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Initial concept
As a fellow Lab member we invite you to offer the Landscape team your input. Particularly around the following categories:  Learning and collaboration Could you please look at the areas of interest for learning & collaboration expressed by the Landscape leads and contribute by sharing relevant existing initiatives, potential partners, key lessons learned or tools to support the Landscape development. Feasibility Please assess the feasibility of this program in particular the robustness of the theory of change and the risk/opportunities of the enabling environment in the area (political leadership /government interest, enabling policy, institutional and legal framework, land tenure status, ease of doing business, level of information; Strategic value What is for you the strategic value of this Landscape program? What make it attractive ? What is the financial potential? Next steps How would you like to be involved in the next steps of this Landscape development?
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Biologically extraordinary: saving the Tsitongambarika forest in Madagascar

Tsitongambarika Protected Area is biologically extraordinary. These 60,000 hectares of tropical forest are home to 50 endemic species. After decades of deforestation caused by political instability, the landscape is now deeply fragmented and communities suffer extreme poverty with reducing ecosystem services and limited economic opportunities.

BirdLife partner Asity knows that a co-management structure with communities, nourished by a sound financial strategy through carbon offset and Payment for Ecosystems schemes, can future-proof this extraordinary place.

Landscape description

Tsitongambarika Protected Area, south-eastern Madagascar.

  • 45,000 ha of the protected area is primary forest
  • Extraordinary biodiversity importance, even for Madagascar, due to its isolation from other lowland forests
  • Nearly all species present are endemic to Madagascar and many species are only found in south-east Madagascar
  • There you find the critically endangered red-legged millipede, two critically endangered snails and rare plant species.   
  • 'New to science' species of plants, frogs and invertebrates are found every time there is a new survey



Contact organisation

Asity Madagascar /


Local landscape lead

Main partners

  • BirdLife International 
  • Rio Tinto (private sector)
  • National and local government of Madagascar
  • local Malagasy NGOs, located in south-east Madagascar 
  • National universities and Oxford Brookes University (UK)

Total area (ha)

60,000 hectares of protected area is mostly lowland forest, of which 45,000 hectares is primary rainforest.

Overall goal

To conserve the globally significant and unique biodiversity of one of Madagascar’s most important forests, by the end of 2025:

  • Deforestation rates reduce by 50% across Tsitongambarika, brought to near zero in three key zones
  • Populations of key threatened species of bird, mammal, reptile, amphibian and plant are stabilized 
  • 6,000 households in 46 village-clusters have sustainable livelihood opportunities, and 30% of the population engaged through education and awareness programmes
  • Co-management governance structures are stable and enabling at least one long-term revenue stream for Tsitongambarika

Expected impacts

  • 45,000 hectares of primary forest protected
  • 6,000 households benefit directly from the project
  • 5,722,068 tones of carbon stock protected (based on a preliminary calculation)


High rates of deforestation threaten the site and its species. Deforestation is caused mainly by shifting cultivation (‘slash-and-burn’) by poor subsistence farmers lacking alternative land to grow food-crops and wishing to lay claim to land by clearing forest. Further threats come from logging of precious hardwoods and hunting of wildlife.

Landscape approach

PES programs, Jurisdictional / landscape REDD+, Climate smart agricultural landscapes, Sustainable production landscapes, Ecosystem / forest restoration landscapes, Species landscapes, Natural Resource Management


Spices: we promote the production of red pepper in the region. This means that tree cover is increased to connect up areas of forest, and the income generated supports forest communities.

Honey: we produced 116,964 litres of honey in 2019.

Related Sector

Agriculture, Livestock, Conservation, Health & Sanitation, Finance, Forestry and NTFPs, Infrastructures, Tourism


Global brands present

Lead institution

Raminoarisoa Voninavoko, Executive Director /


50-100 M USD

Current sources of funding

Expected sources of funding

  • Hempel Foundation (Implementation)
  • Rio Tinto (Develop, Implementation)
  • BirdLife International (Structure, Develop, Implementation)

Proposed priority programs or sectors



edited on 9th April 2020, 15:04 by Deesha Chandra
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