Mangrove reforestation: greening or grabbing coastal zones and deltas? Case studies in Senegal.
Mangroves have lost 20% of their global extent over the last 20 years. Mangrove reforestation incentives are increasingly widespread as a response to restore this vital ecosystem. However, the social and ecological impacts of common mangrove plantation methods are not adequately understood.
Research goals & methods
Focusing on two case studies, the Saloum Delta and Lower Casamance, Senegal, our methodology was mainly based on the analysis of environmental narratives and discourses between 2009 and 2013, and on reforestation campaigns conducted by NGOs. We highlight the complexity of the system of values associated with the mangroves, as well as the positive and negative interactions between the services. Even although the reforestation campaigns were generally successful in terms of reforested surfaces and international visibility, they were poor in terms of biological diversity and social impact and led to spatial injustice.
Conclusions & takeaways
The extensive reforestation with a single mangrove species, Rhizophora mangle, was perceived as an inappropriate restoration strategy given the diversity of the natural mangrove ecosystem. This restoration was also perceived locally to favor carbon credits for industrial conglomerates rather than needs of local communities for shellfishing and rice cultivation. More integrated research programmes must be developed on mangrove ecosystem to establish better restoration outcomes.
Mangrove reforestation: greening or grabbing coastal zones and deltas? Case studies in Senegal§. African Journal of Aquatic Science. 2016;41:89–98. doi:10.2989/16085914.2016.1146122..
- IRD, UMR PALOC, Dakar, Senegal
- IRD, UMR MARBEC, Montpellier, France