Madagascar is at the forefront of the climate change; it is the 5th in the world and the first country in Africa among the countries most exposed to climate change [1]. Projected climate change trends include an increase in temperature from 1.1°C to 2.6°C by 2065, and a decrease in precipitation in the north while in the southern part of the country, precipitation is expected to increase during summer months[2]. Climate change impacts in Madagascar, that have been particularly severe during the last two decades, are: (i) extended drought periods; (ii) increased variability of the rainfall regime; (iii) intensification of cyclones; and (iv) floods associated with cyclone disturbances In Madagascar, sea level has risen 7 to 8 mm per year, leading to coastal erosion and the progression of receding. There has also been an increase in mortality rate due to by fish consumption that have accumulated dinoflagellate algae, which flourishing is increasing with sea-surface temperature rise [3].

As Madagascar is very vulnerable to the impact of climate change, adaptation should be a major concern and a priority for the country. Increased rainfall, floods and droughts cause food insecurity due to drought period, cause fatalities and hamper agricultural productivity, which is the backbone of Madagascar's national economy, accounting for more than one fourth of GDP. Climate models predict an increase in the exposure of cropland to drought [4]. Cassava and maize yields, two main food crops in Madagascar, are expected to decline [4].

In addition, climate change causes serious damage to the infrastructure sector in Madagascar, especially roads and bridges. More than 30 floods or torrential rains have affected Madagascar over the past 30 years, killing hundreds and affecting thousands of Malagasy[2] . Coastal erosion caused by sea level rise is already a major problem for coastal ports and beaches in Madagascar.

 In addition, climate change threatens the health and sanitation sector. Climate change also has an impact on water supply, causing water stress and (irregular rainfall patterns, drought and deficit in some areas) [3] increasing the risk of malnutrition, diseases, hunger, and death from famine.  According to the World Health Organization, Madagascar recorded around 2.2 million cases of malaria, including 5,350 deaths in 2018 [4]. Many of the public health challenges in Madagascar are expected to worsen with climate change.


Madagascar is among least developed countries with very small greenhouse gas emissions [3]. It has CO2 emissions of around 2.65 tCOe per capita and it emits around 40 MtCOe per year [5] [6]. During the period of 1990-2015, total GHG emissions in Madagascar decreased [7] and have gone down from around 52 MtCOe to around 41 MtCOe in 2018 [6]. Madagascar’s GHG emissions come mainly from agriculture (around 55%) land use change and forestry (around 26%), and energy (around 15%), combined with strong emission growth in emissions from economic development and energy use.

Madagascar’ contribution to global greenhouse gas emissions is relatively small, only around 0.12% of total global GHG emissions [5], but despite this, the country is strongly affected by climate change. It was ranked among one of the ten countries most vulnerable to climate risks by the Global Climate Risk Index 2020, the country is also one of the 20 countries most affected between 2000-2019 and the fourth most affected by climate change in 2018 [8].

It is a grave injustice that the impacts of climate change are felt by the Malagasy people considering that they contribute the least to the climate crisis.


Key policies and governance approach

Madagascar's policies and governance approach on climate change highlight its ambition to fight climate change. Madagascar has put in place an ambitious political framework which includes the National Adaptation Action Program, the National Policy on Climate Change, the planned Nationally determined contribution (NDC) of 2015, which was then converted into NDC in September 2016, and the three National Communications (NC). Madagascar is also a signatory to both the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Kyoto Protocol and ratified the Paris Agreement on September 21, 2016.

According to the Decree No. 2015-092 of March 5th, 2015, the Ministry of the Environment, of Ecology, the Sea and Forest (MEEMF) is responsible for the implementation and coordination of climate related actions, as well as the mainstreaming of climate change issues in social and economic sectors. The National Bureau of Climate Change Coordination (BNCCC) of MEEMF ensures the role of coordinating, facilitating, supervising and monitoring of the productive delivery of all the measures provided within the NDCs. The BNCCC works together with sectorial ministries, the National Climate Change Committee, sectorial and regional environmental offices, and others non-governmental actors operating in the field of climate change [3].

In its NDCs, Madagascar is committed to both contribute to both mitigate climate change, and to reduce climate change vulnerability and promote adaptation measures. As for mitigation, despite its very low responsibility in terms of GHG emissions, Madagascar aims to reduce its emissions to 30 MtCO2 by 2030, compared to the Business-as-Usual scenario; and increase the absorptions in the land use, land-use change and forestry (LULUCF) sector to about 61 MtCO2 [3].  To achieve this, Madagascar has identified the following actions: strengthening renewable energies (hydraulic and solar), reforestation, enhanced monitoring of forests and grasslands, climate-smart rice cultivation techniques, an increase in hydropower and solar power, sustainable cooking stoves and energy efficiency among others [5] [9].

Madagascar is also committed to adaptation measures,  particularly those with the impacts of climatic hazards that mostly affect the country, whose intensities are exacerbated by climate warming observed both at the national and global levels. Adaptation measures were frameworked by the Politique Nationale de Lutte contre le Changement Climatique created in 2010. This national policy has as first strategicaim to “Strengthen adaptation to climate change, considering Madagascar’s realistic needs”. The several adaptation measures Madagascar is planning to take between 2020 and 2030 include: effective implementation of multi-hazard early warning systems,  widespread application of Resilient Agriculture Integrated Models in major agricultural centres,  sustainable and integrated water resources management, implementation of ecosystem-based adaptation measures and restoration of natural habitats among others[3].


Successes and remaining challenges

Given Madagascar's climate sensitive structure, the effective implementation of climate change adaptation and mitigation plans is paramount. Madagascar’s willingness to tackle climate change has led to the existence of many policy framework documents and legal instruments conducive to the implementation of actions to cope with climate change. The country will carry out efforts for effective implementation of existing regulatory instruments, as well as to elaborate new policies in order to support the implementation of actions linked to the national contributions[3].

Yet, like most developing countries, climate finance is a major issue for the country. Very little domestic funding is available for climate change, and current domestic funding is insufficient to implement long-term adaptation and mitigation solutions. The investment costs for the implementation of Madagascar's NDC priorities are estimated at around USD 42.099 billion, more than half of which would be allocated to adaptation actions[8]. Of the total amount of investments required, Madagascar indicated that only around 4% could be covered by national resources[8].  In 2021, the resources mobilized for climate change include $ 69.9 million from the Green Climate Fund (GCF) and $ 99.2 million from the Global Environment Facility (GEF), with almost no private sector participation [10].

Also, the institutional and regulatory framework for climate change and low-carbon development has been strengthened in Madagascar, but climate vulnerability is still  high, while adaptation to climate change remains low [10]. Madagascar lacks the infrastructure (roads, energy, water supply, etc.) necessary to manage and adapt to climate-related risks and disasters, and its agricultural sector is very vulnerable to climate risks[10]. Besides, according to the World Bank adaptation studies, current adaptation actions in Madagascar lack certain specific adaptation needs identified by the National Adaptation Action Program (PANA). These needs are highlighted by gaps in implementation, which are reforestation initiatives beyond protected areas, public health initiatives, gender, and community-based adaptation initiatives [2]. Madagascar also published a vulnerability and adaptive capacity assessment in 2015 [11]. Given the current cascading impacts of climate change in the Southern part of Madagascar, efforts should be made to update this assessment.

If no action is taken, in the business-as-usual scenario, Madagascar’s total emissions will reach 214 MtCO2 in 2030. Total absorptions will decrease to 92 MtCO2 in 2030, which will change Madagascar’s status from carbon sink to an emitting source in 2030[3].


Initiatives and Development Plans

Since 2016, Madagascar has had a roadmap for its National Adaptation Plan (PAN) which integrates climate change into a sectoral approach. In 2019, Madagascar developed the Methodological Guide for the Integration of Climate Resilience into Regional Development Plans (PRD) and Regional Land Use Plans (SRAT), as well as the adaptation integration guide to climate change in land use planning standards through an Environmental Assessment Approach Strategy (EES) under the auspices of the National Environment Agency (ONE) [10].

In 2021, climate change was included in sectoral strategies for water resources, industrial development and waste. Madagascar is also committed to helping to mitigate climate change, as well as to reduce vulnerability to climate change and to promote adaptation measures[3] .

For it’s LULUCF sector, Madagascar is developing a diversified reforestation program with aim to increae the total areas under forest cover, with an indigenous species reforestation program of 270,000 ha[3].


Goals and Ambitions

As for mitigation, by 2030, Madagascar aims to reduce approximately 30 MtCO2 of its emissions of GHG, representing 14% of national emissions, compared to the BAU scenario, with projections based of GHG inventory from year 2000 to 2010.  

As a result of the various adaptation measures Madagascar is expecting to achieve  stabilisation of the case of human casualties due to cyclones and reduction of the occurrence of hunger and food insecurity events associated with drought periods by 2025. Madagascar also aims to assure national food security through a large-scale implementation of Resilient Agriculture. By 2030, Madagascar is expecting to significantly decrease the proportion of people, particularly in Southern Madagascar, suffering from starvation. Madagascar will also restore 55,000 ha of forests and mangroves by 2030.  However, the objectives remain conditioned by financial support from global partners (conditional contributions)[3].




  • effective implementation of multi-hazard early warning systems, including cyclones, floods, food security, drought, hunger and health; and
  • sustainable and integrated management of water resources, in sub-arid zones and those vulnerable to periods of drought.
  • additionally, the strengthening of natural protection and reduction of the vulnerability of coastal, inshore and marine areas affected by erosion and shoreline recession (Menabe, Boeny, South-West and East) 
  • Due to its vulnerability to climate change, Madagascar needs to focus especially on mitigation actions. In order to carry out the required actions, global finance support is needed