Mangroves for the Future, Madagascar

Blue Ventures is a marine conservation organisation that aims to rebuild tropical fisheries with the poorest coastal communities.  Founded in 2003, their work has evolved to incorporate a holistic, integrated approach to marine conservation, encompassing marine and fisheries management, sustainable coastal livelihoods, education and community health. 
Mangrove Devastation.  Credit Garth Cripps Blue Ventures
Mangrove Devastation. Credit Garth Cripps Blue Ventures

The Project

Madagascar’s mangroves support a wealth of globally important marine biodiversity, underpinning traditional livelihoods and fisheries in some of the world’s most vulnerable communities.  They protect coastal communities from high tides, tsunamis and cyclones, as well as give shelter for all types of marine life. However they are being lost at accelerating rates due to unregulated harvesting for timber and charcoal.  The project will work with 5 Community Mangrove Management Associations and 10 schools, providing incentives for reforestation and ensuring that young people in the region have the knowledge to protect their mangroves in the future. An ecotourism / kayaking centre is also being developed nearby which will bring much needed alternative income to the area and income from the tours will go towards costs associated with sustainably managing the mangroves.  The project will:
- reforest 50 hectares of degraded mangrove forest by engaging community members to plant 500,000 trees in exchange for educational equipment for children in the area
- work with 1000 school students to raise their awareness of the importance of mangroves and give them ownership of the reforested areas
- run training programmes on the importance and value of healthy mangroves
Pirogue Sunset credit Garth Cripps Blue Ventures
Pirogue Sunset credit Garth Cripps Blue Ventures
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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