Meet Sylvia Paulot, the Malagasy Climate Leader who brings renewable energy to local communities

Working with local communities in rural villages in Madagascar, Sylvia Paulet and her organisation work tirelessly to improve the community’s resilience to climate change. She strives to provide the communities with access to clean energy products that allow the community members to save money and improve their health while reducing their impact on the climate. At the moment, Sylvia and her team are working with local women to distribute high quality solar lamps to their communities in Madagascar. Their long-term goal is to be able to install mini grids in these villages to provide the women with more economic opportunities and strengthen their resilience to climate change.

A collective effort by everyone is needed to tackle climate change

Sylvia’s interest in climate change started eight years ago, when she was doing her Masters in Environmental Science at the Sebelas Maret University in Surakarta, Indonesia. Through readings and research Sylvia realised that climate change is a major environmental issue that our planet will face and that it will have devastating impacts on communities in developing countries, especially rural, poor communities who are the most vulnerable and have the lowest adaptive capacity. This compelled her to learn more about climate change mitigation and adaptation and to take action. She wanted to help communities in her own country to improve their resilience and contribute in the fight against climate change.

Collective efforts by everyone is needed to tackle climate change”

For her Master’s thesis, Sylvia had the opportunity to study a local forest-based climate change mitigation project.  After obtaining her degree, she worked as a conservation officer for the Blue Forest project of Blue Ventures, a marine NGO working in Toliara, Madagascar, where  she worked with fishing communities to put in place mangrove REDD+ ,and payment for ecosystem services projects. In this capacity, Sylvia had the chance to work with local women. She taught them about climate change and mangroves’ carbon measurement. She enjoyed sharing and applying what she had learned in Indonesia.

Sylvia spent a year as an International Climate Protection Fellow at the Ecologic Institute in Berlin. During this program she mentions how she has learned a lot about coastal climate change adaptation, and climate change mitigation through the use of renewable energy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In addition, she had the chance to participate in a short time course at the Renewable Academy on Grid connected and off grid photovoltaics. The course was an eye-opening experience for her and inspired her passion for renewable energy.

Sylvia is currently working as the manager of the Jiro Solaire Project, a project of the NGO Grassroots Climate and Livelihood Actions which she founded after her course in Berlin.  The goal of this project is to combat energy poverty, empower women and contribute to reducing carbon emission while fighting climate change. Sylvia plans to scale it independently as a social business to avoid dependence on donor funding.

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An African Climate Reality Leader from Madagascar, Sylvia Paulot is part of a dynamic group of world-changers shaping the conversation on climate in forums ranging from family dinners to international summits. Together they are building a 21st-century movement for solutions to tackle climate change and foster environmental sustainability in Africa and world-wide.

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