce type est lance sur le terrain depuis fin 1997 dans le bassin
versant et la cuvette agricole d'Andapa au Nord-Est de Madagascar, sur un financement du
FED, hors du PE II, ce qui montre d6ja une premiere appropriation de 1'outil GELOSE, hors du
secteur environnemental dans le d6veloppement rural.

Les resultats actuels et leurs enseignements

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78 I Bertrand

Les resultats obtenus sont encore tres parties et ne permettent pas de juger de 1'efficacit6
d'ensemble de la reforme engagee. Toutefois quelques lemons majeures peuvent d'ores et deja
ktre tirees:

La demand des populations rurales, la decentralisation et le r6le de l'Etat

La gestion locale des resources renouvelables repond manifestement a une attente reelle
des populations rurales qui reagissent toujours positivement aux propositions qui leur sont
faites. De meme le processus de decentralisation politique en course a Madagascar repond a une
attente. Mais il apparait d'ores et deja clairement qu'il ne saurait y avoir de decentralisation
positive et reelle, ni de transfer viable de gestion des resources renouvelables sans un Etat fort
don't les functions soient clairement redefinies. Le disengagement de l'Etat ne doit pas aboutir a
un Etat exsangue incapable de faire fonctionner le processus de decentralisation et de transfer
de gestion des resources. C'est 1a sans doute un des risques majeurs a 6viter.

Passer de 1'approche participative a 1'approche contractuelle

La loi 96-025 marque le passage d'une approche < participative du developpement a une
methode << contractuelle , oi les differents acteurs sociaux concerns par la gestion des
resources renouvelables et de l'environnement deviennent malgr6 leur diversity et leur
plurality des partenaires ayant des obligations reciproques: Etat (administrations),
communautes rurales, collectivites territoriales (communes, regions), ONG, organismes
confessionnels, projects de developpement ou de conservation, operateurs prives, etc. Les choix
d'actions resultent de cette negociation et ne sont pas (plus) pr66tablis. Parler de plurality et
d'approche contractuelle represente une mutation fondamentale qui ne se traduira que
progressivement dans les comportements et les mentalites.

Enjeux et defis du processus en course

La mise en place d'une gestion contractuelle pluraliste et subsidiaire des resources
constitute en soi un enjeu considerable qui va determiner 1'Htat future a long terme de
l'environnement a Madagascar. Mais cet enjeu est liW a d'autres qui ne sont pas moins
determinants pour le developpement et la conservation de la biodiversity:

Integrer l'environnement dans le developpement rural

Madagascar s'oriente vers la decentralisation et la gestion durable des resources naturelles
sous 1'effet combine:

1. d'une revendication des acteurs locaux face a la faillite de l'Etat central et a certain
aspects exagerement conservationists du Programme Environnemental I (PE I)
2. des contraintes de rationalisation de 1'aide exterieure: le PAE, compete tenu de son coit,
doit devenir avant tout un investissement de developpement

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La Gestion Contractuelle, Pluraliste Et Subsidiaire Des Ressources Renouvelables A Madagascar
(1994-1998)1 79

3. des r6flexions strat6giques sur la gestion communautaire locale des resources
renouvelables en alternative au faux dilemme protection autoritaire/acchs libre
4. de 1'Nvolution des approaches environnementales au niveau international, d'une vision
essentiellement naturaliste a une prise en compete de l'6conomie et des soci6t6s, d'une
vision 6tatique et centralisatrice vers la reconnaissance du r6le des populations et la
rehabilitation du niveau local, enfin, d'une approche purement conservationiste a une
vision plus dynamique et am6nagiste privil6giant la n6cessit6 de g6rer et de n6gocier en
impliquant tous les acteurs concerns.

L'int6gration de la gestion de l'environnement dans les processus de d6veloppement sera
donc au coeur des enjeux du Programme Environnemental II et la GELOSE constituera un des
outils principaux a cet effet.

G6rer et valoriser l'environnement pour mieux preserver la biodiversity a 1'echelle de la Grande

II ne suffit pas de transf6rer par contract la gestion des resources renouvelables aux
populations rurales si les logiques 6conomiques incident a 1'extensification et a 1'utilisation
dispendieuse des spaces et des resources, surtout si ces spaces et ces resources sont sans
valeur du fait d'un dispositif r6glementaire et fiscal obsolete et inefficient. L'objectif de valoriser
les resources (particulierement < in situ ) pour cr6er les conditions d'un int6ret des
populations rurales a une gestion viable a long terme de ces resources et de la biodiversity
malgache sera donc un enjeu majeur de la mise en place de la GELOSE.

African Studies Quarterly I Volume 3, Issue 2 I Fall 1999
http:/ /www.africa.ufl.edu/asc/v3/v3i2a6.vdf

African Studies Quarterly I Volume 3, Issue 2 I Fall 1999

Coordinating Traditional Values, Scientific Research and

Practical Management to Enhance Conservation and

Development Objectives in the Andringitra Mountains,

Madagascar; Lessons Learned!



The Andringitra Mountains in south-central Madagascar have been a Strict Nature Reserve
since 1927 because they were recognized by early explorers (Perrier de la Bathie, 1911; Humbert,
1924) as a bio-geographical convergence zone of different landscapes, ecosystems and habitats.
Each had an outstanding biological diversity with an Eco-regional function as an important
watershed area. Protected by legislation, relative inaccessibility and a rude climate, the
Andringitra Mountains were left in "splendid isolation" for over 65 years. Eventually, a
concerted effort by national and international conservation interests produced the 1st Malagasy
National Environmental Action Plan in 1989. L'Association Nationale pour la Gestion des Aires
Prot6g6es (A.N.G.A.P.) is designated as the future National Park Service Organization. Among
other sites, Andringitra Strict Nature Reserve became a priority for intervention during the 1st
phase environment program (1991-95), assisted by various conservation NGO's.
In 1993, a tripartite convention between the Direction des Eaux et Forets (D.E.F.),
A.N.G.A.P. and the German Development Bank Kreditanstalt fuir Wiederaufbau (KfW),
contracted World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF-International) as project executive for the
creation of a National Park. The agreement included two mission statements: A) The long-term
preservation of unique biological-, genetic- and aesthetic values and ecological functions of
Andringitra and B) Sustainable socio-economic development through diversification and
intensification of the traditional agro-silvo-pastoral farming system outside and the
development of ecotourism inside the park, respecting ecological principles for local natural
resources management and economic development.
The contractual agreement between the above mentioned stakeholders stipulated eight
major objectives, which translated into indicators for project achievement after 5 years at the
end of the orientation phase. They were: 1) The values, functions and potentials of the
Andringitra mountain ecosystems are better known and understood; 2) Concepts and strategies
for protected area management and use are developed; 3) Ecological approaches for economic

Hanta Rabetaliana was Program Officer for Sites and Species Conservation and Technical Project Coordinator
FOR WWF. Dr. Peter Schachenmann was Chief Technical Advisor to the Andringitra ICDP, WWF Madagascar
Program from 1994 through 1999. Trained as a veterinarian, he has 3 decades of experience in east africa ranging
from cattle husbandry to corporate management.

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to download articles for their own personal use. Published by the Center for African Studies, University of Florida.
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82 I Rabetaliana and Schachenmann

development of peripheral zones are found and applied; 4) Water sources, water catchment and
watershed areas are protected to assure the sustainable function of Andringitra as a quality
water reservoir for agricultural and socio-economic development by local communities; 5)
Destructive agricultural- and pastoral practices (swidden agriculture, uncontrolled bush fires),
which lead to deforestation and soil erosion are halted and alternatives found; 6) The
interconnected roles of "conservation (of natural resources) for (socio-economic) development" and
"development for conservation" are understood by local communities and other stakeholders; 7)
Institutional, NGO, and local capacities are developed or reinforced for self-reliance and self-
governance; 8) The potentials and feasibility for Eco-tourism in the Andringitra Mountains are
identified. To realize these eight objectives, the intervention was designed as an Integrated
Conservation and Development Project (ICDP), where protected areas interact with the surrounding
landscape matrix and activities of people generating direct and indirect impacts are tolerated, obliging the
project executive to define a functional intervention zone in a broader framework of space and time.


In the beginning of 1993, rapid rural appraisals (RRA) highlighted a longstanding
irregularity: a situation whereby natural resources, (including particular forests and the
Andringitra Strict Nature Reserve) belonging to the state agency, Direction des Eaux et Forets
(DEF) were being illicitly used by local communities according to their needs. In other words,
the owner had no uses and the user had no rights. This effectively disconnected the primary
objectives of the two key stakeholders, forcing their relationship into a game of cat and mouse.
We believed that this question of relationship between land and its resources, owners and users
was our most important challenge and decided to address it with priority.
We therefore set ourselves three operational mission statements: 1) Clarify the role of and
compatibility between traditional local conventions and state legislation concerning natural
recourses use and management. 2) Reduce positions of conflict e.g. between use values (local
communities) and existence / option values (scientists, conservationists), non-market resource
uses (local communities) and market-resource uses (DEF and ANGAP) and facilitate functional
and synergistic relationships of key stakeholders by narrowing the gap between extreme
positions. and 3) Catalyze approaches for ecological stability and equally important, permitting
social integration for economic and political viability and longer term sustainable solutions.
After a one year interdisciplinary and collaborative situation appraisal we concluded:

a) Protection of natural resources by the strict interdiction of access and user rights to natural
resources (e.g., the application of state legislation) is a non-sustainable approach. It depends on
centralist, top-down prescribed law and order, difficult to comprehend and enforce in the
remote countryside of a poor developing country. In addition, certain intangible properties like
sacred sites, taboos or even certain natural resources like water, firewood, medicinal plants,
bushfood, are perceived as common goods by local communities.
b) The "paternalistic" approach towards protection for local people gives poor results. It creates a
passive relationship between actor and beneficiary or in other words a "teacher" and his "pupil".

African Studies Quarterly I Volume 3, Issue 2 I Fall 1999

Coordinating Traditional Values, Scientific Research and Practical Management I 83

Same goods and services are seen out of variable believes, desires, perceptions, different
perspectives and knowledge with unequal use, existence and option values. Subsistence or
market priorities can position project executives opposite local stakeholders and logic based
science opposite myth based traditional cultures, public versus private benefits, and the like.
c) Following a review of earlier experiences and guidelines for designing Integrated
Conservation and Development Projects, we proceeded to develop a collaborative approach of
conservation and development together with local people.


During the following year of project implementation, we encountered many unexpected
effects and setbacks. Scientists or project executives need public support and participation to
increase credibility, reduce conflict, and become more effective. Local communities need
intervention partners who are prepared to observe, listen and learn from the wealth of
traditional experience and local intuition. In a "Learning by doing" scenario, interested stakeholders
develop a holistic, multi-lens vision, permitting them to observe and address details within a broader
framework. It enables them to respond to and to test processes creatively and dynamically rather then
statically. Within a given cultural and economic context, such a systems approach allows a
strategic interconnection of different scales of biological, social and institutional parameters
within the multi-stakeholder logical frameworks of an ICDP. In other words, one interconnects
specific questions simultaneously at different levels: a wide angle lens (the importance and
meaning of cattle pasturing on altimontane prairies for cattle owners, biologists, National Park
managers, tourists, the ecosystems and its biodiversity); a loupe (what logic governs local
communities to develop a sophisticated rotational grazing system -- "alpage" in French -- on
altimontane prairies?); and, a microscope (the impact of cattle grazing on soil erosion,
biodiversity dynamics, water pollution, and the visitor experience).
Over time, a basis of mutual respect between the various stakeholders such as local
communities, scientists, natural resources managers (ANGAP, DEF) developed. We all became
aware of the divergent interests and priorities and these could be discussed. Compromises were
identified, evolving finally towards convergent interests which could thrive in an environment
of confidence and trust. For instance, interested villagers became para-scientists, integrating their
"soft" traditional knowledge in a database from "hard" sciences (the scientist learning from long
standing observation and experiences of local people). At the same time, they learned to
comprehend and even apply Cartesian logic and the methodology of modern science. In
another example, state legislation permitted the integration of traditional "law" as conflict
resolution or different land-uses like agriculture, pastoralism, conservation, and tourism. These
elements, segregated in the past, developed more and more synergy and reciprocal benefits
from a matrix of multiple land-use systems.
Over the following three years we learned, that in the long run attitudes and actions of
resident stakeholders (local communities, local natural resources managers, local politicians, local
rural development approaches, etc.) which make or break integrated conservation and
development efforts. In an evolutionary process of trial and error we developed our own

African Studies Quarterly I Volume 3, Issue 2 I Fall 1999

84 I Rabetaliana and Schachenmann

Andringitra project-specific brand of ICDP design and management evolving progressively
towards conservation by local people. Conservation by local people is a process of awareness
creation, leading to a paradigm shift for conservation scientists and academic project executives.
Resident communities can become --under certain favorable conditions-- good natural resources
Example: The role of cattle and fire on the altimontane prairies inside the protected area. Due
to their location in relation to latitude (-22°10') and altitude (-2000 m al), and natural
environmental dynamics (a marked seasonality between dry and wet conditions and high daily
temperature oscillation) this ecosystem is unique in Madagascar and thus attracts high
conservation interests. Seasonal occupation for cattle grazing and sporadic fires used as a
pasture "management" caused these natural prairies to become over time a unique "sustainably
disturbed" natural vegetation mosaic with enhanced esthetic, biodiversity and socio-cultural
values for multiple stakeholders. Contrary to conventional conservation wisdom, traditional
land uses are at least compatible with or even necessary for landscape diversity, biological
diversity and functionality. We patiently worked through relationships between multiple
stakeholders towards a unified vision: a synergistic co-evolution with practical applications and
win-win solutions for an increased number of stakeholders.


Learning is the result of a continual process of investigation, analysis, interpretation, trial
and error and adaptation (Figure 1). It cannot produce absolute solutions and standardized
approaches because in a living system, each situation, episode, question, opportunity and
problem is a unique snapshot in space, time and context. Below, we share with you some
important project experiences and what they meant for us project executives:

The notion of a "pristine environment" is a myth. The landscape keeps a memory of
human "footprints" and impacts. Conversely, the cultural history of people seems
entwined with the natural history of the land with its specific geo-morphology, climate,
flora and fauna. Land users are therefore automatically land managers. They are
principally relationship managers, who continuously need to interpret physical, ecological,
economic, social and political contexts and processes and adapt to, or manage
interactions between nature and people over space and time.

Lesson we learned: Conservation objectives can better be considered by inclusion rather then
exclusion of people and by favoring a synergistic co-evolution of transformation processes.

"Learning by doing" is an open ended and flexible approach of "informed trial and
error." This requires a holistic approach of interconnecting systems research and process
research with an iterative feedback of information and scaling. It permits the recognition
of heterogeneity, variability, and multiple objectives. This "perpetuum mobile" of
investigation, experimentation, evaluation and adaptation helps to tailor the approach
and permit rapid elimination of unsatisfactory approaches and results by favoring

African Studies Quarterly I Volume 3, Issue 2 I Fall 1999

Coordinating Traditional Values, Scientific Research and Practical Management I 85

adapted solutions. In order to function well it needs a decentralized, bottom-up, flexible
management structure and a relationship between stakeholders of mutual trust and
interactive communication.

Lesson we learned: "Learning by doing" was a suitable approach to foster trust and with it
feedback and creative interaction and co-evolution.

Sectorial interests, such as community objectives, are principally governed by needs,
traditions, intuition and opinions. Scientific objectives are guided by curiosity,
hypothetico-deductive and objective approaches to fact finding and understanding.
Management objectives are driven by strategic targets, logical frameworks and expected
results can be successfully addressed by democratic partnerships and collaborative
management agreements (Figure 2).

Lesson we learned: Creative interaction and co-evolution grows and strengthens among equal
partners having mutual respect for each others views, perceptions, and logic.

* Data refraction, where the same information can be seen supporting opposing
viewpoints, is a major constraint to project design and management and must be given
serious attention. This situation arises when one compares development objectives with
conservation objectives, short-term impacts with long-term effects, or economic benefits
weighed against cultural impacts. Examples: 1) short term productivity per land unit
(development objective) may lead to long term land degradation (conservation
objective) or contrarily, 2) devastating fire impact (short term conservation view) may
lead to vegetation heterogeneity with enhanced biodiversity (long term conservation
view), 3) tourism offers rural communities the opportunity to diversify local
employment and economic development at the price of lost cultural identity.

Lesson we learned: There is no simple recipe or best policy for choosing the "right" way. The
way forward should be a negotiated agreement and not a top-down, imposed decision.

* Developing and managing the Andringitra ICDP with these innovative approaches
caused us to overlook the pathology of outside induced and managed projects. We were
prepared for shared duties and responsibilities, but maintained intellectual, technical
and financial leadership. Interactive communication, technical and financial joint
ventures do not have enough meaning if the project donor or executive's relationship
with other stakeholders, particularly local communities, remains one of discrete

Lesson we learned: Project donors and executives easily fall into the trap of continued
leadership and dominance. Over time, this produces inflated leaders at the expense of deflated
"beneficiaries". For a conservation and development objective to become sustainable, catalysts
must learn to let go.

African Studies Quarterly I Volume 3, Issue 2 I Fall 1999

86 I Rabetaliana and Schachenmann


Responsible stakeholders must become over time accountable shareholders, sharing not
only duties and responsibilities, but also rights and powers. This means finally conservation by
people and political negotiation between equal partners, anchored within institutional and legal
frameworks. This was probably the most important lesson learned from the Andringitra
Integrated Conservation and Development approach over a five year period. The most durable
stakeholders within the vicinity of a National Park are local communities, having their spiritual
and livelihood rooted in the natural landscape. If conservation and development objectives are
to become sustainable, as postulated in the mission statement, then these stakeholders turned
shareholders must have institutional rights, powers and legal security. For foreign dominated
project executives (eg. WWF, KfW, scientists, visiting consultants, and specialized development
NGO's) or state-based public interests such as National Parks or more abstract objectives like
biodiversity conservation, the transformation of this lesson into action, becomes the most
crucial and most difficult part of the whole program initiative. Examples: At the project level, 1)
Resident villagers around the periphery of the newly decreed Andringitra National Park
volunteered as unpaid, self-help National Park Guards, each individually and collectively
responsible for a section of the park boundary and the park as a whole; 2) fire is collectively
managed by traditional conventions and modern legal agreements among key shareholders
(DEF, ANGAP, project executive, and the community); 3) fire control is organized
autonomously for each village territory. At national level, 4) the approval by parliament in 1996
of a law permitting local management of renewable natural resources outside protected areas;
and 5) within the Andringitra National Park, the Government approved our jointly drafted
decree for its creation in which grazing rights and the collection of natural resource products for
personal domestic use (within limits of ecological sustainability jointly established and
approved in the park's management plan), and existing customary traditions (passage on
existing trails and access to sacred sites) are guaranteed by public legislation.


The five years of working on a joint venture to develop capacities, courage, trust and legal
frameworks for local stakeholders has taught us many lessons. Local stakeholders must assume
their future role as responsible and accountable shareholders. During this process of co-
evolution with other partners from stakeholders towards shareholders, the Andringitra
National Park ICDP has set a pioneering example. It serves as one of the foundation stones for a
second phase functional systems approach to a Eco-regional Landscape Development
Intervention (LDI).


1. Barton T., Borrini-Feyerabend G., Sherbin A., Warren P. Our People, "Our
Resources: Supporting rural communities in participatory action research on
population dynamics and the local environment." Issues in Social Policy, IUCN,

African Studies Quarterly I Volume 3, Issue 2 I Fall 1999

Coordinating Traditional Values, Scientific Research and Practical Management I 87

2. Borrini-Feyerabend G., Kothari A., Pimbert M. (editors); Participatory management
of Natural Resources -An early draft of a state of the art report, IUCN, Social Policy
Group, 1997.
3. Brown M. & Wyckoff-Baird B.; Designing Integrated Conservation and Development
Projects, The Biodiversity Support Program, 1992.
4. Rabetaliana H.; Analyse et modelisation de la gestion locale des resources naturelles: le
cas du Parc National d'Andringitra, these de Doctorat en ecology (en preparation),
University de Besancon, 1999.
5. Schachenmann P.; Final Report Phase 1: 1993-1998, Andringitra ICDP including
the bibliography sited herein.

African Studies Quarterly I Volume 3, Issue 2 I Fall 1999

88 I Rabetaliana and Schachenmann

Figure 1

Recherches en
sciences naturelles

Recherches Recherches
operationnelles en sciences

Recherche Recherches

d6veloppement d'une base

objectivity &
/ ^^^ l~~~vnntl"i 41i fri tn^

information perception
aiti on \ Aire-s-Protegpe:et.
.planification. reaction


Politigue Gestion / Bnficiaires / Concernes:
et Quotidienne occasionnels communaut
Admini strati tourists et \ es locales
on / ex ANGAP op6rateurs

IVindmap Approche syst6mique des groupes-cl6s de la conservation et du d&veloppement integr6
pour un partenanat de consensus

African Studies Quarterly I Volume 3, Issue 2 I Fall 1999

Coordinating Traditional Values, Scientific Research and Practical Management I 89

Figure 2

Formulation 4-
d'une hypoth6se

Interv mentions


SSyth se B6n6fices ou pertes
Synthse -4q ( ?
des acquis ....... 1 ....




Figure 1: Approche systemique dans un cadre logique
Conception et mise en oeuvre dans le cadre d'un project de
conservation et d6veloppement int6gr6s (PCDI)

African Studies Quarterly I Volume 3, Issue 2 I Fall 1999

R alisation

Synthese et

African Studies Quarterly I Volume 3, Issue 2 I Fall 1999

Observations on Repressive Environmental Policies and

Landscape Burning Strategies in Madagascar


Madagascar is aflame. Slash-and-burn fires nibble at the rainforest, while vast
conflagrations burn a quarter to a third of the grasslands each year. Environmentalists decry
these fires as a root cause of deforestation, soil degradation, and habitat destruction. Yet, during
a year of fieldwork in a highland Madagascar village, my impression was that to the rural
residents, vegetation fires are an ordinary event, not worthy of note. Even as fire advances
down a nearby slope, farmers continue to till the earth and market-goers chat as flames lick at
the grass along their path. During the course of an interview, smoke may have billowed up
from across the valley, but this never entered the conversation unless I brought it up.
Two distinct reasons contribute to making these fires "non-events." First, burning is a
useful, common, and well-adapted environmental management practice, hardly worth a notice.
Outsiders to rural Madagascar often hold the bias that fire is detrimental, potentially
dangerous, or at the very least extraordinary. In rural Madagascar, fire is central to the
agropastoral logic that governs Malagasy farming systems.
There are countless ways in which fire is used for environmental management. By far the
most widespread is the pasture renewal fire. Like ranchers in Kansas, or pastoralists in the
Serengeti, at specific times of year the Malagasy burn their grasslands to improve forage
quality. The fresh green growth, which follows fire, is critical to cattle nutrition at the end of the
dry season. Fire also has numerous other uses. Fallow fields and uncultivated grasslands are
burned to prepare them for planting. Fire wards off invading locusts and fire does the work of
many FARMERS in clearing irrigation ditches and field edges, allowing water to flow freely and
minimizing rat habitat. In highland tapia woodlands, fire helps maintain the ecological
dominance of the pyrophilic and economically useful Uapaca bojeri tree, A source of fruit as
well as habitat for a wild silkworm. People also burn the tapia woodland undergrowth to
control populations of silkworm parasites. Finally, preventive burns are used to protect houses
and crops from the wildfires that result from dangerous fuel buildup.
To highland farmers then, fire is as normal a tool as the spade or the ax. It rarely merits
more than a passing glance; it is a non-event. In contrast, urban Western society views
vegetation fires as spectacular and out of the ordinary. Wildfires at the urban fringe destroy
homes and threaten lives, as occurred in Oakland Hills in 1991 or Greece in 1998. While the

Christian A. Kull is completing a dissertation entitled "Isle of fire: grassland and woodland burning in highland
Madagascar" at the Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management of the University of California at
Berkeley, USA. He has spent 21 months over the past seven years in Madagascar studying land use change, political
ecology, and environmental management. A graduate of Dartmouth College, Mr. Kull holds masters degrees from
both the University of Colorado (geography) and Yale University (forestry and environmental studies).

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to download articles for their own personal use. Published by the Center for African Studies, University of Florida.
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92 I Kull

Western public is beginning to appreciate the natural role of fire in ecosystems, ecologically
overdue fires such as the 1989 Yellowstone conflagration attract considerable attention. For
these reasons, outsiders may be shocked at what they see as the apparent carelessness or apathy
of the rural Malagasy with respect to fire.
The second cause of fire as a non-event is the criminalization of fire. Colonial and
independent administrators, foresters, and environmentalists have fought rural burning
practices for one hundred years as a result of the biases discussed above. While the law does not
forbid all fires outright, it is rather strict, and punishment is feared by the rural Malagasy. As a
result, face to face with "outsiders", farmers will carefully avoid the subject of fire--even with
flames nipping at their heels.
Following the 1896 conquest of Madagascar, French colonial administrators sought to
control the fires, which burned so frequently and ubiquitously. Their scientists informed them
that the fires destroyed the valuable forests and impoverished the soils, yet some district
officers argued for the people's need to burn to maintain their pastures. Legislation in 1907
banned all fires except for locust control and pasture renewal, with the idea that the
development of modern ranching--improved forage production and hay cutting--eventually
would make even pasture fires obsolete.
New laws in 1930 tightened the screws but still allowed for pasture fires upon
authorization. Touring colonial officers made speeches against the use of fire while foresters
and gendarmes received incentives to enforce the legislation. In independent Madagascar,
legislation echoed colonial laws, and the government organized periodic media and awareness
campaigns against fires. In the 1970s, penalties for illegal wildfires were severely stiffened, yet
enforcement fell behind. Anti-fire efforts again intensified in the late 1980s as environmental
money began to pour into the country. Citing the mounting problem of fires, around 1990 the
Malagasy forest service stopped issuing pasture-burning authorizations in many regions
The result of these politics--the regulation and even criminalization of a traditional
agricultural practice--closes the lines of communication. Fire is not open to discussion with
outsiders. Farmers know that fires are strictly for-bidden. They hear anti-fire propaganda in
politicians' speeches and on the radio, and they resent the cumbersome formalities (or bribes)
necessary for legal burning. Yet they depend on this useful tool, and so, to protect themselves,
fire is not discussed; it occurs at night, and is blamed on "passers-by" or "evil people". In this
context, local organization and management of fires becomes impossible. Recent legislation see
articles by Bertrand and Henkels in this issue) may produce a less repressive atmosphere and
thus a more realistic and effective fire management.
This story of fire as a non-event contains several lessons for researchers working on
resource management issues in Africa. First, inmost cases, a researcher will be an "outsider"
carrying a set of biases that may hamper objective re-search. Had I not detached myself from
my biases, I would have seen the Malagasy peasants as ignorant, apathetic pyromaniacs. Thus,
researchers must examine their biases, seek alternate explanations, and listen to the logic of
their informants. This is nothing new, but it is worth repeating, and it applies to nearly all social
and environmental is-sues, from family planning to water use.
Second, researchers and policy-makers must be aware of the possibly counter-productive
nature of punitive policies. Repression can disrupt functional production systems, and create

African Studies Quarterly I Volume 3, Issue 2 I Fall 1999

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