ADD has made a unique contribution to coastal protection and nature-based adaptation to climate change, often known as ecosystem-based adaptation to climate change (EbA)
A bit of history
In the past, mangrove trees, covered a significant part of the coastal tone around Mauritius. However, it has gradually been cleared for coastal development. In 1980, only 45 hectares (ha) remained. In 1995, a Mangrove Propagation Programme was launched by the Ministry of Fisheries. By 2008, the area had increased to an estimated 180 hectares. However, several regions remained still denuded.
As from 2008, ADD has been involved in mangrove propagation and reforestation of denuded coastal areas. Since then, ADD had planted over 10ha in various parts of the island. At Le Morne some 5ha of vegetation constitutes the largest mangrove forest in the island. So far, it has planted about 50 000 mangrove seedlings at le Morne village, 30,000 at Case Noyale, 2 000 at Poudre d’Or and 15000 at Quatre Soeurs and Pointe aux Feuilles. Coastal algae and human activities adversely affected the plantations at the last sites.
The projects were funded by the European Union/Decentralised Cooperation Programme (DCP) of the Ministry of Finance and the MCB Forward Foundation (MCBFF) under the CSR scheme. The respective Village Councils, District Councils and the inhabitants and local NGOs and partners enabled the realisation of the rehabilitation.
An island wide survey was conducted in 2012 within the MCBFF programme identified about 100ha of potential sites around Mauritius for mangrove plantation.
In many places the absence of mangrove has contributed to a drastic decrease in fisheries resources and increased coastal degradation.
Growing awareness - an opportunity for renewed action
Following the Wakasio oil spill of July 2020, there was a sudden awareness among the population, policy makers, NGOs and the private sector of the key role of mangrove in coastal protection. This concern should give new impetus to intensify mangrove rehabilitation.