Seagrass meadows restoration in Mozambique

Nairobi Convention
Publicado: 22 Diciembre 2021
Última edición: 22 Diciembre 2021
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Summary

Seagrass meadows provide many ecosystem services, from fish juveniles nursery, to feeding ground for dugongs and sea turtles, coastal erosion mitigation and carbon sink. 

Seagrass meadows are subjects to degradation like many other natural ecosystems. Our research team tested several seagrass restoration methodologies. Some of them have been successful. We involved local communities in the restoration work, to raise awareness on the importance of seagrass, create ownership and reflect about the threats to seagrasses, as well as on the risks of reducing their importance for their livelihoods that depend on wealthy seagrass meadows.

From 2017 to 2020, we conducted trainings on restoration methods, revisited the causes of degradation and assessed the restoration piloted in three different sites. Seagrass beds’ main drivers of degradation are cyclones, sand accretion, trampling and sedimentation from flooding, as well as seagrass uproot for clams collection.

Classifications

Region
África Oriente y África del Sur
Scale of implementation
Local
Ecosystem
Ecosistemas marinos y costeros
Pradera marina
Theme
Actores locales
Adaptación al cambio climático
Ciencia y investigación
Fragmentación del hábitat y degradación
Medios de vida sostenibles
Mitigación del cambio climático
Pesca y acuicultura
Prevención de erosión
Reducción de desastres
Restauracion
Servicios ecosistémicos
Challenges
Ciclones tropicales / tifones
Erosión
Pérdida de ecosistemas
Cosecha insostenible, incluida la sobrepesca
Falta de conciencia del público y de los responsables de la toma de decisiones
Falta de seguridad alimentaria
Desempleo / pobreza
Sustainable development goals
ODS 2 - Hambre cero
ODS 13 - Acción por el clima
ODS 14 - Vida submarina
Aichi targets
Meta 1: Aumento de la sensibilization sobre la biodiversidad
Meta 5: Pérdida de hábitat reducida a la mitad o reducida
Meta 6: Gestión sostenible de los recursos vivos acuáticos
Meta 10: Ecosistemas vulnerables al cambio
Meta 14: Los servicios ecosistemicos
Meta 15: Restauración de ecosistemas y resiliencia
Meta 19: Intercambio de información y conocimiento

Ubicación

Maputo, Mozambique
Inhambane, Inhambane, Mozambique

Challenges

In Mozambique, like in the wider Western Indian Ocean region, specific data on this ecosystem is still quite scarce.

Seagrasses meadows are degraded by recurrent cyclones and related flooding that prompted sedimentation, exploitation of clams by means of uproot and death of seagrass, and trampling.

Beneficiaries

  • Local communities from both Maputo Bay and Inhambane Bay
  • Fisheries Community Council
  • A-TANYi - Community Conservation Association of Inhaca Island
  • NGOs (Ocean Revolution Mozambique, KUWUKA JDA-Environmental advocacy)
  • Students
  • Government / munincipality

¿ Cómo interactúan los building blocks en la solución?

The successful restoration methodology was key for restoring degraded seagrass beds, but it was only the technical component. The social scientists have a major role in this work, as they help with engaging the communities, to eventually foster ownership, reflected in the formation of the A-TANYI association. By creating their own entity, the community members can interact with other stakeholders. They take care of the seagrass meadows, apply best practices and raise awareness. It shows a cultural change in the society.

Impacts

  • Nearly 1.5 ha mostly restored of the Cymodocea serrulata seagrass meadows (mostly in Inhaca but includes also Inhambane). Other seagrass species (Halodule uninervis and Thalassia hemprichii) were restored.
  • Seagrass restoration methodologies tested and documented with three methodologies: sediment method (sod), sediment free methods (rod - as explained in Building Block 1) and finger method. The sod method corresponds to clod of seagrasses that are detached from a donor bed by means of a shovel or a pvc/polythene tube
  • Data collected on species and environmental parameters
  • 3 post-graduate students trained
  • Several communities were involved in the restoration work, which raised their awareness on the importance of seagrass.

Story

All of a sudden, I see squares in google maps. I wonder, but these are the result of seagrass restoration that have been going on since 2019 at Inhaca Island, east of Maputo Bay.  Students were at the forefront of this initiative but once we were sure about the most successful restoration techniques, we contacted the community members, mostly women. The latter with the support of NGO KUWUKA and a social-scientist at UEM started engaging communities in deep refletions, sensitization and capacity assessment to engage in a voluntary work that would culminate being the best advocates of the seagrass restoration at Inhaca. People wonder about this initiative that is emerging. A-TANYI, the community association was created. Fotos and videos out of this place shows thriving seagrass meadows, with an already increasing fauna! 

Contribuido por

Imagen de salomao.bandeira4_41373

Salomao Bandeira Universidade Eduardo Mondlane