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Joining forces with nature to build resilience and reduce the risk of disasters

Adaption to climate change and reducing the risk of disasters caused by natural hazards are among the solutions for ensuring the resilience of people and nature.

Simply put, adaptation to climate change aims to strengthen the resilience of communities and ecosystems to the lasting impacts of climatic variations. Disaster risk reduction, on the other hand, focuses on efforts to mitigate the immediate consequences of natural hazards such as storms, floods and earthquakes.
It is possible to take advantage of nature to reduce disaster risk by building community resilience through the conservation, sustainable management and restoration of ecosystems, so that people are less likely to be affected by a natural hazard. According to the United Nations Environment Programme, ecosystem-based disaster risk reduction is « the sustainable management, conservation and restoration of an ecosystem to build sustainable community resilience ». It is a nature-based solutions approach to disaster risk reduction (United Nations Environment Program, Disasters and Ecosystems: Resilience in a Changing Climate_source book, 2019).
In addition to phasing out all fossil fuels by 2050 at the latest, effective implementation of appropriate measures across sectors is essential, as is urgent and accelerated action and the mobilization of resources to strengthen the climate resilience of vulnerable populations and nature, while tackling loss and damage. Deforestation and ecosystem conversion must be halted; conserving 30-50% of terrestrial, freshwater and ocean carbon sinks and protecting nature's complex role in combating climate change, including through nature-based solutions for mitigation and adaptation, are fundamental.
In Madagascar, initiatives are being implemented in the Atsimo Andrefana, Menabe, Melaky and Diana regions to strengthen the resilience of people and coastal areas through the conservation, restoration and sustainable management of mangrove ecosystems.
Climate change adaptation strengthens human resilience by developing more robust infrastructures, such as mangrove forests that filter water, are breeding grounds for fish and shellfish, and mitigate coastal erosion and wave force.  By promoting the diversification of livelihoods and setting up early warning systems, climate change adaptation approaches reduce people's vulnerability to climatic shocks.
Just a few days before COP28, the 28th Conference of the Parties on climate change, we reiterate the need to scale up sound practices and sustainable management of Madagascar's mangroves for more resilient communities, able to cope with growing climate-related challenges.