Sahamalaza-îles Radama is a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve which also became National Park in 2007. It is located on the northwest coast of Madagascar around 100 km south of Nosy Be and 80 km north of the city of Analalava. The protected area comprises a total surface of 260 km². Half of its surface is underwater and consists mainly of coral reefs. The terrestrial part is shared by mangroves (57 km²) along a 30-km-long bay and one of the last patches of dry littoral forest on the west coast (75 km²). The Sahamalaza peninsula has steep slopes, (up to 400 m at Ankitsiky hill) and abundant small rivers where these vestiges of a dry deciduous forest form two blocks, the Analavory Forest in the south and Ambinda in the northern part of the peninsula. About 40% of the species are endemic to Madagascar.
The whole region is underdeveloped and poor compared with other parts of Madagascar, which increases the tendency of local people to depend on natural resources. Local development is hampered by low incomes, malnutrition, sanitary problems, over-exploitation of marine resources, etc. The Biosphere Reserve – National Park brings a unique opportunity to promote local development and reach a sustainable management of woody vegetation and marine resources as well as to an improvement the agricultural production.