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Mangroves are the solutions! Let's act together for their sustainable management!

​Mangroves are above all fascinating; they are a vital ecosystem for the coastal zone.

It [mangroves] grows between the land and the sea and in this sense they serve the inhabitants of the land and the sea. But at the same time - and unfortunately - they are under pressure from both sides. 

The mangrove ecosystem is a production area for fisheries and thus a source of employment and food for the population. In Madagascar, about 8% of the population live in the coastal zone up to 10 km from the coast. Mangroves protect the habitations, cultivation areas, infrastructures and investments of these residents against the waves coming from the open sea, the rise of the sea and the erosion. Besides their contribution to the well-being of the population, mangroves also have important roles in maintaining the health of the ocean, among others, they constitute a nursery area for many marine species and thus contribute to the repopulation of the ocean, the filtration of water and the maintenance of sediments coming from the watersheds so that they do not pollute the sea water too much. Unfortunately, practices for the exploitation of resources from the mangroves (wood cutting, fishing practices,...), the increased dumping of sediments are currently threats to its sustainability.  In Madagascar, about 0.09% of our mangroves are lost each year, channels change in direction or depth following the deposition of sediments. In addition to this, the variation and decrease of rainfall due to climate change results in the reduction of fresh water supply for the mangrove area. It is important that we act to repair the damage and help this ecosystem to recover so that it can continue to provide its services.

Reforestation, restoration or rehabilitation of mangroves?
Reforestation, yes! This is one of the solutions to replace the losses. Thanks to the mangrove management communities, the last figure recorded was 19 million propagules planted in the Melaky, Menabe and Diana regions. But the concern is still on the success rate, survival and sustainability of it.  Will these mangroves be resilient to the changing context and climate? Will the reforested area fulfill its ecological function as an ecosystem? 
Like all heritage and infrastructure [yes, because mangroves are green infrastructure!], mangroves, too, need maintenance, and rehabilitation after many years of existence and service. 

"We are living in the era of ecosystem rehabilitation and restoration", I quote. We must, from now on, act for the rehabilitation and restoration of the remaining mangrove areas. Rehabilitate so that the conditions best respond to the changes perpetrated by our actions and by the climate and future prospects, the need for space in the face of increasing population ... and to bring back their roles mentioned above. Like the courage of Noah who built a great boat to secure biodiversity and humanity against the climatic hazards of the past, we must also dare to take innovative measures to ensure the sustainability of mangrove ecosystems.