Conserving Biodiversity of the Cacheu Mangroves National Park at Guinea Bissau
Aquaculture, fisheries and coastal agriculture
Coastal wetland conservation
From 2015 to 2018 Wetlands International, IBAP and other partners implemented a ground-breaking initiative to conserve the mangroves, tidal flats, dryland forests and seagrass beds of Cacheu national park and its buffer zone in Guinea Bissau.
Long ignored by the conservation community this beautiful area is home to many threatened species such as manatees and marine turtles, provides important breeding and staging habitat for hundreds of thousands of migratory birds and serves as a nursery ground for countless species of fish. Unfortunately the park has been heavily degraded as a result of slash-and-burn agriculture practice and suffers over-exploitation of natural resources.
With support from the Turing Foundation we have worked towards conserving and restoring this unique wetland ecosystem:
1. With communities and park authorities we developed plans for improved management of the park and its buffer zone;
2. We introduced ecological mangrove restoration to rehabilitate abandoned rice-fields;
3. We implemented conservation measures on the ground and supported communities to reduce their impacts on natural resources by introducing sustainable livelihoods alternatives to harmful practices.
Here we take stock of what achieved during the project, working closely with local communities, our government partners and other NGOs. Also we sketch our ambitions for future work in Guinea-Bissau and elsewhere in the region.