Facts and Data

Official Unesco Page
View photos from OUR PLACE the World Heritage collection

Basis Data:
Unesco World heritage since: 2007
Size of heritage: 479,661 ha

Longitude: 49,703°
Latitude: -13,540°


The Rainforests of the Atsinanana comprise six national parks distributed along the eastern part of the island. These relict forests are critically important for maintaining ongoing ecological processes necessary for the survival of Madagascar’s unique biodiversity, which reflects the island’s geological history. Having completed its separation from all other land masses more than 60 million years ago, Madagascar’s plant and animal life evolved in isolation. The rainforests are inscribed for their importance to both ecological and biological processes as well as their biodiversity and the threatened species they support. Many species are rare and threatened especially primates and lemurs.

Location on Map

Show bigger map on Openstreetmap


The Rainforests of the Atsinanana is a UNESCO World Heritage site located in Madagascar, specifically at coordinates S14 27 35 E49 42 9. This site is renowned for its exceptional biodiversity and unique ecosystems, making it a significant conservation area. In this article, we will explore the history of this heritage site and its current state.


The Rainforests of the Atsinanana were inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2007. This designation was a recognition of the outstanding universal value of the six national parks that make up the site: Marojejy, Masoala, Zahamena, Ranomafana, Andringitra, and Andohahela. These parks collectively cover an area of approximately 2.6 million hectares.

The history of the Rainforests of the Atsinanana dates back millions of years when Madagascar separated from the African continent. This isolation allowed for the evolution of unique flora and fauna, resulting in an extraordinary level of endemism. The rainforests have been inhabited by indigenous communities for centuries, who have developed a deep cultural connection with the land.

Current State

The Rainforests of the Atsinanana face numerous challenges that threaten their ecological integrity. Deforestation, primarily driven by slash-and-burn agriculture, illegal logging, and mining activities, poses a significant threat to the biodiversity and ecosystems of the region. The encroachment of human settlements and the expansion of agriculture further exacerbate these issues.

Efforts are being made to address these challenges and conserve the Rainforests of the Atsinanana. The Malagasy government, in collaboration with international organizations and local communities, has implemented various conservation initiatives. These include the establishment of protected areas, the enforcement of anti-logging and anti-poaching measures, and the promotion of sustainable livelihoods for local communities.

Conservation organizations and researchers are also actively involved in studying and monitoring the biodiversity of the rainforests. They conduct research on endemic species, assess the impact of human activities, and develop strategies for sustainable management. These efforts aim to raise awareness about the importance of the Rainforests of the Atsinanana and garner support for their protection.

Importance and Significance

The Rainforests of the Atsinanana are of immense importance due to their exceptional biodiversity. They are home to numerous endemic species, including lemurs, reptiles, amphibians, and plants. The conservation of these rainforests is crucial for the long-term survival of these unique species and the ecological balance of the region.

Furthermore, the Rainforests of the Atsinanana hold cultural significance for the indigenous communities that have inhabited the area for generations. These communities have developed traditional knowledge and practices that contribute to the sustainable management of the rainforests. Preserving their cultural heritage is an integral part of the conservation efforts.


The Rainforests of the Atsinanana in Madagascar are a UNESCO World Heritage site of exceptional biodiversity and cultural significance. Despite facing numerous challenges, efforts are being made to conserve this unique ecosystem. Through sustainable management, research, and community involvement, it is hoped that the Rainforests of the Atsinanana will continue to thrive and be protected for future generations.