Blog | 2024-06-28

Côte d’Ivoire: Experts and communities partner to restore mangrove and forests

Reviving Mangroves: WACA's Strategic Efforts to Bolster Coastal Resilience in Cote d'Ivoire

Mangroves are vital to coastal livelihoods: They are the first line of defense against flooding and erosion, sequester high amounts of carbon in their soils; serve as fish nursery; and provide food, medicine, and timber to communities. If existing mangroves were lost, 15 million more people would be flooded annually across the world. In Cote d'Ivoire, the 10, 000 hectares of mangroves, equivalent to 18, 000 soccer fields, are critical to coastal livelihoods. But half of the mangroves have been lost since 1990 when they covered 20,000 hectares (FAO). WACA, in partnership with communities, has set a process to preserve mangroves and community forests.

To effectively combat the destruction of the mangrove ecosystem in Cote d'Ivoire's coastal areas, WACA has implemented management mechanisms to counter these challenges. These efforts include the creation of mangrove and community forest committees in the four villages of the Grand-Lahou department: Braffédon, Groguida, Lahou-Kpanda, and Likpiliassiè. The goal is to raise awareness among village communities to actively participate in strengthening the mangrove vegetation cover.\

Since December 2023, WACA has provided various equipment to local committees to accelerate the reforestation process in the targeted areas. To ensure optimal monitoring of this initiative, a WACA team conducted a field mission in February 2024 in the concerned localities. The team included trainers specialized in community forests and mangroves, Professor Etien Jean Baptiste and Professor Egnankou Gnadja.

The main objective of this mission was to supervise the creation of community forests to ensure the smooth running of the process. Monitoring the work is a way to control and optimize the restoration of mangroves and community forests for the sustainable management of coastal ecosystems.

During the mission, the WACA team was able to observe the progress of the reforestation work. Significant progress was noted in the mangroves, with the presence of young plants in the ground in areas designated as risky, as well as mangrove nurseries in bags in Braffédon, Groguida, and Likpiliassiè.

Restoring Mangroves: WACA's Strategic Efforts to Bolster Coastal Resilience in Cote d'Ivoire

The team also visited community forest sites, noting significant developments in their creation in Braffédon, Groguida, and Likpiliassiè. Braffédon's work is in the tilling phase, and over 3,000 nurses are already prepared.

Finally, Professors Egnankou Gnadja and Etien Jean Baptiste took the opportunity to raise awareness among the committees in the four villages about the importance of planting mangroves and community forests. These initiatives not only support the livelihoods of the communities but also contribute to protecting the localities against coastal erosion.


Date: 2024-06-28


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