Mangrove reforestation financed by the project, supported by the community

Making the most of project funds, INECC, together with local NGOs, have initiated activities for the reforestation and maintenance of mangroves. The strategy involved working with the communities to further develop awareness on the significance of a healthy mangrove for their livelihoods. In addition, workshops with children, women and men were organized to provide them with a voice in decision making regarding the mangrove activities. In this way, the community members took on ownership of these activities, seeing them as a benefit for their productive activities as well as for the general wellbeing of their families. In the end, it were the community members who decided where to reforest and with what local species. Despite the reforestation not succeeding due to technical, seasonal and administrative issues that meant that the a large part of seedlings did not survive, the community activity was key in generating confidence in INECC. This stimulated the social capital to support other social processes, intended in the wider project, such as the building of "palafitos", the rainwater capture system, etc.

  • Human as well as economic resources, in order to facilitate the employment of local communities in the reforestation activites.
  • Committed and consistent support from experienced, local NGOs
  • Community members who maintain high levels of commitment to the project when it moves form diagnostics to concrete action on the ground
  • The workshops that aimed at creating community reflection about the reforestation activities created a sense of responsibility for the activities being undertaken.
  • It is worth considering employing “chinampas” techniques (monticules of mud serving as support for the seedlings) for reforesting lowlying mangrove swamps.
  • It is vitally important, for seasonal activities such as mangrove planting, to make sure that funding is put in place at the time it is needed, i.e. the time the seedlings will prosper best.
  • Community participation should be complemented by scientific knowledge about how, what and when to plant particular species.
  • Multiple funding networks are needed to ensure that funding is available at the time it is needed in order to provide project continuity, and to not lose community momentum.