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Evaluating Madagascar's EAP: Problems for the future!

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  • Essay length: 2405 words
  • Submitted: 20/06/2006
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University Degree Human & Social Geography

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Evaluating Madagascar's EAP: Problems for the future!

Madagascar is globally recognized as a biodiversity hotspot. The world's fourth largest island is home to some 10,000 plant species, 316 reptile species, 187 amphibian species, 199 bird species, and 84 mammal species (including 71 primates) found nowhere else in the world.1 It is also home to a population of 17 million people plagued by abject poverty: 71% live below the poverty level and 75% live on less than $1 a day.2 In rural areas, the picture is bleaker, with the average income as low as 41¢ a day.

Most rural people rely on natural resources for their survival, eking out a living as subsistence farmers. Agricultural yields are among the lowest in the world because farmers use primitive slash-and-burn agriculture techniques, and have almost no access to land-title due to a corrupt and decrepit bureaucracy. Increasing demand and competition for fertile land has caused alarming habitat loss.

Deforestation (due to slash-and-burn agriculture and for firewood) has reduced the country's primary forest by over 90% since human inhabitance less than 2,000 years ago. In the past forty years, Madagascar's population has doubled and the forest area

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