TitleChanging the Economics of Environmental Degradation in Madagascar – Lessons from the National Environmental Action Plan Process
AuthorsLarson B. A.
PublicationWorld Development. 1994 May; 22(5):671-689.
AbstractThis paper examines the economic logic and implicit assumptions used to develop and support the National Environmental Action Plan (NEAP) process in Madagascar. The study focuses on three key issues: how were the costs of the main environmental problems identified and estimated; what underlying factors were identified as causing these problems; and how is the NEAP implementation strategy designed to change these underlying factors. The most difficult tasks for NEAPs will continue to be identifying the key specific underlying factors causing the problem and determining which of these factors are actually feasible for a NEAP process to change. The analysis of the Madagascar NEAP makes clear that key environmental problems are driven by land use decisions of large numbers of geographically dispersed rural and urban inhabitants. These problems are not easy or even feasible targets for specific ''environmental'' policy changes. If this is the case, as it seems to be in Madagascar, then it is perhaps unrealistic to hope that NEAPs as constituted can provide a framework for both understanding and alleviating a country's key environmental problems.