Reduced Emissions from Deforestation in the Ankenihen -- Zahamena Corridor, Madagascar

Project Type: 

Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD)

Area: 

370,032 hectares

Location(s): 

The regions of Alaotra-Mangoro and Atsinanana, Madagascar

Developer(s): 
Rainforest Alliance Evaluation: 

Validated conformance with the Voluntary Carbon Standard Version 3: October 23, 2013 (RA-VAL-VCS- 011275).
Verified conformance with the Verifier Carbon Standard Version 3: October 24, 2013 (RA-VER-VCS-018499).

The Ankeniheny-Zahamena Corridor (CAZ) has long been regarded as one of Madagascar’s top conservation priorities and numerous studies have catalogued its rich biodiversity. The CAZ carbon project covers 370,032 hectares of Madagascar’s eastern humid rainforest and provides important ecosystem services to both the surrounding area and greater region. By far the greatest threat to the forest corridor in terms of forest loss is slash-and-burn agriculture and this threatens the long term existence of the corridor. If this pressure is not alleviated, CAZ will soon disappear and with it the incredible biodiversity it houses.

In order to reduce deforestation in CAZ, the Government of Madagascar and Conservation International developed the strategy of establishing an avoided deforestation carbon project that would provide direct incentives and alternative livelihood activities for communities living around the forest corridor. These discussions resulted in the Government of Madagascar applying to the World Bank BioCarbon Fund for support in 2004. As part of this strategy, CAZ has been included as a new protected area in the country’s plans for an expanded protected area system (SAPM – Système des Aires Protégées de Madagascar).

The project aims to reduce deforestation of primary Malagasy forest by creating a corridor to protect the remaining native forests between the Zahamena National Park and the forests collectively known as “Ankeniheny” in central eastern Madagascar. The protected area at CAZ has been developed based on an entirely new model for Madagascar that involves a strong collaborative management (comanagement) component with local communities. Creation of this new protected area has involved an unprecedented level of stakeholder involvement and consultation for a Malagasy protected area. Ensuring that the carbon project is in place and providing a sustainable funding mechanism for protection activities is an essential part of the strategy for the protected area. Through the creation of the new CAZ protected area, the project will result in reduced emissions from deforestation.