Home | Site map | Contact us | Search


Project Aims Lastest News Project Partners Veg. Classification View Maps



Field Data Form

Mapping Datasets

Email list

Project Aims


The most widely used map of primary vegetation for Madagascar is that of Du Puy and Moat (1996), produced by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. This map, and the majority of those currently in use in Madagascar, are based on Faramalala’s earlier vegetation map, which in turn was derived from satellite imagery from the late 1970s. The original information from which these maps were derived is wholly out of date, and it has been estimated that 20-30% of the primary vegetation shown has disappeared since. An accurate and updated vegetation map is thus imperative for conservation planning and natural resource management in Madagascar. It is also essential that the data on which such a map is based be made freely available, so that conservation organisations, Government departments, academic institutions and other stakeholders can use them as an up to date standard dataset on which to base their activities. In order for a vegetation map to fulfil its intended role it must
a) accurately delimit areas with various vegetation types as they currently exist, and
b) assign those areas to objective categories that can be easily recognized in the field and that reliably reflect fundamental biological differences (primarily structural features, i.e. physiognomy).
This Project, supported by the CEPF and administered by RBG Kew, MBG and CABS, aims to produce just such a map.

Modis Map
Landsat image
Initial Classification from Modis data 2002
Landsat Composite from mid 1990’s



  • Data sources: The CEPF vegetation map of Madagascar will use state of the art imagery from the MODIS and Landsat 7 satellites to stratify the vegetation of Madagascar. This stratification will be followed up with extensive field survey and ground truthing, which will be carried out by the network of botanical and conservation organisations currently active in Madagascar.
  • Expertise: Botanical and conservation expertise will be provided by local and international contributors through a series of technical workshops, and through a fully interactive website. All input will be co-ordinated by the Project Secretariat, based in Antananarivo.
  • Products: The major products arising from this Project will be digital and paper versions of a new vegetation map for Madagascar, designed and made publicly available for conservation, scientific research and natural resource management purposes.
  • Dissemination: The outputs of the Project will be disseminated through a Project website, paper publications, workshops and training programmes.

Please see out methods web page for more details.


The major outputs of this project are essential tools for assessing, monitoring and managing biological diversity both within and outside the existing protected areas, and one that environmental managers cannot afford to be without. They are:

  • Digital and hard copy versions of a vegetation map designed and made publicly available for conservation, scientific research and natural resource management purposes.
  • Delivery of all Landsat and MODIS products, all co-registered, to Madagascar conservation-based collaborators, researchers and other stakeholders.
  • A revised vegetation classification scheme for Madagascar, developed, published and made accessible to non-specialists through the Madagascar Biodiversity Network and through the Project website.
  • Malagasy personnel trained in the use of remote sensing and GIS for conservation purposes.
  • A network of botanists, conservationists and other stakeholders working in collaboration throughout Madagascar
Landsat image
Landsat composite of the Toliara region, 2001. Primary Vegetation is bright red in this image

Home | Site map | Contact us | Search | Project aims | Latest news | Project partners | View maps
© Copyright Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew