Cattle herder cutting samata tree Euphorbia stenoclada near Tsimanampetsotsa park

Which form of agreement works for community-based management? A case study from southwestern Madagascar

Katinka Thielsen

Abstract


Aware that humans and nature are inseparably linked many organisations in Madagascar support the community-based natural resource management approach to promote the international policy of biodiversity conservation and protection. In this context, community associations have been introduced to transfer management and use rights for natural resources to the local population. However, the fast, donor-driven top-down procedure of establishing new rules contradicts the local rhythm and handling of rules. Against this background, this paper focuses on the ethnic group Tanalana and explores key actors and locally initiated rules and agreements, analyses their level of effectiveness and discusses their possible application for community-based natural resource management in the buffer zone of Tsimanampesotse National Park in southwestern Madagascar. The paper looks at an example of rule negotiation outside the community-based management context concerning the use of a key resource in raising livestock. The example demonstrates that, on the one hand, the overlapping memberships in different social and kinship groups, and on the other hand, different individual economic interests can hinder successful collective action for natural resource management. Moreover, this example shows that already existing or newly introduced rules can be further called into question and are variously interpreted depending on the context. The degree of sanctions depends on several factors: (i) frequency of transgression, (ii) amount of affected persons, (iii) social relationships between the concerned parties and (iiii) social and communicative behaviour of the transgressor (in the past and present). This study finds that rules serve as rough guidelines, as a basis for discussion in cases of transgression, but do not function as fixed prescriptions. The data for this study was collected through semi-structured interviews and participative observation in six fokontany (village and related hamlets) to the east and west of Tsimanampesotse National Park.

 

Résumé

Dans le contexte de la protection et de la conservation de la biodiversité, de nombreuses organisations de développement appuient la création d’organismes et la formulation de réglementations en vue d’une gestion durable des ressources naturelles autour des aires protégées de Madagascar. Dans la zone tampon du Parc National Tsimanampesotse, des transferts des droits d’usage et de gestion des ressources naturelles d’un territoire précis à la population locale, suivant l’approche de community-based management, ont été réalisés. Dans la mesure où la population rurale dépend étroitement des ressources naturelles, la nécessité de son intégration participative dans le processus de la protection est évidente. L’objectif premier d’instaurer de nouvelles règles sur les structures locales préexistantes était rarement réalisable à cause de la rapidité de l’élaboration des contrats de transfert de gestion. La présente recherche se concentre sur le groupe ethnique Tanalana, en tant que plus grand groupe de cette région et principal utilisateur des ressources naturelles du territoire du Parc National Tsimanampesotse, dans la région Atsimo Andrefana dans le Sud-ouest de Madagascar. Les acteurs clés et la négociation des règles locales sont ici exposés pour analyser leur domaine d’action et discuter leur applicabilité dans le contexte du community-based natural resource management. L’exemple d’un processus de négociation pour la gestion d’une ressource clé pour l’élevage hors du contexte de community-based management montre les différents facteurs qui compliquent une action collective à succès pour la gestion des ressources naturelles : d’un côté une personne est simultanément membre des différent groupes sociaux et parentaux qui déterminent des droits et obligations pour l’utilisation des ressources et de l’autre côté les individus ont des intérêts économiques différents qui, selon leur position sociale, influencent les décisions collectives. En outre, cet exemple montre que les règles existantes ou nouvellement mises en place peuvent être remises en question et interprétées différemment selon le contexte. L’étude de cas a été menée de manière qualitative dans six fokontany à l’ouest, vers le littoral, et à l’est sur le plateau du Parc National dans la commune de Beheloke, via des interviews semi-structurées des divers acteurs individuels et collectifs. Les membres de cette société agro-pastorale, se déployant des deux côtés du Parc, sont liés à travers une même origine, le mouvement bidirectionnel de la transhumance et le commerce. Pour mieux comprendre l’interaction sociale et le processus de négociation des intérêts dans la gestion des ressources, nous avons également mené une observation participative à plusieurs réunions et activités quotidiennes.


Keywords


Local conflict management; protected areas; community-based management; participation; mediation; traditional chiefs; Tanalana; National Park Tsimanampesotse; Plateau Mahafaly; gestion locale; conflits; aires protégées; Tsimanampetsotsa

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Madag. conserv. dev.
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