587,041 km2


22M (2012 estimate)


The combination of southeastern trade winds and northwestern monsoons produces a hot rainy season (November–April) with frequently destructive cyclones, and a relatively cooler dry season (May–October). Rain clouds originating over the Indian Ocean discharge much of their moisture over the island's eastern coast; the heavy precipitation supports the area's rain forest ecosystem. The central highlands are both drier and cooler while the west is drier still, and a semi-arid climate prevails in the southwest and southern interior of the island.

Natural Resources:


Madagascar's natural resources include a variety of unprocessed agricultural and mineral resources. Agriculture, including raffia, fishing and forestry, is a mainstay of the economy. In 2009, agriculture accounted for 24% of GDP, while commerce and services accounted for 55%.The island also holds one of the world's largest reserves of ilmenite (titanium ore), as well as important reserves of chromites, coal, iron, cobalt, copper and nickel.


The diversity of its ecology and climate makes it possible for the Island to grow temperate crops such as apples, pears, plums, grapes and citrus fruits and tropical products such as mangoes and lychees, as well as a wide variety of other crops including coffee, cloves, sisal, maize, tubers, and various spices. Madagascar is the world's principal supplier of vanilla, cloves and ylang-ylang. Other key agricultural resources include coffee, lychees and shrimp.

Climate Vulnerability:


Increase in temperature through the island with great warming in the south. Because the south is already the driest region and the highly fragmented eastern forest is vulnerable to drying.