Climate Change Adaptation Capacity


Climate change is altering the very fabric of the world around us. Globally, changes in atmospheric conditions are being accompanied by changes in precipitation patterns, sea level, air and ocean temperature, and the very chemistry of the ocean itself.
The impacts of climate change in Madagascar are already evident. For example, in 2005 bleaching events associated with warm ocean temperatures affected up to 80% of coral coverage, along with anemones and giant clams, on the northeast coast of Madagascar. These changes have serious implications for the unique biodiversity, natural resources, and human communities of the island nation of Madagascar, changing both the basic characteristics of the environment and the delivery of ecosystems services on which local communities depend.

Although climate change awareness has significantly increased in Madagascar in recent years, attention has mainly focused on mitigation actions motivated by the possibility of raising funds from carbon markets. However, Madagascar ranks among the lowest carbon emitting countries in the world. At the same time, its natural resources form the basis of the economy and the livelihoods of the 75% of rural population, and its biodiversity is one of the richest in the world.

Climate change has the potential to cause radical changes in ecosystem function and biodiversity across the island, threatening food and water supplies for Madagascar’s inhabitants, as well as the sociocultural fabric of society. In such a situation, the impacts of climate change need to be addressed in a holistic way, tackling both sides of the issue - reducing emissions caused by deforestation and increasing the resilience of systems.

Madagascar currently does not have the capacity needed to design and implement actions to reduce vulnerability to the effects of climate change. Within Madagascar, there are few people with the skills and knowledge to identify specific vulnerabilities to climate change, or to successfully translate global strategies to local or national action. This means that the government, NGOs, and other organizations are in danger of being caught unaware by the negative effects of climate change on their work, and will have no plans to minimize vulnerability.

By increasing the ability of Malagasy people and organizations to take a proactive rather than a reactive approach to adaptation, this project will increase the effectiveness and decrease the costs of such action, as well as decreasing the cost of climate change overall. By increasing capacity within country, this project will also reduce the cost and greenhouse gas emissions associated with flying external experts into Madagascar to carry out climate adaptation work. It is clear, however, that incorporating climate change into conservation and development planning is a long-term need and requires a well established capacity within the country. All of the WWF MWIOPO and conservation works in the country will greatly benefit from the integration of resilience issues.

Project Data

  • Started: April 2009
  • Planned end date: December 2012
  • Executant: Alison Clausen
  • Managing Office: WWF Madagascar and West Indian Ocean Programme Office
  • Address: WWF Madagascar and West Indian Ocean Programme Office  B.P. 738                                                                                                Antananarivo 101  Madagascar                                                                    +261 20 22 348 85
  • Status: active

Project overall goal and specific objectives

Provide support to WWF and its conservation partners in developing in-country capacity for climate change analysis and adaptation.
• WWF MWIOPO integrates climate change adaptation in its conservation work and is able to support its conservation partners in this area.

• Awareness of climate change impacts on biodiversity and livelihoods is increased within the Malagasy conservation community, decision-makers and targeted local communities.

• Climate change adaptation strategies and measures are implemented within WWF MWIOPO priority ecoregions.


• Recruitment of Climate Change Programme Officer based in Antananarivo

• National training workshop on integration of climate change adaptation in conservation planning for WWF staff and conservation partners

• Distribution of key climate change adaptation documents and references including a series of Climate Change Factsheets highlighting climate change impacts and adaptation in key sectors in Madagascar

• Collaboration with the Department General of Meteorology to prepare an information brochure on Madagascar’s climate characteristics and potential future climate change

• Internal WWF staff training and development of the WWF MWIOPO Climate Change Adaptation Strategy.

Next steps

For the next six months the next steps for this project will be:

• Technical workshops to integrate climate change adaptation issues into planning of the Ala Maiky priority ecoregion

• National workshop on “Adaptation to Climate Change in Key Economic Sectors” in coordination with r Malagasy Government agencies

• Developing Malagasy language tools and materials on climate change impacts and adaptation.