The Union of the Comoros is an archipelago composed of four islands which are, from East to West: Mayotte (370 sq km), Anjouan (424 sq km), Mohéli (290 sq km) and Grand-Comoro (1148 sq km). In spite of the accession of the country to international sovereignty in 1975, Mayotte is still under French rule. Therefore, this document refers to the three islands only.
The country is located at the northern entry of the Mozambique Channel between Madagascar and the Eastern coast of Africa, thus occupying a strategic position. The islands are separated from deep sub marine channels. The total area of the three islands, which form the Union of the Comoros, is 1862 sq km.
The Comoro archipelago is exclusively of volcanic origin. On the geo-chronological plan, the latest information on the age of the three islands is respectively as follows: 1.49, 0.48, 0.36 millions years (Ma) for Mayotte, Mohéli and Anjouan (Armstrong, 1972: Emerick and Duncan, 1982, 1983: Nougier and al, 1986) and 0, 13 Ma for Grand-Comoro (Emerick and Duncan, 1982, 1983). The island of Grand Comoro is composed of two volcano shields represented by the massif of the Northern Grille in the North and the massif of the Karthala in the South. The latter is still active. The 1977 eruption affected the village of "Singani" in the southwest of the island. The latest eruption dates back to November 2005.
The volcanoes that constitute the islands of Mohéli and Anjouan have reached a more advanced maturation stage and are deeply eroded. Mayotte presents a more advanced evolution stage, which is still characterized by erosion and a very intense alteration. The three islands are affected by two systems of fracture, towards North-West/South-East and North- South. At the local level, as in Anjouan and Mohéli, some signs of subsidence can be noted in Foumbouni and Malé in the Southeast, the oldest risen part of Grand-Comoro. Close to Mitsamiouli in the North-West of Grand-Comoro and Malé, the reef is splitting to give birth to the beginning of a reef-barrier.
The coastal and marine environment offers a great variety in its morphology (low coasts, cliffs, islets, platinum…) and in its nature (lavas, white or black sand beaches, stones, blocks, coral cliffs). Generally speaking, the continental plateau (900 sq km) is highly reduced in the west of the archipelago where the seabeds have suddenly reached depths higher to 3000 meters due to the existence of a North-South rift along the Mozambique Channel. The narrow plateau accounts for the low development of coral reefs. In the East, the seabeds are less deep and are the extension of the Madagascar continental plateau.
BULLETIN DʼINFORMATIONS DU PROJET «RENFORCEMENT DES CAPACITÉS DʼADAPTATION ET DE RÉSILIENCE DU SECTEUR AGRICOLE FACE AUX CHANGEMENTS CLIMATIQUES»
Pour lutter contre la vulnérabilité du système agricole aux Comores tout en s’attaquant à la menace que constitue le changement climatique, des méthodes et moyens rési- lients sont nécessaires pour faire face aux phénomènes climatiques extrêmes. C’est le but ultime du projet CRCCA aux Comores.
Strengthening Comoros Resilience Against Climate Change and Variability Related Disaster
The "Strengthening Comoros Resilience Against Climate Change and Variability Related Disaster" project will work to strengthen institutional, policy and regulatory frameworks to integrate climate and disaster risks into planning, improve knowledge and understanding of key climate drivers and natural disasters, and strengthen community resilience to climate-induced disaster risks. UNDP is currently working with the Government of Comoros to develop the project proposal for a US$8.5 million grant from the Global Environment Facility Least Developed Countries Fund.
The strengthening of the resilience of the Comorian communities to climate-related natural disasters will in a long term require a profound change in the current practices of development planning and implementation. This will first require greater awareness of decision makers and a better understanding of medium- to long-term climate change risks. This will also require that human settlements, community basic infrastructure and economic development infrastructure be made more resilient to disasters induced by climate change through designing and implementation of effective prevention against natural disasters and the integration of climate change and disaster risk management in the development.
Comoros is highly vulnerable to natural disasters (floods, cyclones, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes and tsunami) and epidemics including cholera, dengue and chikungunya. In the last two decades in Comoros, 17 natural disasters were recorded with 148 deaths and more than 400,000 people affected. The biggest disaster was in 2005 when 245,000 people were affected by a volcanic eruption.
In addition, torrential rains, storms and floods have affected more than 117,000 people in the last two decades. Climate projections show that the situation faced by the Comoros in recent years could worsen. According to the IPCC, through projections of Atmosphere-Ocean General Circulation Model (AOGCM), the climate change scenarios for small islands in the Indian Ocean from 2040 to 2069 indicate an increase of the average annual rainfall to 3.1% (+ or -0.45%) .
The sea- level rise is expected to reach 20 cm by 2050 . Weather and climate extreme events such as cyclones, tsunamis are also expected to increase in frequency and intensity in the future. Therefore, it is likely that future tropical cyclones would gain intensity, that heavy rainfall and floods would be more intense during the hot season, that on the opposite droughts would be more intense during dry season and that land erosion would be exacerbated.
Among the factors of the Comorian populations’ vulnerability to natural disasters one can note the following:
- Natural factors: the insularity, the rugged topography with many steep slopes, combined with the natural and soil triggered waterproofing (lava flow) stimulate the runoff strength of rainwater, causing multiple erosions and flooding and leading to destruction of villages.
- Land-use planning: housing is often temporary and under precarious and anarchical conditions. The vulnerability of some areas is more acute because of their proximity to the sea that threatens to engulf houses built too close to the eroding coast, either as a result of rainfall, tides or because of sand removal used as construction material.
- Poor transport networks: transport networks are poor and were built without taking in account climate-induced disaster risks. The Union of the Comoros road network comprises 800 km of roads, of which approximately 50% is classified as in “good and fair” condition and almost 30% in “bad and very bad” by the National Roads and Road Transport Office (DNRTR). In several areas the road network is either partially or totally degraded. This situation makes road networks very vulnerable and easily degraded and/or not fully operational in the event of climate induced disasters and this contributes to increased vulnerability of the Comorian communities. In disaster situation they are cut off from health infrastructure and food supply including drinking water and hardly access to emergency relief.
- Weak socio-economic base of the community contributes a great deal to increase their vulnerability. The strengthening of the resilience of the Comorian communities to climate related natural disasters will in a long term require a profound change in the current practices of development planning and implementation. This will first require greater awareness of decision makers and a better understanding of medium- to long- term climate change risks. This will also require that human settlements, community basic infrastructure and economic development infrastructure be made more resilient to disasters induced by climate change through designing and implementation of effective prevention against natural disasters and the integration of climate change and disaster risk management in the development.
Outcome 1 - Systemic and institutional capacities for the long -term management and adaptation planning of disaster risks caused by climate change are strengthened at local, provincial and national levels
Outcome 2 - Knowledge and understanding of medium- to long -term climate-related disaster risks and vulnerability are improved
Outcome 3 - The long-term resilience of the livelihoods and assets of vulnerable communities against climate disaster risks is strengthened
This project brief gives an overview of the project, and details Issues, Actions, and Expected Impacts.
Status of NAP support to Comoros:
The Union of the Comoros launched its NAP process in 2014, with the aim to reduce climate vulnerability in the medium- to long-term and to integrate climate-related risks and opportunities into existing development planning and budgeting systems. At the request of the government of Comoros, the joint UNDP-UN Environment National Adaptation Plan Global Support Programme (NAP-GSP) conducted a stocktaking of NAP activities. A Stocktaking Report was prepared, covering an overview of the NAP process, an analysis of NAP-relevent processes and actors in the Comoros, a review of Comoros's Climate Change Action Plan, recommendations for the NAP process in Comoros, strategic areas of intervention, and a NAP roadmap.
> Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to access the Stocktaking Report for the NAP process in Comoros
- Developing a centralised information system;
- Support to strengthen the coordination and synergy among country institutions as well as among technical and financial partners, and between the national and islands levels;
- Building capacities both at institutional and individual level and both technical and functional skills, particularly in climate adaptation mainstreaming and funding mobilization, both internal (with support to CCA budgeting) and external (new project development);
- Requirement for further sensitisation activities to strengthen ownership of the NAP process ownership by a wide range of stakeholders.
NAP - experiences in climate change adaptation planning / PNA - expérience en adaptation au changement climatique
Presentation by the Government of Comoros at the NAP-GSP / PAG-PNA Africa Regional Training Workshop in April 2014 / Présenté par la délégation du gouvernement du Comoros à la Atelier régional de formation en Afrique Organisé par le PAG-PNA - Addis Abeba, Ethiopie, 21-24 avril 2014.
Activités récentes du processus PNA aux Comores
- Le processus PNA a été officiellement lancé aux Comores le 23 septembre 2014 (par le Ministre de l'Environnement)
- Ce lancement a été suivi d'un atelier de sensibilisation de trois jours du 23 au 25 septembre. L'objectif de l'atelier était de renforcer la compréhension du processus PNA des parties prenantes du pays, dont les ministères de l'Environnement, du Plan et des Finances ainsi que les ministères sectoriels clés, les ONG nationales et autres partenaires.
> PNA l'atelier aux Comoros
En savoir plus sur le lancement du PNA et l'atelier aux Comores
- Au cours de l'atelier, les principales parties prenantes ont présenté le contexte du PNA aux Comores ainsi que les activités, initiatives et informations pertinentes pour le processus PNA. Des présentations techniques spécifiques ont été fournies par des collaborateurs du PAG-PNA, la GIZ, sur l'évaluation de la vulnérabilité et le suivi)évaluation, et par le PNUD sur l'examen des options d'adaptations et les scénarios climatiques.
- Les participants ont pu être formés sur les Directives techniques de la CCNUCCC/LEG et ont discuté de leur mise en application pratique dans des groupes de travail.
- Lors du dernier jour de l'atelier, les participants ont travaillé sur une ébauche de feuille de route pour le processus PNA aux Comores en groupes de travail.
- L'atelier était appuyé par le bureau pays du PNUD.
- Un recensement préliminaire des initiatives pertinentes et une analyse des lacunes ont aussi été menés au cours de la mission afin d'aider à élaborer une feuille de route.
• Le Gouvernement des Comores a désigné Ismael Bachirou, Directeur Général de l'Environnement et des Forêts (DGEF) du Gouvernement comorien, comme point focal PNA au mois de janvier 2014.
• Le PAG-PNA a organisé une conférence téléphonique en janvier 2014 avec Ismael Bachirou et le BP PNUD afin de discuter de l’appui PNA aux Comores.
• 3 délégués des Comores ont participé à l'atelier francophone PNA et, en parallèle à la formation, ont rencontré l'équipe PAG-PNA afin de faire le suivi de la téléconférence et de discuter de l'appui ciblé requis.
PNA - expérience en adaptation au changement climatique
Présenté par la délégation du gouvernement du Comoros à la Atelier régional de formation en Afrique Organisé par le PAG-PNA - Addis Abeba, Ethiopie, 21-24 avril 2014.
Project Identification Form (PIF) for the project titled “Enhancing Adaptive Capacity and Resilience to Climate Change in the Agriculture Sector in Comoros”