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How to conserve mangroves

A success story from the Kivalo village, Madagascar

It takes a village to raise a child. But it also takes a village for successful mangrove conservation as the example of Justin Kasety and his grassroots community “Analamaitso tsy ho gnan’olo” (The Green Forest that is ours) shows. Over the past 15 years, the organization was able to restore 56ha of mangroves in Kivalo, western Madagascar. Today, the community serves as a leading example of nature conservation that benefits both the environment and the people.

“Mangrove conservation is not just for nature, but for us”, says Justin Kasety, president of the grassroots community. The slender man speaks with conviction, having grown up in a fishing family in Kivalo, a traditional village located in the heart of the Menabe Antimena protected area in western Madagascar. As a young boy he used to go fishing with his mother on the coastline, while his father would go out to the sea every day. Living in harmony with nature was his daily life, a healthy ocean and coastal biodiversity the basis for the livelihood for his family.
 
“I understand that we have to find a way to support ourselves, but if we don’t do the right thing for nature, our children will suffer because resources will disappear”
 
– Justin Kasety