International bird conservation charity BirdLife International report that a group in Nigeiria is empowering women and the community to protect the very productive but rapidly disappearing mangrove forests there.
Groups of women are helping commuinties to restore and manage mangrove forests in 5 villages in South East Nigeria. It’s a important breeding site. Crocodiles, tortoises, turtles, fish, shrimps, crab, snails, clam and oysters call this area home. Local people depend on the forest to support their livelihoods.
For the forests have been overharvested. Trees have been used for firewood in homes and to build canoes. Patches of forest have been cleared for housing. This means that ecosystems and economic benefits have put the mangroves at risk.
But the good news is that 7 women on the frontline are working with communities.
Workshops reaching 330 women are raising awareness about the importance of mangrove restoration and tree planting.
Just 9 months after the project was started, over 400 trees have been planted in key areas. Another 600 have been ear-marked for distribution to women in the communities to promote agro-forestry practice.
And 2 nursery sites have been established in 2 communities to grow the Rhizophora species of mangrove tree, and over 400 seedlings grown!Fly away to BirdLife International for more information
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Peter Fearnhead, CEO, African Parks Network, South Africa