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Children in the Ankeniheny Zahamena Corridor, Madagascar.

Avoiding Deforestation in Madagascar

In Madagascar, the health of a forest is proving to be intimately tied with the health of society.

© CI/photo by Solofoniaina Ralaimihoatra

The Ankeniheny-Zahamena Corridor (CAZ) covers over 370,000 hectares (910,000 acres) of rainforest in the eastern part of the country. Due to its rich biodiversity, its abundant natural resources and its importance in the lives of local communities, it has long been regarded as one of Madagascar’s top conservation priorities. Yet thanks to deforestation from slash-and-burn agriculture and illegal logging, it is also under threat.

Our role

Conservation International has had conservation projects in the Ankeniheny-Zahamena Corridor since 1996. We are currently supporting the government of Madagascar in the development and implementation of a conservation-conscious sustainable development strategy for the area. Together with the government, nonprofits and local communities, our work is helping to keep the forest healthy for the nearly 325,000 people who call the area home and the millions more who depend on it.

Our plan

Protect forests

Conservation International promotes sustainable management of the CAZ, which recently became a protected area, in order to keep its trees standing. Our work includes forest surveillance and monitoring activities to ensure that no illegal slash-and-burn agriculture is taking place; developing partnerships in the protected area with local communities; and helping build the capacity of the stakeholders involved to ensure strong, effective governance of the entire landscape.

Support communities

Conservation International aims to contribute to the livelihoods of local communities — and provide economic alternatives to the use of the forest. For example, we provide financial and technical support for small income-generating projects such as rice cultivation, beekeeping, fisheries, gardening and small-scale poultry breeding. This program has funded 399 micro-projects for 236 beneficiaries’ community associations, and over 6,120 households have benefited.

Support carbon markets

Conservation International has developed a pilot project within the CAZ that aims to generate carbon credits that can be sold to companies or other buyers looking to offset carbon emissions. Our carbon project in the CAZ has been validated by an external auditor, the Rainforest Alliance, and is focused on engaging communities through conservation agreements that give these communities financial incentives to conserve their forests and monitor threats.

Guards patrolling the Didy Forest in the Corridor Ankeniheny- Zahamena as part of the Conservation pact.
© CI/photo by Andoniaina Rambeloson

By the numbers

6,120 households

Some 6,120 households have benefited from Conservation International programs in the Ankeniheny-Zahamena Corridor meant to provide economic alternatives to the use of the forest.