Restoring West Africa’s Disappearing Mangrove Forests

Self Help AfricaNews, West Africa

Self Help Africa has replanted more than 500 hectares of degraded mangrove swamps along the coastal estuaries of Senegal and The Gambia, as part of a major international effort to protect disappearing mangrove forests.

Growing in dense coastal jungles – where land meets water – mangroves are a hotspot of biodiversity that provide food and income for local communities while protecting coasts and riverbanks from flooding and erosion. They are also up to seven times more effective than other forests at removing polluting carbon from the atmosphere.

However, across the globe, mangroves are under threat – from both global warming and human development – and it is estimated that more than one third of the world’s mangrove forests have been lost in the past 25 years.

In Senegal and The Gambia, Self Help Africa is supporting international efforts to regenerate mangrove estuaries in the Casamance and Sine Saloum regions – which have close to 200,000 hectares of mangrove forest.

Our efforts have restored approximately 500 hectares – the equivalent of 1,260 football pitches – in the past year, and more planting is planned for 2024.

The initiative is being supported by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, Senegal’s Ministry for the Environment and corporate partners.