Household economy, forest dependency & opportunity costs of conservation in eastern rainforests of Madagascar


The Government of Madagascar is trying to reduce deforestation and conserve biodiversity through creating new protected areas in the eastern rainforests. While this has many benefits, forest use restriction may bring costs to farmers at the forest frontier. We explored this through a series of surveys in five sites around the Corridor Ankeniheny Zahamena new protected area and adjacent national parks. In phase one a stratified random sample of 603 households completed a household survey covering demographic and socio-economic characteristics, and a choice experiment to estimate the opportunity costs of conservation. A stratified sub-sample (n=171) then completed a detailed agricultural survey (including recording inputs and outputs from 721 plots) and wild-harvested product survey. The data have been archived with ReShare (UK Data Service). Together these allow a deeper understanding of the household economy on the forest frontier in eastern Madagascar and their swidden agricultural system, the benefits households derive from the forests through wild-harvested products, and the costs of conservation restrictions to forest edge communities.

Scientific Data 5: 180225