Restoring Mangroves and Livelihoods, Aceh, Indonesia

The Banda Aceh area is still struggling with the after effects of the 2004 tsunami. All of the mangroves were lost, resulting in lack of important shade, loss of habitat for small fish and therefore food and income for the villagers and seawater now comes onto the land making it impossible to grow crops.
 
Planting Mangroves
Planting Mangroves

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The Project

Following the success of this project in 2017, EOCA member KEEN is funding further mangrove restoration planting in 2018.

The project will plant a further 35,000 mangrove saplings over a 5.22 hectare area adjacent to those planted last year. It aims to further the re-establishment of mangroves lost during the 2004 tsunami, thereby providing an invaluable support system for the community: providing a barricade against abrasion and seawater intrusion, whilst also providing habitat for various marine animals (e.g. fish, shrimps, oysters, crabs etc.), which would, in turn, provide additional food and income to the local community.

The project will also involve in-class learning and outdoor teaching by involving the younger community members in learning about mangrove lifecycles, the effects of heat and how mangroves can reduce it, and their importance for the local communities.
 
2017 Mangroves showing good growth and establishment
2017 Mangroves showing good growth and establishment

The Update

This project is now complete and has yet again seen great community involvement and support in successfully implementing the goals of the project.

The project has planted its goal of 35,000 mangrove saplings over an area of 5.22 hectares in Lam Guron. Monitoring of the mangroves indicates that the seedlings are doing well, but some issues arose with high tides, grazing by animals and sun damage due to intense heat and little rain. The community have worked extremely hard to overcome these issues by undertaking additional planting of bamboo support poles to prevent the saplings being uprooted during high tides, daily watering of the seedlings to prevent heat damage and carrying out as much fencing as possible.

A series of environmental education activities were undertaken successfully in six local schools for children to learn about mangroves and conservation, and their importance for: preventing sea water intrusion, reducing heat, and restoring the economies of the coastal communities.

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We are hugely grateful for the support of the European Outdoor Conservation Association, without whose support we could never have realised such an ambitious project.
Hugo Tagholm, Surfers Against Sewage