IPC-IG Publishes Brief on Climate Change, Farming and Gender in Madagascar

October 2012: The International Policy Centre for Inclusive Growth (IPC-IG) has released a Policy Research Brief titled “Greening the Economy and Increasing Economic Equity for Women Farmers in Madagascar.” The brief, authored by Zo Randriamaro, with contributions from Neesha Fakir, highlights the role of formal and informal institutions in local responses to climate change and reveals the need for innovative coping strategies to address climate shocks and hazards.   

The brief identifies several gender barriers, including: limited access to capital, equipment and technology; low education levels; and land dispossession. Further, Madagascar's National Adaptation Programme of Action (NAPA) and disaster risk management and reduction (DRM/DRR) programmes have not been gender-mainstreamed, reinforcing womens' marginalization in adaptation, mitigation and financing policy processes. The brief recommends mainstreaming climate change in the agricultural and coastal management sectors.

Using an example of women's employment in the jatropha industry, it explores the theme of women and the green economy. The author argues that women can help achieve sustainable development if gender inclusive green economy policies are in place. It recommends strengthening women's leadership and organizing women's cooperatives to enhance participation in the green economy.

The study also examines women's perceptions of climate change, describing the results of a survey that indicates that women observed declining yields, land degradation, price increases, seasonal unpredictability, water scarcity and increased wind violence. Respondents most commonly interpreted the meaning of climate change as “hardship” (51.5%). Women proposed eradication of tavy, reforestation and support services as strategies to cope with climate change.

Similar to small island developing States (SIDS), Madagascar has high vulnerability and limited adaptive capacity to climate change. It has experienced 46 natural disasters in the past 35 years. The study is based on two highly vulnerable communities: a fishing community with a locally managed marine area (LMMA) in the northeast, Mananara Nord; and an agricultural community in the southwest, Satrokala. UN Women's Southern Africa Regional Office and IPC-IG supported the study.

IPC-IG is the global forum for policy dialogue and South-South learning on development innovations of the UN Development Programme (UNDP). It is jointly supported by UNDP and the Government of Brazil. [Publication: Greening the Economy and Increasing Economic Equity for Women Farmers in Madagascar]