During summer 2021, 200,000 mangrove trees were grown in nurseries, before being planted between July and August 2021 along the coast of Sumatra Island, in the province of Aceh. To this day, although the full extent of the January 2022 floods cannot yet be determined, the planted trees continue to grow, despite the destruction of some ponds and mangrove plants.
Supported by Reforest'Action and its field partner Yagasu, the project covers an area of 100 hectares of mangroves that are managed by local communities.
This project of mangrove restoration and protection of the coastal green belt aims to increase the ecosystems' environmental value and reduce the risk of natural disasters. Beyond the environmental aspect, the actions undertaken in Sumatra have a positive impact on the socio-economic level, notably through the development of income-generating activities.
Favouring income-generating activities
Mangrove ecosystems benefit the women's economy, particularly through the production of batik. This organic dye in which cotton and silk fabrics are dipped is made out of mangrove leaves and represent one of the activities, developed locally, that generate income. On a daily basis, Yagasu offers communities of Tanjung Rejo, Sicanang and Pasar Rawa a training in batik production techniques.
In the village of Pasar Rawa, a visitor reception area, toilets and other support facilities have been built to help the development of sustainable tourism activities. On the ground, 132 people are involved in the management of these facilities, including 113 men, 19 women and 53 young people.
Mangroves constitute a profitable refuge for many species of crabs, molluscs, crustaceans and fish. Sylvofishery is a sustainable fishing technique that favours the preservation of resources and the productivity of the basins by cultivating mangroves along the dikes. Financial support is provided to purchase the fishes, crabs and shrimp that are grown in the mangrove ponds.
Raising local populations' awareness
Parallel to these activities, a major education and awareness-raising effort is being carried out to strengthen children's knowledge of ecosystem restoration. In 2021, 62 people, including 48 children,were involved in the operations carried out in the field and participated in the planting of mangroves.
Through the project, a virtuous circle is created around the protection of the environment and the economic and ecological benefits provided. A long-term investment for present and future generations.