25 November 2019

Kinomé, and the members of the collective 5Δ, participated on November 20th in the round table Public Policies and Governance in coastal areas at the International Symposium “Vulnerability of coastal and estuarine societies and environments in West Africa”, organized by the International Joint Laboratory on Water Heritage and Territories (LMI PATEO) and the Assane Seck University of Ziguinchor (UASZ) in Senegal.

The Collective presented their approach through an oral communication “The 5D Collective: a group of actors to protect and enhance the value of mangroves in West Africa”.

At the intersection between land and sea, the mangrove is a unique ecosystem offering a fundamental natural wealth and a major role for the local economy given the resources they provide to populations: wood and non-wood products, fish, resources useful in pharmacopoeia … This wealth tends to decline under the combined action of natural factors, climate change and human action. The basic needs of populations (food, income, medicines, culture, etc.) are impacted by the decline of mangroves.

In the deltas of West Africa, many initiatives exist to support the populations in the sustainable development of mangrove areas such as community reforestation, ecological oyster farming or the production of biocharcoal. However, the lack of synergy and the persistence of sectoral and mono-functional approaches to mangrove areas, in opposition to the trends towards diversification of uses and domestic economies linked to these areas, explain the limited positive impact of most of the actions for the development and preservation of ecosystems.

The different members of the collective intertwine their specificities and knowledge, share and disseminate their tools. The capacity of the 5 Deltas collective to mobilize expertise and to engage partnerships in a logic of territorial and thematic complementarity is important in order to multiply and harmonize natural resource management actions in all mangrove territories.

Today, the initiative led by the 5Δ collective is multiplying: in 2018, a second collective of actors was created in the Gulf of Benin and exchanges of good practices are taking place with the Mihari network in Madagascar. A larger-scale network is developing between actors from different contexts and territories, and is helping to harmonize approaches to mangrove resource conservation.

In the context of climate change to which mangroves are particularly exposed, a global approach to the enhancement and protection of these ecosystems is essential to ensure the sustainability of these resources and, by extension, of the communities that depend on them.