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Macalester College

Publication Date

Fall 2008

Program Name

Madagascar: Ecology and Conservation


This study explores the social and ecological aspects of the Fenoaivo and Zanavo sacred forests—an area located in the commune of Ifotaka and region of Anosy in the spiny forest of southern Madagascar. Through a general survey of the 2.5km by 950 meter forest, a survey of the fauna and flora, a survey of the sacred forest areas, over fifty local interviews and an expert stakeholder survey sent out to over 65 people internationally, an attempt was made to look at the areas potential for a community conserved area and the possibility of community-based tourism. Discovering that both the general forest is ecologically diverse and the sacred forest is traditionally diverse, it is necessary to look at each sacred forest around Madagascar case by case and it is imperative to remain sensitive to the traditional practices and cultural beliefs of the locals. Therefore more studies of the biological significance and cultural history of these forests will aid in compiling information to illustrate to not only the nation, but local communities, the potential contribution these sites have on the conservation of biodiversity


Natural Resources and Conservation | Natural Resources Management and Policy



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