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Language: French with English summary
Burning and deforestation lie at the very heart of Madagascan society. For over a century, they have been the subject of scientific study and political rhetoric. Tavy--traditiona|ly upland rice growing after slashing and burning dense natural rainforest--, which relies on both these elements, is the most obvious proof of this, and is therefore highly controversial. It has been accused of being the root cause of deforestation, but is widely practised by Madagascan farmers, who see it as a good compromise with respect to climatic hazards, labour availability and food security. In this very sensitive context, how can we assess a century of research and State intervention and draw up new proposals aimed at managing the island's natural resources as efficiently as possible?
Deforestation and Agrarian Systems in Madagascar: Tavy Dynamics on the East Coast relates the results of a historical, agronomic and socio-economic study of tavy systems, the results of which concern an area much larger than just the island. The study prompted a new look at deforestation, burning and managing burning operations, clearing, and slash-and-burn agriculture and its evolution. Tavy reflects the relations between society and nature and between social groups with respect to nature, demonstrates the dynamics of agrarian systems and evolves and diversifies according to the degree of building and social representations of the forest.