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Human Responses to Climate Change Result in Destructive Practices that are damaging to the Ecosystem

GCI study sitesDecreased rainfall and shifting seasonal patterns in Madagascar have seen farming and fishing communities adopting a number of coping techniques to deal with failing crops and declining fish availability, such as resorting to unsustainable fishing practices, increasing extraction of natural resources and pursuing unsustainable livelihoods. This is according to recent findings from interviews conducted by the World Wildlife Fund in Madagascar and featured in the May 2018 issue of the climate crowd newsletter.

Climate Crowd
is an initiative to crowdsource data on how people and nature are affected by climate change, and implement solutions that help people and nature in a changing climate.

The report further explains that, destructive fishing practices being the most commonly reported coping strategy, overexploitation of fish and associated damage to marine ecosystems represents the biggest threat to biodiversity in the area. Other threats to biodiversity include, the degradation of natural habitat and disturbance to wildlife associated with increased hunting and foraging activity in forests, and the destruction of forest ecosystems associated with logging and land clearing activities.

The Africa Biodiversity Collaborative Group, through the Managing Global Change Impact (GCI) thematic area, has collected field data on the coping responses of human communities to climate change across 11 countries in sub- Saharan Africa: Cameroon, Gabon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Madagascar, Mozambique, Namibia, Tanzania, Uganda, Zimbabwe and Zambia. This data is available to the public through the World Wildlife Fund’s Climate Crowd and provides knowledge that can guide adaptation strategies towards improving conservation outcomes under future climatic conditions.

Download the report here: Madagascar summary findings

Photo: Managing Global Change Impact thematic area study sites by ABCG