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GYBN Madagascar

Madagascar, home to five percent of the world’s biodiversity, is a megadiverse country and is considered a biodiversity hotspot. Madagascar's flagship species are lemurs (eight families and more than 100 species, with new species discovered almost annually) and our baobabs (six of the eight species of baobabs in the world are endemic to Madagascar). The country has a high rate of endemism: almost 100% for frogs, 92% for small terrestrial mammals, 73% for bats, 77% for carnivores, 100% for lemurs (primates), and 90% for vascular flora. Additionally, as an island country, Madagascar’s waters host marine megafauna such as humpback whales and sperm whales that give birth and migrate during austral winters.


Madagascar is the biggest island in the West Indian Ocean and contains three very different biogeographical regions:

  • Along the east coast and in the northeastern part of the island, the climate is influenced by monsoon seasons and is the domain of the tropical dense rainforest, allowing for the growth of cash crops like cocoa, coffee, vanilla, ylang-ylang.

  • In the central highlands, a more cold and dry climate exists, paving the way for remarkable Tapia forests (Uapacca bojeri) and high altitude dense tropical forests to thrive.

  • Along the east coast and the southern part of the island that crosses the Capricorn Tropic, there is a characteristically hot and dry climate suitable for xerophytic thickets, dry dense deciduous forests, and spiny forests.

  • Most of our mangroves are located on the sheltered west coast, accounting for 2% of Africa’s mangroves.


After attending the 13th Conference of the Parties to the CBD (COP-13) as a GYBN youth delegate, Alexandra Rasoamanana founded GYBN Malagasy after observing all the initiatives and actions that other GYBN members were spearheading. Discovering the “behind the scenes” of the negotiations at the COP also strengthened her conviction that young people should act and be heard, especially since Madagascar is a megadiverse country, a major hotspot for biodiversity and has a large youth population.  She felt that a structured organization like GYBN was needed for Malagasy youth to free up their potential and become impactful stakeholders in halting biodiversity loss.

Currently, despite the reality that 80% of Madagascar’s population rely directly on natural resources, the country is now facing dramatic environmental degradation and biodiversity loss, hindering social well-being and intergenerational environmental justice. To support environmental justice in Madagascar, MYBN is working to:

  • close the generational gap in environmental and biodiversity discussions, decisions and actions. 

  • show that Malagasy youth are knowledgeable of biodiversity issues and are taking action through lobbying and advocacy.

  • ensure that the Malagasy youth’s position is taken into account at every decision-making level when it comes to environmental and biodiversity management, nationally and internationally.

  • cultivate a structure where young people are supported to act, commit, learn, and connect with other young people, network, get and share experiences and ideas, and create and lead projects for biodiversity.

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