GCCA + Madagascar: Building Capacity on Sustainable Climate Change Adaptation

At a glance

2016-06-01 to 2020-06-30
Active programmes
Office National pour l’Environnement (ONE); GIZ
Total budget
9,50 M€
GCCA priority area(s)

Adaptation to climate change requires particular attention in Madagascar: indeed, Madagascar is the 7th country with the highest climate risk score according to the German Watch indicator. Often described as a "nature sanctuary" and one of the world's 25 "hotspot" countries, with its fauna and flora species reaching a rate of endemism close to 90%, Madagascar is at the same time one of the countries most exposed to the negative impacts of climate disturbances. Natural disasters (cyclones, floods and, at times and in some places, increased drought) are recurrent. Madagascar's situation with regard to desertification and soil degradation is also worrying. Finally, more than 90% of the population lives on less than 2 USD/day and the livelihoods of more than 70% of the Malagasy people depend mainly on agriculture, livestock and fisheries, the latter depending heavily on the quality of ecosystem services.


In order to deal with the multiplicity of climate risks and the high vulnerability of populations, infrastructures and existing production systems, institutional capacities are limited, both within institutions and in terms of multisectoral collaboration to deal with them. The difficulties are all the greater as adaptation to climate change poses challenges of a new nature, particularly in terms of understanding the issues, institutional organisation and anticipation in the face of uncertainty. Response capacities also suffer from a recent past marked by political instability, economic difficulties, weak governance, a tendency to fragment the regulatory or strategic framework, the weakness of decentralised actors and limited state budgetary revenues for this sector.

Madagascar has been a contracting party to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) since 1998. Madagascar also ratified in 1997 the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification and Land Degradation. In 2010, the country also adopted the National Climate Change Policy (PNLCC). It focuses on five main axes:

  1. Strengthening climate change adaptation actions taking into account the country's real needs;
  2. Carrying out mitigation actions for sustainable development, including through activities to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD);
  3. Integrating climate change at all levels;
  4. Developing sustainable financing instruments;
  5. Promoting research, development and technology transfer.

The same axes are reflected in the sectoral strategy for agriculture, livestock and fisheries.

GCCA's action programme
Geographical scope
Country groups
Initial GCCA/GCCA+ contribution
8,000,000.00 €

Overall objective

The proposed project addresses the high vulnerability of Madagascar to climate change. Many efforts have already been undertaken to address the effects of short-term climate variability, and the focus of this project is on sustainable adaptation to climate change. The project will respond to these challenges by articulating interventions at the central institutional and decentralized levels.

Specific objective

The specific objective is to strengthen the capacity to adapt to climate change, with a view to achieving sustainable development.


Three expected results have been defined, which correspond to three components:
(1) Strategic planning, coherence and monitoring of actions are strengthened in relation to sustainable adaptation to climate change.
(2) Key actors have the information and knowledge to work towards sustainable adaptation to climate change.
(3) Municipalities with a high climate challenge base their development on appropriate planning schemes.


The purpose of the activities was to:

  • Finalize the strategic framework, in particular the Adaptation Component of the National Action Plan to Combat Climate Change (PANLCC) and the National Adaptation Plan (NAP).

  • Develop and implement the NAP and PANLCC Adaptation Indicator Monitoring Scoreboard.

  • Develop and maintain a database of climate change adaptation projects

  • Develop frameworks for consultation and mechanisms for integrating environmental and climate issues at regional and national levels

  • Develop the use (and modalities of use) of environmental assessment tools (in particular Strategic Environmental Assessments - SEAs) to support the integration of climate issues

  • Strengthen the capacities of key actors (including the BNCCC, relevant ministries, local actors, etc.) for their active participation and visibility in UNFCCC-related international frameworks and mechanisms to better integrate the national needs and concerns in the international context.

Key actors have the information and knowledge needed to work towards sustainable adaptation to climate change.

  • Design and implement training programs

  • Support actors and institutions active in the field of training, education, information and awareness-raising

  • Systematize assessments and analyses to draw lessons from adaptation efforts

  • Develop and update, in collaboration with stakeholders, relevant indicators for the State of the Environment Scoreboard

  • Give key actors, including civil society, access to information on the sources of funding available for adaptation.

The municipalities with a strong climate challenge support their development on adapted management schemes.

  • Conduct preparatory studies: identify communes, supplement basic information (aerial images, local land use plan), agree on the process and mechanism for participation and consultation.

  • Optimize the impact of sustainable development.

  • Draw lessons learned and ensure their dissemination, including to other municipalities.

Achievements to date

Policy documents, planning tools and capacity building (GIZ):
- The BN-CCCREDD+ is supported in the development of the National Adaptation Plan (NAP) and the National Action Plan for the Fight against Climate Change (NAPCC). The indicators of these two reference documents are integrated into the National Integrated Monitoring and Evaluation System (SNISE), for monitoring adaptation and mitigation measures.
- Following specific training, 15 key institutions are able to implement CCA measures in their professional activities.
- 35 Community Development Plans (CDPs) have been developed, and 57 CCA projects have been implemented by the supported communities.
- Several weather stations have been rehabilitated or installed in 4 regions
- Four national documents have been developed, integrating the guidelines and recommendations of the NAP and the NAPLCC. These documents are the Framework for the Orientation and Organisation of Malagasy Curricula (COOCM), the National Policy for the Development of Infrastructure and Equipment (PNDIE), the Implementation Plan (PMO) of the National Wood Energy Supply Strategy (SNABE) and the National Health Sector Development Plan (PNDSS).
Environmental Information for Adaptation Component (National Environment Office):
- Guidelines and a guide for integrating adaptation to climate change into territorial planning through the SEA approach are produced
- Vulnerability and adaptation indicators to climate change are validated (at national and regional levels)
- The SNSVACC is in place (structure, members, procedures and modalities for data feedback, agreements, commitments)
- Data collection in 55 communes, 15 districts, 3 regions
- Additional data acquired at national level
- Online BSC restructured, updated and maintained, including indicators of vulnerability and adaptation to climate change
- Environmental Data Atlas improved and updated
- Vulnerability and climate risk maps are developed; a methodology is proposed for regional and national maps
- Tools for popularising local adaptation strategies are produced and disseminated
- Capacities are strengthened for national, regional, district and 55 commune BSC actors
- Regional deforestation maps are produced
- Summaries of the national and 3 regional BSCs are produced, edited and disseminated

Challenges and lessons learned

Lessons learned:

- Need for further strengthening of national institutions and inter-sectoral coordination
- Effective decentralised actions with adequate capacity building of local institutions
- Lengthy processes of policy development and planning tools
- Pandemic context particularly difficult for the organisation of fieldwork and stakeholder involvement

Best practices:

1 - Participatory approach:

Capacity building, validation workshops and the establishment of a data feedback system by the authority in charge of this component were carried out in a highly participatory manner. This approach made it possible to reach all levels of actors concerned by the action despite limited resources.

2: Local Adaptation Strategies

Although standard practice, the production in the form of a sheet of local adaptation strategies is an interesting practice because it responds in a concrete way to the expectations of local communities with regard to the action. The selection process carried out on the 127 pre-identified SLAs is a concrete added value of the Action.

3: Donation of equipment to deserving regions "Data reporting competition"

The motivation of deserving Regions through the donation of computer equipment makes it possible to strengthen the capacity of these Regions to contribute more effectively to the processing and supply of data.

4: Mapping and climate risks

Producing a map with a pixel resolution of 4 km (village-level equivalent) is an innovative practice to be continued and refined, as it facilitates communication and allows for a common language between decision-makers and local communities. The different actors have the same level of information and have a basis for projecting themselves into the future through the different development plans.

- Consideration of lessons learned in further European cooperation
- Consideration of policy and planning documents developed in alignment and coherence with the objectives of the European Green Deal
- Involvement of young people in climate change and wider environmental actions, while promoting their empowerment and sustainable employment opportunities