Sustainable mangroves conservation Project

Context and justification

The mangroves constitute an ecosystem just as important in national economy with regard to the diversity and the importance of resources it contains. However, there exist a serious lack of considerations and uncontrollable exploitation of mangroves populations by the riverside communities.

In Togo, the mangroves are located on the coast in the South-East of the Lacs prefecture. Their surface area which was 2,600 ha in 1995 is estimated at 960 ha in 2000. Nowadays, these areas has dramatically fallen down and become only 500 ha. If nothing is done, these ecosystems will systematically disappear by 2015.

Presently, mangroves ecosystems undergo a severe degradation for many reasons such as, forest clearing for subsistence crops, forest exploitation for fire wood needs and services timber, annual bush fire, etc. Facing this strong anthropic pressure, the disappearance of these natural mangroves populations has drastically reduced the productivity of the lagoons and this phenomenon is considered as a threat to the lagoon ecosystem. Measures undertaken in the area to protect and restore this natural mangroves population remain insufficient till date. It is essential to include different activities carried out in the area into conservation program action, restoration and coherent participative management in order to ensure a sustainable management and protect this ecosystem rich in biodiversity.

To deal with this situation and promote the conservation and the sustainable management of mangroves resources in Togo, many field studies have been carried out such as forest study and participative management, socio-economic study, environmental impact study and legal study. Many researchers from university of Lomé conducted several field studies on these ecosystems. All these works helped Togo government to adopt on June 2005 National Strategy document for the conservation, restoration and mangroves sustainable management in Togo.

The specific objectives of the project

  1. Capacity building of all stakeholders involved in the conservation and the management of mangroves biodiversity and the associated wetlands formations

  2. Maintain in participative manner the protecting representative areas of mangroves ecosystems in order to secure their sustainability and preserve their constitutive components;

  3. Ensure the sustainable use of biodiversity and the equitable sharing of the roles, the accountabilities and the benefits arising from the management of the management of this biodiversity;

  4. Carry out reforestation of damaged ecosystems of the area in order to ensure theur restoration and their rehabilitation.

Achieved outcomes

  • Existence of reliable data on mangroves (socio-economics, environmentales, legal)
  • Awareness of nearly 2500 local stakeholders on the need of sustainable management of mangroves;
  • 1200 local stakeholders capacity were built in sustainable management of mangroves based on Farmer Field School methodology
  • The creation of 10 local network in 10 villages;
  • A sustainable and participatory management plan of mangroves resources were elaborated and validated with local communities
  • Creation and animation National Forum on Mangroves;
  • Reboisement artificiel de 12 hectares de mangroves;
  • 5 local networks benefited of specific equipments (boots, hoes, coupes-coupes, motor pumps)

Future prospects

  • Continue natural and artificial reforestation activities of mangroves;
  • Promote income generating activities (IGA);
  • Promote fast growing species for firewood
  • Follow up activities (Ecological, monitoring activities, etc.)