MANGROVE RESTORATION AS A NATURE-BASED SOLUTION IN BIOSPHERE RESERVES IN LATIN AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN (MangRes Project).
“Restauración de manglares como solución basada en la naturaleza en reservas de biosfera latinoamericanas y del Caribe”
Mangroves are one of the most productive ecosystems of the biosphere. They provide a range of ecosystem services for the coastal communities. They shelter marine life and reserve the critical habitat thus protecting biodiversity. They defend the coast from erosion by dissipating wave energy and storm surges. They have the ability to capture and store carbon. Moreover, the mangroves play an essential role in the local livelihood. The importance of mangroves has been recognised globally and substantial effort is being invested in reserving these areas. The FUST Mangrove project is officially launched in August 2022 and will entail combining local community knowledge and scientific expertise from the outset.
The three-year project seeks to work in six biosphere reserves: Seaflower (Colombia), Península de Guanahacabibes (Cuba), La Encrucijada (Mexico), Macizo del Cajas (Ecuador), Darién (Panama) and Noroeste Amotapes-Manglares (Peru). The project aims for three main objectives:
- 1. Assess the status of mangrove ecosystems and their potential for restoration
- 2. Launch a restoration campaign using local knowledge
- 3. Promote education and awareness for sustainable development
Five components of the project
Component 1: Site analysis and risk identification
A cartographic report on the baseline condition of the mangrove ecosystem for each reserve. Based on this information, the potential site and species for restoration will be determined as well as the state-of-the-art to reintroduce mangrove species.
Component 2: Community-based ecological restoration
The restoration campaigns are designed and executed by both scientists and local participations and build on the insights from the site analysis (component 1). The experiences from the campaign will be shared in order to create community-based ecological restoration initiatives. A technical report on the activities and methodologies will be published to inform future restoration actions.
Component 3: Enforce Co-production of Knowledge in Mangrove restoration
Co-production of knowledge in Mangrove restoration is a process to share information from both indigenous people and scientists with the intent to form effective management of mangroves. This includes encouragement of local participation in the action of mangrove restoration and exchange of knowledge between different stakeholders.
Component 4: Education for sustainable development
Raise awareness and build capacities through collaboration with the OceanTeacher Global Academy to promote learning on biodiversity, biogeography, the environment, the ocean, etc. Encourage youth participation in restoration actions. The project also proposes to build toolkits to connect and share knowledge about mangroves, nature-based solutions (NBS), ecosystem services and indigenous knowledge.
Component 5: Communication, participation and awareness
Production of communication and awareness material on the concept of NBS, mangrove restoration and its importance and the results of the project. Public workshops are planned in each biosphere reserve to raise awareness and promote the potential of NBS to protect coastal areas, and share local knowledge and perspectives on mangroves.
The FUST mangrove project engages international expertise in mangrove management and restoration, including the mangrove knowledge network of the Free University of Brussels (VUB), and International Coordination Action funded by the Flanders Research Foundation (FWO).
MangRes website: https://www.unesco.org/en/mab/mangres