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The frontline communities resisting destructive development agendas in Madagascar

This women-led movement in Madagascar is resisting extractive development projects on the island, in exchange for alternatives that respect the land and the indigenous Mikea community.

Madagascar emits 0.1 tons of carbon dioxide per capita, making it one of the lowest producing countries of carbon dioxide in the world.On the contrary, this so-called “big island” is a biodiversity hotspot comprising valuable and sensitive ecosystems that have been seriously compromised by climate change, with more than 1,865 species threatened with extinction, including 80% of vegetal and animal species endemic to the country. According to the Global Climate Risk Index 2020, Madagascar is the fourth most affected country in the world  by global warming, adverse weather events, and other climate risks threatening unique animal species and large numbers of poor and vulnerable communities representing 80% of the population.

Against the backdrop of widespread degradation of the country’s natural environment, the Malagasy Government’s development and growth agenda continues to focus on the promotion of the extractive and agro-industry sectors, as well as the development of the blue economy and the establishment of Special Economic Zones dedicated to foreign investors. As a result, these development strategies are characterized by their worrying ecological footprint and recurrent land grabbing – all at the expense of communities that are raising their voices to say ‘No’ and demand alternatives to this development model that safeguard their lands, resources, and livelihoods.

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