Published on
21 April 2023

Earth Day was first celebrated in the United States on April 22, 1970, and that moment is often considered the birth of the environmental movement. Today, activities take place all around the world to mark Earth Day, making it one of the most important citizen mobilizations for the care of our planet.

Environmental protection is at the heart of the Roncalli International Foundation’s values. Many of the countries where we work are directly affected by climate change and we know that it is critical to help communities build resilience to its impacts, which is why building resilience to climate change is now one of our areas of action.



In Madagascar, for instance, there is a worrisome increase in cyclonic activity. The country, which already has one of the highest poverty rates in the world, now experiences an average of three cyclones per year that are destroying the environment, livelihoods and habitats. In addition, between 2018 and 2022, the south of the island experienced a prolonged drought due to increasingly scarce rainfall, which has led to adverse consequences on the food security of the population.

 

 



In response to this situation, we are collaborating on an innovative project in the rural community of Ampahomanitra in southeastern Madagascar with the organizations Village Monde and Madagascar Tourisme Rural (MATOR). The ongoing project aims to increase the income of 150 farmers who are members of a local peasant association and integrate resilient agricultural practices into daily life to encourage sustainable community development.

 

 



Thanks to a $27,000 grant from the Foundation, MATOR was able to purchase materials to put in place beekeeping activities, as well as purchase honey plants, such as coffee, clove, lychee, goldenrod, orange, apple, pepper and pineapple, to encourage production. With the funds, MATOR has also been able to offer various management, beekeeping, agroecology and environmental protection training courses to participants.

 

 



The honey produced through this initiative will be used for local consumption and to sell at the market, which will provide additional income for the farmers.

Through this project, farmers are more hopeful about the future and better informed about sustainable, ecological and resilient agricultural practices.

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