The Mitigation Hierarchy Applied

Ambatovy undertakes biodiversity management in a structured manner that follows the mitigation hierarchy adopted by the Business and Biodiversity Offsets Program (BBOP), which consists of the following steps:


  • The Pipeline was re-routed several times to avoid environmentally sensitive areas;

  • Barriers have been created to isolate onsite conservation areas from mining activities;

  • Strict protocols are followed regarding any proposed changes to the Mine footprint.


Ambatovy is decreasing its impact through optimized planning that reduces the Mine footprint.

Rescue (Relocation, Translocation)

Ambatovy has developed a substantial impact mitigation program that includes:

  • Repetition of full biological surveys prior to each clearing to develop taxa-specific mitigation measures, e.g. identifying plant species of concern and locating them offsite to avoid the risk of extinction; salvaging plants to nurseries and/or propagating them;

  • Directional and slow-paced forest clearance, which allows mobile fauna to migrate away from impacted areas to adjacent refuge areas. For the less mobile fauna, manual salvaging is used to help them migrate towards safe conservation zones. A crew of more than 65 expertly trained technicians identifies and salvages all small mammals, stranded lemurs, certain birds, and reptiles. Experts, primarily Malagasy biologists from various universities and non-governmental organizations, supervise the salvaging process. Relocated animals are subsequently monitored in the refuge areas;

  • Use of large retention dams to manage total suspended solids to protect water quality and aquatic biodiversity in Mine watersheds.

Repair, Reinstate, Restore

Ambatovy conducts progressive footprint rehabilitation consistent with the historical ecology of the landscape.

Offset, Compensate

Ambatovy’s multifaceted biodiversity offsets program comprises a series of conservation areas, with a total area approximately 9x the size of the Mine area, considered to be biodiversity offsets, or “like for like,” including on-site offsets and one off-site offset. These offsets include:

  • Two patches of azonal forest overlying part of the ore body to ensure conservation of species not yet known;

  • Mine conservation forests consisting of 3,600 ha of primarily zonal forest surrounding the Mine area;

  • Analamay-Mantadia forest corridor, which ensures connectivity between the Mine conservation forests and the remaining eastern rainforest corridor;

  • Torotorofotsy Ramsar site, a wetland of international importance adjacent to the Mine Site;

  • Reforestation activities along the Pipeline and other areas;

  • Conservation of the Ankerana offset, an area of around 5,700 ha of threatened low and medium altitude forest linked to the remaining eastern rainforest corridor.


This undertaking includes engagement with Malagasy regulatory agencies, international and local NGOs (such as Conservation International and Wildlife Conservation Society), local communities around the Mine and offsets sites, international and local scientists, and the Business and Biodiversity Offsets Program.