Africa

Madagascar Christmas appeal – climate change and the famine 

Madagascar wetland fires. Photo credit: Seed Madagscar.

By Anders Lorenzen

In our second Madagascar fundraising appeal piece, we dive deeper into how climate change is driving this and what can be done to combat it.

Since publishing our introductory article, research has been published stating that the famine was more to do with poverty and natural weather events than climate change. It is important to factor in, however, that the scientists working on this study did not rule out that climate change had a role to play, but did not find that it is the main contributing factor.

This is of course just one scientific study and not necessarily a conclusive study on this drought. In addition, it is precisely a drought like the one Madagascar is experiencing that climate models predict we will see more of in the future as we continue to pump CO2 into the atmosphere and warm our planet.

It is worth bearing in mind that while science is getting better at analysing such events it is always tricky to associate one specific extreme weather event like this drought and famine with climate change. But with accelerating global warming we will see an increase in the severity and the frequency of extreme weather events.

One of the world’s most climate-vulnerable countries

Furthermore, it is important to highlight that Madagascar remains one of the world’s most climate-vulnerable countries and is at the moment experiencing climate impacts on many fronts.

Madagascar as a developing poor country has done very little to cause the climate crisis, with just 0.01 of annual emissions coming from the country.

We continue to urge you to support Seed Madagascar’s fundraising appeal. While the immediate concern is the famine and continuing focus is to improve food distribution efforts, the charity is also working on long term efforts at recovery and resilience, and on a series of sustainable livelihoods programmes.

For instance, as the impacts of climate change will continue to hit the country, food security and helping farmers and people to develop climate-resilient crops and have access to seeds that, for instance, protect against heat stress, is going to be crucial.

Until the next climate-fuelled extreme weather event hits the country, and it is when and not if, you can help to ensure that the people of Madagascar will better cope by donating below:

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