On the western coast of Madagascar, surrounded by canal de Mozambique and dense forest of Mangroves, and fenced by coconut trees, there is small village called Kivalo. With less than 200 inhabitants, this peninsula is dominated by few coconut trees and traditional houses. Life in this remote area is based on fisheries activities and small business as sources of revenues. Even this village has a suitable and good geographic placement in the mangroves ecosystem; habitants are experiencing the impacts of this changing climate even their carbon emission level is among the lowest all over the world.
In fact, climate change is a man made phenomena and it is among global concerns. With a low level of pollution, poor countries are facing even more consequences of climate change than industrialized countries, which have the highest level of pollution. Kivalo is not an exception. “The Climate has completely change…” Mr. Blaiset, born in 50’s and living in the area since, told me while I was volunteering with WWF International “… Now we are experiencing around 34°C and even more at the end of September while when I was around twenties’, the maximum was around 27°C at the same period.” His thought is not different with what current or previous scientific studies predicted; rising of temperature. Scientific analysis shows that the average temperature has increase of 0, 8°C. This evidence proves that earth is warming and so did Kivalo. As well, with a negligible GHGs’ Emission from nature cycles, this village’s weather state is alarming… there is no doubt, climate change is happening.
As a long term event, climate change’s impacts will not take longer to affect earth; we are experiencing this, some region more than others, and very harmful to some people than to others. During our stay in Kivalo as WWF volunteers through Explore program, we really experienced high temperature estimated around 35°C. Local people also told us that rainfall has dramatically decreased … “The region is getting even drier”. Climate change will tend to increase stress in ecosystem as scientists highlighted. “When I was a teenager, in this area we had many bird species, but now…only few remain!” continued Mr. Blaiset “…we had many and big fishes but now we have to go up to 4 km from the coast and get even small and few fishes.” This confirms what Scientist had recently proved; ocean warming will push many marines’ species toward the poles. This is what is happening in Kivalo and others surroundings area; they were used to fish within 300 meters in the middle of 80’s but now it is ten time faraway! And…in ten or twenty years to come? Local people mentioned also the loss of biological diversity such as snacks, lizards, and birds due to the loss or deterioration of their habitat.
Even it is a man made event as concluded by the United Nations Report published in 2013; after all those facts and others not highlighted here, there is no doubt, climate change is happening now! We can’t say that we don’t have choice while we have one; we have to start contributing. We can’t say that we are too younger or too poor; while we have all it takes. All it takes is to have the will and the courage to contribute to the well mitigation of climate change and adaptation. WWF International and other leading NGOs, through their volunteering programs and projects, need our efforts as youth to insure our bright future and the wellbeing of future generations in a health environment. Everything else can wait!