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Guinea Bissau: mangroves in frontline against climate change

15-Jan-2010

Mansoa, Guinea Bissau. Government officials have launched a new mangrove project in Guinea Bissau, which will demonstrate how better management of mangrove forests can help in reducing coastal climate change impacts. The project aims to deliver the knowledge base for the development of national policies in the fight against climate change impacts. NGO Wetlands International, which is leading the project, emphasizes that this project is an example for many coastal areas in Africa and in the rest of the world.

 Climate change impacts and mangroves  
Coastal communities are very vulnerable to impacts from climate change.  Many agricultural areas in West Africa such as in Guinea Bissau may be lost due to sea level rise and salt water intrusion. Mangrove forests have the ability to reduce these climate impacts, protecting inland areas, as the trees are a buffer against waves, help to accumulate silt and create a barrier against salt water. In Africa, as well as in other continents, many mangrove forests have been lost in the past years due to wood harvesting and reclamation for agricultural purposes.

Photo: meeting in the village of Cussana Cussentche, Guinea Bissau

Governmental support

The launch of the project, which also included a mangrove site visit led by the local community, was attended by the influential officials from Ministries of Environment, and Agriculture and Rural Development as they gave their keynote speeches. They strongly supported the project. 

Photo: fish caught that day in the area; an important ecosystem service of mangroves

Other mangrove values
Loss of mangrove forests has had a big impact on the survival of waterbirds, on fish stocks that depend on mangrove forests and on the availability of wood for building and as a fuel.

Wetlands International Guinea Bissau

The implementer of the project, being global NGO Wetlands International through its Guinea Bissau office, has strong experience in mangrove restoration, from West Africa to Indonesia.

 

 

For more information, contact: 
www.wetlands.org
Alex Kaat

Communications Manager
+31 (0)6 5060 1917
alex.kaat@wetlands.org

 

 

 

 

 Wetlands International Guinea Bissau
The implementer of the project, being global NGO Wetlands International through its Guinea Bissau office, has strong experience in mangrove restoration and research, from West Africa to Indonesia.

 Link to relevant documents
Wetlands International is running a global campaign to promote the restoration and conservation of wetlands in coastal, mountainous and arid areas to become less vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, see for more information: www.wetlands.org/adaptation.

Our project
The extent to which mangroves can cope with increasing sea levels and salt water intrusion is largely unknown. The project will restore a significant number of mangrove forest in Guinea Bissau and will parallel to this reasearch the capacities of mangroves to stop sea water intrusion, accumulate silt and thus cope with sea level rise. For this, Wetlands International also builds on other previous mangrove restoration of Wetlands International in Asia and Africa. The first outcomes of this project are expected at the end of this year.

Press contact

Press can contact:

Ms. Ytha Kempkes
Communications and Advocacy Manager
Tel. +31 (0)318 660933
Email: ytha.kempkes@wetlands.org

Press kit

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