Every month, Mialy is updating us with the latest climate change news in Madagascar. Find monthly updates below.
The climate in Madagascar is getting worse every day. In the south, regular drought and malnutrition are having a crippling effect on the people living there.
To respond to climate change, the Madagascan Government announced various development projects. This includes the expansion of a solar park to provide renewable energy. They will also construct a pipeline for clean water. These projects help build the resilience of the southern region, which is suffering the most from the effects of climate change.
While this is one step forward, our people are still destroying the natural environment. This includes our protected forest area, Menabe Antimena. There are currently no solutions or policies in place to fight against the degradation of this protected area.
To help address this issue, the Arrupe Centre is carrying out various activities, including radio shows and training young people. One radio show with its theme ‘Advocate for ecology’ had a slot on one of Madagascar’s most popular radio stations! It encouraged audiences, particularly young people, to carry out advocacy activities in the face of the ecological crisis.
We also held a training course called ‘Advocacy for ecology, engage yourself!’ to encourage and guide young people towards actions to counteract this rapid degradation of the natural environment before it is too late.
Madagascar has an exceptional landscape that adds value and encourages tourism in the country. Its unique biodiversity and incomparable richness of flora and fauna act as an invitation to the big island. And it’d be rude not to mention the beautiful beaches which attract visitors from all over the world!
However, the excessive use of plastics destroys this beauty and contributes to climate change. In October 2020, the Ministry of the Environment indicated that pollution by plastic waste is one of the biggest threats to the coastline and marine resources. It is estimated that by 2025, 50 to 130 million tonnes of plastics per year could be dumped in the oceans. There is also no hope of getting rid of these plastics naturally as the material has a lifespan between 100 – 1000 years.
Awareness, education and law enforcement about this problem is not yet sufficient to fix it. People have yet to realise the harmful consequences of plastics. Thus, as part of the celebration of the 6th anniversary of Laudato Si ‘, the Arrupe Centre in Madagascar is collaborating with the Association of Catholic Female Scouting (called Fanilon’I Madagasikara in Madagascar). Together we are making an advocacy video against the use of plastics.
The aim is to reduce the use of plastics that endanger the ecosystem, mitigate the effects of climate change and allow the protection of our common home. Inspired by the Laudato Si ’21, “Each year hundreds of millions of tons of waste are generated, much of it non-biodegradable, highly toxic and radioactive, from homes and businesses, from construction and demolition sites, from clinical, electronic and industrial sources. The earth, our home, is beginning to look more and more like an immense pile of filth.”
Despite having the most unique biodiversity in the world, Madagascar the third country in the world most vulnerable to climate change.
Deforestation is one of the main causes of climate change. We lose between 95,000 to 190,000 football fields worth of forest every year! The rate of deforestation is making our country more vulnerable and we are seeing a decrease in agricultural yields causing food insecurity across Madagascar.
To try and tackle this issue, the government with the help of charities have been working to promote an ecological culture among the population. The Arrupe Cente, supported by Jesuit Missions, have produced a mini- called ‘Tranobe Iombonantsika’ which translates into Our Common Home.
Watch the video below, that shows what Madagascar could be like in 2050 if we respond to climate change now.