Working Papers

Sustainability in Madagascar

Sustainability in Madagascar

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08 Mar 2017

Author(s): Ron Sandrey and James Wilson

This working paper examines sustainability issues with respect to Madagascar. This seemingly uncontroversial and self-evident objective raises more questions than the paper is likely to provide answers for. The first problem is to define sustainability. From there we take a comprehensive look at the determinants of sustainability while at the same time remaining conscious of the complex inter-linkages between the ecosystem, macro-economic growth, human welfare indicators, and public policy.

Two background factors make the sustainability issue in Madagascar particularly critical. The first is that Madagascar was one of the last major landmasses on earth to be colonised by humans, while the second is that it is an island, and indeed the fourth largest island on the planet. Consequently, Madagascar has had distinct ecosystems and an extraordinary wildlife since it split from the African continent.

Overall, an analysis of sustainability and the review of progress being made in Madagascar is limited in that the issues are usually addressed as separate from trade and broader economic issues. However, we will argue that these issues are tightly related, and Madagascar is an especially important case given that the biodiversity of both the island and the marine life found in the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) around it is among the richest in the world.


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