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The coastal communities of Mahafaly, in the semi-arid southwest of Madagascar, restore mangroves.

The Mahafaly landscape is best known for its picturesque spiny landscapes and coral reefs.

But between land and sea lies another richness that adds to this naturally contrasting picture: mangroves! These ecosystems remain under-valued by fishermen, whose priority is sea fishing. The mangroves of the Mahafaly coast are constantly threatened by the formation and movement of sand dunes, favored by the "tsiokantimo", the south wind that blows constantly during the summer season in southern Madagascar. And yet, the economic and ecological value of the Mahafaly coast's mangroves make them key to local communities' livelihoods and adaptation to climate change.
With the aim of revitalizing the biodiversity and ecosystem services of the mangroves in the south of Toliara, a restoration initiative was carried out in March by the communities of Lanirano. Lanirano is a village located in the Ampanihy district, 200 km as the crow flies from the south of the city of Toliara. It is home to a locally-managed marine area comprising reefs, a coastline and an intertidal zone with mangroves.
The Lanirano pilot restoration campaign mobilized 41 people, including 19 women, and the communities were joined by the villages (Belambo, Antsakoa, Ankaofaly). After four days of intensive work, 25,574 propagules of Ceriops tagal (Tangavavy) were planted over an area of 2.6 hectares.
This is the first time that communities in the four villages have restored mangroves, the start of a process for healthier ecosystems and more resilient communities.