This 4 year project, which is being funded by NORAD, will involve a series of activities throughout the country to improve the ability of decision makers, technical officers and local authorities to understand the threats posed by climate change and develop and implement responsive strategies to protect local communities and natural ecosystems from the expected impacts.
As part of this project, a series of factsheets has been produced. This factsheet, Climate Change Adaptation in Madagascar, provides an introduction to the basic concepts associated with climate change adaptation. It is complemented by a series of factsheets describing the potential impacts and possible adaptation strategies for each of the key sectors likely to be affected by climate change.
What is Climate Change Adaptation?
the direct or indirect effects of a changing climate.
Adaptation is usually focused on mitigating the adverse effects of climate change but importantly it can also involve the identification
of measures to enhance opportunities that may be associated with climate change.
Why an Adaptation Focus?
climate change adaptation strategies.
Adaptation will be particularly important in developing countries such as Madagascar. Despite having contributed very little to the overall climate change situation – Madagascar’s carbon dioxide emissions of 0.1 tonnes/capita are amongst the lowest in the world – Madagascar is home to large numbers of poor and vulnerable communities and sensitive and highly valuable ecosystems that are likely to be amongst the most affected by the impacts of climate change.
What types of Adaptation Measures Exist?
- Ecosystem based adaptation measures that optimize the use of existing natural systems to create and enhance resilience to climate change. Ecosystem based approaches should be the priority for implementation in Madagascar because of their important synergies with conservation and ecosystem protection activities.
- Structural adaptation measures including engineering and other physical works, which often have a protective or remedial function against the effects of climate, change.
- Institutional adaptation measures involving the creation, implementation and enforcement of regulatory, policy and education actions to organize institutional responses to climate change, enable the implementation of other categories of adaptation approaches and increase awareness amongst decision makers and communities.
It is essential that adaptation strategies are integrated into local, regional and national planning frameworks to ensure their sustainability and facilitate ownership by local communities and responsible authorities.
Maladaptation occurs when adaptation responses are implemented that have adverse or secondary consequences that outweigh the benefits of the undertaking the strategy. For example construction of a seawall to protect local communities against sea level rise may adversely affect coastal ecosystems. Adaptation strategies therefore need to be developed in a multi-sectoral perspective with careful consideration of inter-dependent systems to avoid inadvertently increasing risks to other systems.
How is Adaptation different from Mitigation?
Adaptation refers to strategies or measures that reduce the impacts of climate change.
Mitigation and adaptation measures are complementary and need to be implemented in parallel.
How is Adaptation linked to Development?
How will Adaptation be Financed?
Sources of financing for implementation of adaptation in developing countries have been at the heart of recent global negotiations. While there is general agreement that developed countries should provide assistance to developing countries to allow them to implement adaptation strategies, there is no detailed plan to allow this to occur. An Adaptation Fund, which would allow funds to be disbursed from developed to developing countries for adaptation activities, has been established but is not yet operational. This issue is likely to be a focus of discussions in Copenhagen in December 2009.
What is being done in Madagascar?
In January 2008, the Government, together with a number of NGOs including WWF, convened a national workshop on climate change adaptation in Madagascar. The objective of this process was to reignite the discussion surrounding the priorities for adaptation in Madagascar. The recommendations of this workshop, which are in the process of being implemented, included establishment of an inter-ministerial taskforce on climate change, revision and updating of the NAPA, integration of climate change considerations into regional and local planning and consideration of climate change issues in protected area development and management.
NGOs and donors in close collaboration with the Malagasy government are implementing a number of projects addressing adaptation and mitigation strategies for climate change.