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Between economic loss and social identity: The multi-dimensional cost of avoiding deforestation in Eastern Madagascar

Sébastien Desbureaux and Laura Brimont

Ecological Economics, 2015, vol. 118, issue C, 10-20

Abstract: This paper exhibits the multiple dimensions of the cost of stopping the main driver of deforestation in Madagascar, slash-and-burn agriculture (tavy). As well as being a major component of the economic livelihoods of most local households living at the edge of forests, tavy has been described by anthropologists as an important cultural practice. In this paper, we show that stopping tavy does not only entail an economic cost for local households. The loss of the cultural dimension of tavy would come at an additional “cultural cost” for some. Our results suggest that a viable cessation of deforestation in Madagascar would require going beyond simple compensation of the opportunity costs of avoiding deforestation.

Keywords: Non-market valuation; Contingent valuation; Madagascar; Deforestation; Slash and burn; Payments for environmental services (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: Q15 Q56 Q57 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2015
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