Jean-Aimé RAKOTOARISOA is an emeritus professor of INALCO, Paris. As a geographer and arhcaeologist, Prof. Rakotoarisoa is recognized as an expert of south-west of Indian Ocean area. During his lon carreer as Director of University Museum in Madagascar, he has appointed as senior adviser of various executive offices including Priminister. He remains an active permanent member of national Malagasy academy, social and human sciences section.

Research Interests

As geographer and archaeologist, I have focused my research toward a better understanding of the relationship between the different phases of human settlements and the exploitation of natural resources in Madagascar. At the beginning, about 2000 years ago, the first migrants landing to Madagascar tried to locate safe areas and fertile lands. Once established, their situations evolved according to structural processes (demographic growth, political struggle) or incidental events (wars, famines, epidemics). These conditions often forced them to expand their territory or to migrate to other regions. According to circumstances, some communities can end up in a region which is not in concordance with their initial way of life. It seems globally that there is a misbalance between rural agricultural practices and natural resources availability (leading to such practices as heavy deforestation and the setting of bush fires). Presently, despite numerous academic papers produced, one of the remaining key issues is to find the reasons explaining why a large part of rural communities continue their obsolete agricultural practices. To be involved in the modern world market system does not seem to be their priority. They live in a different scale and use a different logic to assess their value of life. By exploring various data dealing with these early settlers of Madagascar and comparing them with present situations, it would be possible to provide some relevant answers to these noticeable contradictions.

Membership Type

International Member

Election Year


Primary Section

Section 53: Social and Political Sciences

Secondary Section

Section 64: Human Environmental Sciences