Identifying mangrove restoration opportunities in three intervention regions

Through participatory Restoration Opportunities Assessment Methodology (ROAM)assessments in Guinea Bissau’s three geographical zones, Cacheu, Quinara, and Tombali, TRI was able to identify mangrove restoration opportunities in ten sites (five in the Cacheu, two in Quinara, and three in Tombali) and confirm the 1200 ha of mangrove landscape to be restored during the project’s implementation. The ROAM processes, which took place between 2020 and 2021, included all parts of the community discussing what the village priorities are, especially in regard to rice farming, one of the main competing priorities for mangrove restoration. Additionally, the processes also facilitated the development of the definition of intervention zones and the initiation of mangrove and rice field restoration. The implementation of the ROAM assessments ultimately contributed to the development of the project’s policy tools such as the National Mangrove Law and National Mangrove Strategy by enabling the actors and stakeholders involved in mangrove landscapes to move away from singular sites and consider the landscapes as a whole. Providing community input into village priorities and what a buffer zone in the law should look like, localized information was able to help develop the national policies.  

In order to conduct the ROAM assessments, TRI conducted trainings in November 2019, providing technicians with theoretical training in participatory territorial diagnosis tools. Guaranteeing those who were conducting the assessments were properly informed on the processes, TRI ensured the assessments adequately identified restoration opportunities and village priorities. 

The ROAM assessments provided valuable lessons, including what restoration opportunities existed in the three landscapes, as well as what the various village priorities were. The participatory diagnoses also provided information on what buffer zones in the National Mangrove Law and National Mangrove Strategy should be designed. As rice production involves the use of mangroves, a buffer zone and process for negotiation over rice production and restoration is necessary for the sustainable implementation of mangrove policies. The ROAM processes further enabled the landscape approach to be applied to mangrove restoration and rice field rehabilitation and to define the overall restoration strategy at a national level. Ultimately, the implementation of the ROAM tools has enabled the actors and stakeholders in mangrove restoration to move away from singular sites and to consider the landscapes as a whole.