Improving strategic and regulatory frameworks for mangrove restoration

To further develop a restoration strategy, TRI has worked to improve the regulatory frameworks in Guinea-Bissau. This includes supporting the elaboration of the National Mangrove Law and National Mangrove Strategy. Although an initial draft of the law produced in 2016 was ultimately unsuccessful because of too few resources, TRI brought in jurist and socio-anthropologist experts to develop a new draft that integrated all parameters of mangrove restoration learned from the participatory assessment phase. Once formulated, the law was presented to PLANTA (National Platform for Mangrove Restoration) members to provide feedback. The platform, which was created by TRI in 2021, includes , includes national and international partners working on mangrove landscapes, such as the Institute for Biodiversity and Protected Areas, the Directorate General for Forest and Fauna, and the Ministry of Agriculture. Since receiving feedback, TRI assisted in producing a second draft in July 2023, which must now go through the approval process. Similarly, the first draft of the national strategy was developed by the TRI team and submitted to national stakeholders in the PLANTA network for feedback. Once finalized, the policies will need to be approved or taken up by government bodies to ensure a restoration strategy is in place.  

The drafts of the mangrove policies have been enabled by the participation and technical input from the PLANTA members. Without the participation of national stakeholders, the policies would not be robust or complete and would have extreme difficulty passing through the approval process. While most members provided technical assistance and feedback, international NGOs Bosque Communidad and Wetlands International also provided financial assistance necessary to hire consultants and elaborate the draft policies.  

Through developing, reviewing, and negotiating mangrove restoration policies, TRI has been able to gather valuable information regarding what gaps exist in mangrove management and ensure the involvement of various stakeholders to elaborate a robust and sustainable policy framework. With each round of input, PLANTA members ensure the finalized National Mangrove Law and Strategy will address every aspect of mangrove restoration. Similarly, working with a socio-anthropologist whose task included integrating community knowledge into the law allowed the process to avoid excluding vital community input and traditional knowledge.