Efforts to put aside vast areas of land for environmental preservation continue to stir up controversy, but none more so than the impact on impoverished people in developing nations. A classic example is the island of Madagascar, where a pledge was recently made to increase protected areas from 4 million to nearly 15 million acres. But according to PlanetArk.com, this is having a profound effect on many of the island’s 17 million people who live on less than a dollar per day, and rely on firewood from the wild forests, or burn sections in which to plant rice. Government officials say eco-tourism will help provide more income, but that’s little immediate comfort to many who have farmed in these areas for generations.

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