Thursday, September 19, 2013

Mangroves bring wildlife back to Senegal coast

Terra Daily via AFP: Crabs scuttle among mangrove roots in a dense riverbank forest in southern Senegal, where a major reforestation project is reviving wildlife and boosting the west African country's lukewarm economy.

"Everything you see here has been replanted. Before 2006, there wasn't a single tree," said Senegalese environmental activist and government minister Haidar El Ali in Tobor, a village near Ziguinchor, the main city of the Casamance region.

He gestured toward mangroves tied to stilts bordering the Casamance river, planted by his Oceanium environmental organisation to boost an area that experts said was severely depleted by deforestation, drought and increased salt levels in the water.

...The habitat was destroyed through decades of illegal logging in mangrove forests for firewood and building. "There has been nothing here since the 1960s and 70s. Replanting is bringing back the mangrove," said Simeon Diatta, the chief of Diakene Diole village near the Guinea-Bissau border, pointing at riverside vegetation.

Since 2006, reforestation has revived 12,000 hectares (30,000 acres) of mangrove in Senegal -- an area larger than the city of Paris -- mainly in Casamance but also in the north and centre of the country, according to official figures...

Mangroves in Casamance, in Senegal, shot by Ji-Elle, public domain

No comments: