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Cornell University

Publication Date

Spring 2016

Program Name

Madagascar: Biodiversity and Natural Resource Management


The effects of climate change are felt unevenly throughout the globe. Impoverished populations with high levels of subsistence agriculture are particularly vulnerable due to their direct dependence on the land. However, these populations are also the possible agents of change and solutions, as their traditional ecological knowledge has evolved in relation to their context. The honeybee is directly implicated in climate change vulnerability due to its role in pollination services, by ensuring food security. In the past decade, honeybees have risen to international fame and scrutiny due to a global vanishing of bees, attributed in part to climate change and the increasing biological insecurity of a globalized honey market. This global event raised the questions, “what would be lost with the loss of bees, and what can be done?” As one of the most impoverished nations and high number of subsistence farmers, Madagascar has been identified as one of the most vulnerable countries to climate change. Furthermore, its re-­‐entrance into the global market of honey due to modernization in 2009 has exposed its bee populations to the threats of the varroa mite, exacerbating this endemic population’s vulnerability to climate change. This study seeks to examine the ontological and bio-­‐cultural significance of the honeybee in the region of Vatovavy Fitovinany, within the district of Manakara, to understand the vulnerability of the beekeeping network and their resilience to climate change. Ultimately, this project examines the concept of entangled ecological vulnerability, of both humans and the honeybee, and how traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) can be incorporated in a multi-­‐species framework for climate change mitigation and decision-­‐ making.


Climate | Environmental Education | Environmental Health and Protection | Environmental Indicators and Impact Assessment | Terrestrial and Aquatic Ecology


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