Explore historical and projected climate data, climate data by sector, impacts, key vulnerabilities and what adaptation measures are being taken. Explore the overview for a general context of how climate change is affecting Madagascar.


In 2006, Madagascar’s National Adaptation Program of Action (NAPA) laid the groundwork for a national plan of action on climate change and identified several poverty and economic growth criteria to be used in the evaluation and prioritization of proposed new projects. Key sectors identified for adaptation activities include coastal areas, agriculture and forestry, water resource management, infrastructure and health. Adaptation costs for Madagascar are estimated at US$29 billion in the country's Intended Nationally Determined Contribution. The country is scaling up climate-smart agriculture, carrying out reforestation, and implementing integrated water resources management. It has committed to finalize the National Framework for Meteorological Services by 2020. 

Adaptation Options for Key Sectors

  • Improve and conserve soils.
  • Scale up natural fertilizer production.
  • Switch to different cultivars (drought tolerant/shorter cycle).
  • Improve farmers’ knowledge about proper use of weather information in carrying out agricultural activities to avoid risks of climate change.
  • Scale up reforestation activities to cope with soil degradation.
  • Scale up counter-season cropping and vegetable gardening.
  • Expand infrastructure and capacity-building for use and maintenance of water management systems.
  • Develop and introduce policy measures.
  • Conduct agricultural research and facilitate transfer of technology.
  • Increase research into adaptive seed varieties.
  • Construct small dams for water control.
  • Improve water management, including rationalizing local water-rate structures to ensure better cost recovery and greater water conservation.
  • Invest in water monitoring and information systems as a basis for more efficient and equitable use of water resources in all sectors, especially as related to increasing pro-poor access to resources.
  • Develop and implement water-saving infrastructure for different types of water use.
  • Analyze and revise water supply and demand with the aim of improving efficiency in the system and taking account of revised water cycles resulting from climate change and variability.
  • Implement awareness-raising campaigns at the community level to promote greater responsibility in managing water resources.
  • Strengthen the country’s health services, paying particular attention to increasing the system’s rapid response capacity with regard to diseases that have a direct climate link, including monitoring and awareness-raising.
  • Increase coordination among the country’s health sector with broader developmental players to ensure that the health concerns related to climate change are mainstreamed into development activities.
  • Promote research on climate change and health, responding to the urgent need to understand and attribute the health impacts of climate change in Madagascar, especially for vulnerable locations.
  • Secure local drinking water supplies and proper drainage- an essential step toward curbing diseases of water quality.
  • Create a marine reserve system based on factors likely to increase resistance and resilience to climate change.
  • Promote Integrated Coastal Zone Management, considering the effects of upland watershed activities on coastal marine ecosystem such as mangroves, and corals.
  • Reforest logged mangrove zones.
  • Incorporate climate change into outreach efforts focused in marine resources use.
  • Scale up financial and technical resources for small-scale and line fishermen.
  • Improve community management systems for marine resources.
  • Increase attention to land use planning, including the intensification of fish-farming in rice fields and the protection of watersheds for onshore aquatic resources.
  • Improve coastal management (marine protected areas).
  • Create and improve fishermen’s association/cooperatives.
  • Diversify fishing activities.
  • Improve regional communication strategies.

Gaps and Needs

  • Capacity building in satellite and LIDAR photo-interpretation amongst a core group of national staff, to open the door to technological advancements in disaster risk management – including rainfall and flood forecasting, post disaster damage assessment.
  • More careful and comprehensive adaptation will require greater technical capacity in the country. Improvements to technical capacity are required at the district and community level, but also at the research level, so support to national research institutes and universities is important.
  • Mainstreaming disaster risk management into planning and administration, particularly in a diverse environment such as Madagascar, requires further research on appropriate mechanisms for mainstreaming at the administrative level, including studies on the differential effects of climate variability and change on disaster vulnerability, including increased glacial melting and shifting rainfall patterns.
  • More research is necessary on integrated spatial planning to designate areas at risk, flood-prone zones, and areas where agriculture or settlements should not be permitted.
  • Current adaptation actions in the country miss certain specific adaptation needs identified through the National Adaptation Program of Action (NAPA). While a number of the NAPA projects focus significantly on the creation of infrastructure—dams, protective sea walls, enhanced building design, etc.—that will improve the country’s resilience to climate change, very few of the ongoing adaptation actions in Madagascar explicitly support this type of field level implementation activity. Additional gaps include reforestation and forest management, public health initiatives, and gender.
  • A majority of the adaptation actions being implemented at this stage are focused on assessment, capacity building, policy formation/integration, and education and awareness generation. A smaller number of projects contain community based adaptation initiatives. Although capacity building and research are important, there may be a need for future actions to include concrete and specific actions to demonstrably enhance resilience to climate change, including investments in infrastructure, improved natural resource management, and the adoption of farming techniques that conserve water and improve soil quality.
  • Strengthening and formalizing the National Platform. As of now, the platform is an informal forum of coordination and does not control the flow of funds spent by non-governmental organizations and the United Nations System for disaster risk reduction (DRR). This needs to be remedied in order to effectively implement the proposed platform activities.
  • Strengthening local institutions in disaster risk management. Current institutional capacity is dispersed and fragmented and a significant effort is required to provide the necessary tools and capacity at the local level to respond to and prepare for disasters in the future. Decentralization is the key to this goal, allowing district and community leaders to draw funds to clean drains, raise dykes, store communal seed, and manage local water resources.
  • Integrating climate change considerations into the country’s National Strategy, including budget lines to address potential risks.
  • Coordinating donor assistance. At the national level, development partners should reopen discussion on a Disaster Contingency fund and assist the Government in finalizing an Operational Manual for disaster management that is acceptable to all parties. This should include updating the disaster risk management strategy and policy.
  • Lack of standardized information system.
  • Hazards and vulnerabilities need to be mapped. Highlighting the location of specific hotspots where climate-related hazards are experienced or likely to be felt is a key step in identifying intervention areas. Mapping exercises should document current hazards, use socioeconomic information to characterize the vulnerability of the areas exposed to these hazards, and identify the projected changing dynamics of these hazards in light of climate change.
  • Madagascar has an inadequate or missing capacity building program for staff at the department responsible for national education in environmental and climate change matters. Technical and financial support is required to conduct appropriate awareness raising campaigns.
  • More data, disaggregated data by gender, caste, and ethnic group, is needed to assess the relative impact of natural disasters and for planning purposes.
  • Existing climate forecasting mechanisms should be improved and appropriate early warning and crop forecasting systems should be introduced where appropriate.