Fair Trade is a good tool for Sustainable Development. The 10 principles for Fair Trade reflects the ecological-social-economic aspects of Sustainable Development. Crafts can meet high ecological criteria e.g. materials and production, high social standards e.g. gender equality, high economic standards e.g. value added. Madagascar has one of the world’s highest percentage of extreme poverty (77,4 %). At the same time, it has a rich and unique flora and fauna to preserve. Madagascar is one of the world’s “biodiversity hotspots”. In this context, Fair Trade crafts stands out as an exceptionally good choice.
Global Sustainable Development Goals for 2030 At a UN summit 25-27 September 2015, world leaders decided on 17 Global Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) for 2030. (Image to the left) These goals replace the 8 Millennium Development Goals decided for the period 2000-2015.
Fair Trade is a good tool for sustainable development. For example, Fair Trade principle number 1 is “Creating opportunities for economically marginalized producers”. It is perfectly in line with SDG number 1 No poverty. Fair Trade principle number 10”Respect for the environment” reflects SDG 12 Responsible consumption and production as well as 13 Climate action and 15 Life on land. Another example is Fair Trade principle number 6, which is reflected by SDG 5 Gender equality. Finally, Fair Trade practice in its daily work and at grass root level SDG 17: Partnership for the goals.
Sustainable Development Goal number 1: No poverty In its report “Poverty and Shared Prosperity 2020” the World Bank writes that the number of people living in extreme poverty (below the International Poverty Line USD 1,9 a day) decreased from 1.9 billion in 1990 to 741 million in 2015 and further to 689 million 2017. Yet the number of people living in extreme poverty remains unacceptably high and there are several reasons to believe that the SDG target of reducing the share of people living in extreme poverty to below 3 % by 2030 will not be achieved. In fact, the number of people living in extreme poverty in Sub-Saharan Africa rose from 284 million in 1990 to 431 million in 2017. Extreme poverty rate remains on average above 40 % in the region. Madagascar is the country in the world that, according to the report and also World Bank's Poverty data 2020, has the largest share (77.4%) of the population in extreme poverty.
Aggravated Poverty: Madagascar is one of the few countries in the world where real GDP per capita was less in 2010 than 1960. GDP per capita in 2010 had decreased by more than 40%. Only two countries (Liberia and Democratic Republic of the Congo, both of whom had periods of civil war) show a larger decline in GDP per capita. Reference "Shifting Fortunes and Enduring Poverty in Madagascar - Recent Findings. World Bank June 2016 "
Madagascar has been in a deep political and economic crisis starting in 2009 and has suffered from several difficult cyclones in recent years. The combination has had a major impact on the economy as a whole and perhaps the worst for the poorest and most marginalized in society. The infrastructure, such as roads and power supply has deteriorated dramatically. In the Africa Competitiveness Report 2017, Madagascar has the bottom rank (ranked 138 out of 138 countries included) regarding road quality. In the World Bank report "Doing Business Madagascar 2020", Madagascar is ranked close to the bottom (186 out of 190 counted countries) regarding access to electricity. The country is ranked 161 when the assessment includes all ten indicators of the report on how difficult or easy it is to start and run a company there.
At the same time, Madagascar has one of the richest and most unique flora and fauna in the world to preserve. Madagascar is, together with the smaller surrounding islands, one of the world’s “biodiversity hotspots”. Here below some figures to describe a ... immeasurable great value.
Endemism Madagascar and the surrounding islands has an extremely high floral and faunal endemism.
Plants: The threshold of endemism for a region to qualify as biodiversity hotspot is 1500 endemic plants; the Madagascar flora alone comprises about 10 000 endemic species. For palm trees (Arecaceae), Madagascar is considered as one of the world’s richest places. The wealth is mainly characterised by endemism close to 100 %.
Regarding fauna, the level of species endemism is exceptional. Mammals: Of the 211 native species of terrestrial mammals, 95% are endemic. In addition, new species of mammals are being discovered on Madagascar at a rapid pace. The Madagascar lemurs are truly fascinating. The range of lemurs make Madagascar to be the world leader in endemic primates.
Birds: Madagascar and the surrounding islands avifauna is characterised by low diversity but spectacular specific endemism; of the 503 species found in the hotspot, nearly 60% are found nowhere else on the planet.
Reptiles: The diversity (457 species) and endemism (96%) of reptiles is high. The region is a major center of diversity for chameleons, with dozens of species on Madagascar.
Amphibians: The specific amphibian endemism in the region is extraordinary, with only one species out of 309 identified that is not endemic to the hotspot. Endemism is 99,7%.
In addition to the above mentioned, the hotspot includes a wealth of endemic freshwater fish, invertebrates and has an impressive marine biodiversity: fishes, marine turtles and marine mammals.
The photos above shows three of Madagascar's endemic animal species. Top: Sifaka Propithecus Middle: Black and white ruffled lemur Varecia variegata, bottom: Panther chameleon furcifer pardalis