||Mangroves in Benin, West Africa: threats, uses and conservation opportunities
TEKA OSCAR SEMADEGBE ,
Houessou Laurent G. ,
Djossa Bruno A. ,
Bachmann Yvonne. ,
OUMOROU ALIOU ABOUDOU MADJIDOU ,
SINSIN AUGUSTIN BRICE ,
||Environment, Development and Sustainability
||Mangrove ecosystems constitute valuable resource all over the world. They
provide habitats for flora and fauna species, protect the coast against erosion and supply
various products for local communities. Currently, mangroves are overused and degraded.
Up to now, perceptions of local communities on the dynamic of mangrove forest and their
acceptable participation forms for mangroves restoration have not been entirely understood.
This study was undertaken in order to assess human pressure on mangroves from
user perspective and to provide baseline information for its sustainable management in
three districts (Grand-Popo, Ouidah and Se`me`-Kpodji) located in the coastal area of Benin.
Structured and semi-structured questionnaire surveys regarding perceptions of mangrove
forest dynamic, causes of mangrove forest degradation, indigenous restoration strategies
and forms of participation were conducted among randomly selected informants. It has
been reported that Beninese mangrove ecosystems supply timber and non-timber forest
products, rich fishing grounds and salt for local communities. Local communities are aware
of the need of restoring and ensuring sustainable conservation of mangrove ecosystems.
Dominant measures for restoration and conservation indicated by informants for mangrove
users include the reintroduction of traditional rules, avoidance of uncontrolled settlements,
planting of mangrove trees, planting alternative fuelwood, use of solar energy for salt
production and creation of alternative income generating activities. Planting mangrove
trees and alternative cooking energy sources supplying to local communities to avoid
mangrove destruction are urgent needs for the coastal area of Benin.
||Conservation Indigenous restoration strategies Salt production
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