Mangrove restoration in Benin08-07-2021
Mangroves are ecologically and economically important forests of the tropics as they contribute to coastal sediment carbon storage and export the particulate terrestrial carbon to the ocean (Alongi, 2014). Their contribution to carbon sequestration makes the mangrove ecosystem an important climate change mitigation option and which makes them well suited to strategies such as the global scheme know as Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD+), which offers economic incentives for conserving forests and associated carbon stores in developing countries.
The Bouche du Roy Community Biodiversity Conservation Area (ACCB-Bouche du Roy), located in southwest Benin is part of the RAMSAR 1017 site. It is therefore located in a wetland of international importance built by the Mono River at the border of Benin and Togo. It is also a marine coastal area that has a strong ecotourism potential in terms of culture and recently became part of the Transboundary Biosphere Reserve in the Mono Delta (RAMSAR 1017 site) which was included in the World Network of Biosphere Reserves in 2017 thanks to the support of GIZ and IUCN. Mangrove occupy around 30% of the total area of the ACCB, but are threatened by overexploitation of wood and fisheries resources.
Eco-Benin, partner of CO2logic, works since 2005 to strengthen the ecosystem functions of mangrove. They aim at preserving natural resources and biodiversity with a view to promoting sustainable fishing, sustainable tourism and environmental education.
With the grant that Eco-Benin received from the Blue Natural Capital Financing Facility (BNCFF) of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), several studies are being carried out to facilitate the development of a Mangrove Carbon Project document (PDD) under the VCS standard, where emissions sequestration will be certified:
- Baseline carbon stock study by conducting an inventory of different sample plots in the area
- Environmental and social impact assessment study of the Carbone Mangrove project in the Bouche du Roy site
- Historical deforestation analysis of the mangrove forest in the region to assess the potential of a REDD project at the Bouche du Roy site
The studies are being performed by different actors. The baseline study is carried out by a mangrove expert from Cameroon, G. Ajonina, and the other studies by a local consultancy agency in cooperation with a remote sensing expert from Ghana.
In context of this, CO2logic travelled to Cotonou to meet and bring all the different parties together. During different working sessions, the objectives of the different studies were discussed. In addition, a visit was made to the mangrove reforestation sites and the ACCB- Bouche du Roy site. Together with the G. Ajonina and Eco-Benin an inspection of the area was carried out to determine the location of the various sample plots for the baseline carbon study. Together we ensured a smooth start of the various studies, which were continued after our departure, contributing to hopefully an increase of project activities with a climate positive impact.