The Republic of Madagascar (hereinafter "Madagascar") is an island nation located in the southwestern part of the Indian Ocean, approximately 420 km (260 miles) to the east from the coast of Mozambique, on the south-eastern edge of the African continent. It is separated from the African continent by the Mozambique Channel, and shares maritime borders with the Comoros, France (Mayotte and Réunion), Mauritius, Mozambique and the Seychelles. Madagascar's climate is very diverse, tropical along the coasts, temperate inland and arid in the south. There are generally two seasons in Madagascar: a warm, wet season from November to April and a cooler, dry season from May to October . The country encloses a diversity of ecosystems, with a highland plateau in the center, fringed by low-lying coastal areas on all sides .
Madagascar has an area of 587,041 km² and is the fifth largest island in the world. It is slightly larger than France, and twice the size of the US state of Arizona . The capital and largest city is Antananarivo, and the official languages of Madagascar are Malagasy and French. Christianity is the predominant religion, over 80% of the population is Christian, but traditional beliefs are deeply rooted in society.
Madagascar is among the main 10 countries in the world having important and extensive coastal zones. Madagascar frequently experiences extreme weather events that significantly affect its national economy, as well as the population’s livelihood, because of it’s geographical position .
Due to its geographical position, the island frequently experiences extreme weather events that significantly affect its national economy, as well as the population’s livelihood.
Madagascar has population of more than 28 million inhabitants in 2021, which is equivalent to 0.36% of the total world population . Of the total population in Madagascar, 60 % are under 25 and 42 % are under 15  . The population density is 48 per km2 ( 123 people per mi2). The projected population of Madagascar in 2050 is 54.0 million habitants  About 38.5% of the Malagasy population is urban, with an annual urban growth of 4.7%. It is estimated that more than 100,000 people move from rural areas to the capital, Antananarivo, each year . Unplanned urbanization has an impact on Madagascar development capacities, and between 60 and 70 % of all settlements in the capital are informal constructions in slum conditions .
Madagascar's key economic sectors are agriculture, fishing and livestock. The COVID-19 pandemic has halted Madagascar's four years of economic growth. After real GDP growth of 4.4% in 2019, the country went into a recession in 2020, with real GDP declining by 4% . The main risks to the economic outlook of Madagascar are a new wave of COVID- 19 infections and climatic shocks, such as drought, cyclones and floods.
Madagascar has had a science, technology, and innovation policy since 2009. In 2018, the country completed its technological needs assessment (TNA). Currently, the country prioritizes bioplastics and agroforestry . Bioplastics manufacturing units have been introduced as a technology to support Madagascar's climate change mitigation efforts, while agroforestry has been mainstreamed in Madagascar's agricultural development plans and policies.
After a political crisis of more than 5 years (2009-2014), Madagascar is now in a process of political normalization . In terms of disaster, Madagascar is vulnerable to extreme weather events and has the highest cyclonic risk in Africa. Over the past 20 years, Madagascar has been hit by 35 cyclones, 8 floods and 5 severe droughts, causing USD 1 billion in damage, and affecting food security, drinking water supply and irrigation, public health systems, environmental management and quality of life . COVID-19 and its health and socio-economic implications are further worsening the humanitarian situation in the country.
The government of Madagascar continues to develop policies and institutional strategies to improve its environment, efforts to adapt to climate change and to support the development of the country. The country has adopted several policies and strategies for the protection of the environment and the management of natural resources. The Malagasy Environmental Charter is the main law which sets out the fundamental rules and principles for the management and enhancement of the environment. It was updated in 2015 and is the backbone around which the instruments governing environmental and social assessment are built and implemented . In 2010 Madagscar issued the National Environmental Policy Declaration - NEP (2010), which is in coherence with the socio-economic development and improvement of living conditions of the Malagasy people. The National Environment Policy (NEP) Declaration was developed by the Ministry of Environment and Forests and it aims at improving the living conditions of Malagasy population living in urban and rural areas and led to the adoption of the Malagasy Environment Charter and action thereon programs .
The government of Madagascar continues to develop policies and institutional strategies to improve its environment, efforts to adapt to climate change and to support the development of the country. The country has adopted several policies and strategies for the protection of the environment and the management of natural resources. The Malagasy Environmental Charter is the main law which sets out the fundamental rules and principles for the management and enhancement of the environment. It was updated in 2015 and is the backbone around which the instruments governing environmental and social assessment are built and implemented . In 2010 Madagascar issued the National Environmental Policy Declaration - NEP (2010), which is in coherence with the socio-economic development and improvement of living conditions of the Malagasy people. The National Environment Policy (NEP) Declaration was developed by the Ministry of Environment and Forests and it aims at improving the living conditions of Malagasy population living in urban and rural areas and led to the adoption of the Malagasy Environment Charter and action thereon programs .
Madagascar also has a national policy to combat climate change. The Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development (MEDD) is responsible for implementing and coordinating actions, as well as integrating environmental and climate change issues in various social and economic sectors of the country.
Since Madagascar’s 2015 implementation of Agenda 2030, the country has set up two institutional frameworks to monitor the progress of the Sustainable Development Goals: the Orientation and Monitoring Committee and the Technical Committee .
To tackle the issues of biodiversity, Madagascar established the National Strategy for Sustainable Management of Biodiversity (NSSMB) in 1996 . The primary legislation pertaining to water in Madagascar is the Law n° 1998- 029 . Water management related issues are under the The Ministry of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (MEAH), which houses the Directorate of Water Resources Management (DGRE) . The National Land Program and decentralization is overseen by the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries (MAEP) and its Directorate of Property and Land Services, Conservation of Land Documents and Domains and Land Ownership oversee. Other relevant institutes include the National Institute of Sciences and Nuclear Technology, which monitors major air pollutants in Madagascar .
Madagascar faces many environmental challenges which are compounded by the cascading effects of climate change in the country. Environmental degradation in Madagascar has resulted in land erosion, water scarcity, loss of biodiversity, air and water pollution, with cross-cutting social, economic and environmental consequences .
The EU Green Deal is a key theme that is systematically integrated into EU cooperation between partner countries, including Madagascar. The EU's priorities in Madagascar are based on 4 pillars: contributing to a stable political environment with better governance, reducing extreme poverty in the country through rural development, inclusive economic growth and improving natural capital and building resilience climate EU engagement in Madagascar will especially concentrate on poverty reduction as well as in improving accountability, public policies and the role of civil society . Since 2013, when the political context in Madagascar stabilized, the European Union has resumed development-aid programmes for Madagascar with a post-crisis package of 100 million euros in 2014 .
During the 2014-2020 period Madagascar was allocated an additional 492 million euros under the 11th European Development Fund (EDF) which aligned with the government's priorities around 3 focal sectors; governance and strengthening of public policies, infrastructures, and rural development . In the face of the additional challenges brought by the coronavirus pandemic, EU-funded projects in the Madagascar continue to provide life-saving humanitarian assistance for people in need and support the coronavirus response in the country.
With over 70% of the population living in extreme poverty, Madagascar's development challenges are vast and are compounded by the impacts of climate change. Rising temperatures and changing precipitation patterns are expected to lead to severe droughts in the south of the country, as well as more frequent cyclones and flooding in coastal regions. Two-thirds of Malagasy population live in coastal areas and are exposed to the effects of sea level rise and tropical cyclones, which already occur three to four times a year, affecting 250,000 people and causing $ 50 million of damages annually . In addition, agriculture is the main economic activity and provides livelihoods for over 70% of the Malagasy population. Hence, the increasing duration and frequency of droughts endangers crop yields and food security.
Food insecurity is a very important development challenge in Madagascar. Madagascar ranks 116th out of 119 countries on the Global Hunger Index, with a score classified as "alarming" , and the country is currently facing the world's first climate change-induced famine, as it was underscored during the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP26 . In 2020 alone, more than one million people faced high levels of acute food insecurity and this number is expected to increase further to 1.35 million . Climate change will worsen food insecurity in most developing countries, particularly in the case of Madagascar due to drought-related impacts and events. The south of Madagascar has experienced four consecutive droughts, which have wiped out harvests and hampered people’s access to food. The latest drought started in November 2020 and carried on to January 2021. The drought had a huge impact on the affected communities, exposing people to hunger, malnutrition and even death. As Georgeline Zemasinae stated in an interview with Amnesty International on March 07, 2021 “Children in Madagascar have died of diarrhoeal after the drought. (…) The people of the region of Androy are dying because there is no more food, and because the rain is no longer falling” .
In addition, Madagascar devotes a substantial part of its annual budget to social services and infrastructure in response to the adverse effects of climate change. Over the past five years, loss and damage associated with floods and cyclones is estimated at around US $ 470 to 940 million per year.
Madagascar is very rich in biodiversity which provides important goods and services to support the national economy and the livelihoods of the population. More than 18 million people in Madagascar depend on biodiversity for their subsistence needs, with 80% being essentially entirely dependent on natural resources. In addition, approximately 70% of the population is dependent on resources derived from agriculture and other vegetation . However, the decline in biodiversity has become alarming. The loss of biodiversity poses a serious threat to Madagascar and constitutes a major challenge for the environment and development. The fragmentation of forests and deforestation are major problems for the conservation of biodiversity. In addition to threatening wildlife, deforestation also affects many Malagasy people who depend on forests for food, cooking, heating and healing. Four in five Malagasy depend on land, water and forests for a living .
 Worldometer (2021). Madagascar Population (LIVE).
 African Development Bank Group (2021). Madagascar Economic Outlook.