Through mangrove restoration, this project helps protect against climate change, restores vital ecosystems and empowers women and communities.
Eden Reforestation Projects
Maputo Bay, Mozambique
This project supports the restoration of decimated mangroves in the estuaries surrounding Maputo Bay in Mozambique. The Bela Vista and Tsolombane Reserve sites near the capital city of Maputo were once bustling habitats for mangroves and the many animals that live within them. The area suffered significant losses during the Mozambican Civil War (1977-92) when they were set on fire to prevent hiding rebels. These days, alongside settlements and human activities such as charcoal making, Maputo Bay's estuary system is threatened by increased flood events directly correlated to climate change, severely impacting these coastal communities. Planting in this area helps stabilise the coastline and increases protection against storms and other weather events. The project also contributes to the "Maputaland Coastal Forest Mosaic", a significant ecosystem which hosts more than 470 bird species, with four species and 43 subspecies endemic or near-endemic to the area.
Hectares of forest
70% female workforce
By employing a majority female workforce (70%), this project has women at its heart. The project aims to empower women in the area and increase the representation of women in leadership positions. It also provides the local community with the necessary training and encourages participation in consultation meetings regarding decisions about the forest and land. As much of the local community relies on fishing and charcoal to survive, the health of the mangroves and surrounding ecosystems is vital to those who live near Maputo Bay. As well as restoring habitats to improve fishing opportunities and provide fuelwood, the project employs the local communities to plant, creating jobs and alternative livelihoods in Mozambique. This income allows families to send their children to school and start microenterprises. As well as creating a long-term positive relationship between the locals and the forest, over the next 10+ years, the Bela Vista people will reclaim stewardship of this land and benefit from more productive and sustainable fisheries.
IMPACT ON NATURE.
Like other coastal wetlands, Mangroves are powerful carbon sinks and store up to five times as much organic carbon as tropical upland forests. They also have characteristic prop-roots, which provide a habitat for many aquatic species and function as a nursery ground for various fish and shellfish species. These ecosystems offer vital roosting and nesting places for wading and shorebirds and are essential habitats for migratory birds, marine turtles, dugongs and porpoises. The mangroves of Maputo Bay are also part of the "Maputaland Coastal Forest Mosaic", a hugely significant ecosystem that hosts many species native to the area.
While no one is safe from the effects of climate change, the global south disproportionately bears the brunt of its impacts. Alongside the environmental and social implications of the project, restoring these mangrove forests helped stabilise the coastline. It increased the area's resilience when facing increasingly volatile weather conditions and heavy storms. Despite facing many challenges, this project achieved the planting of over 4,000,000 mangrove trees, making a valuable contribution to the conservation of the mangrove estuary systems around Maputo Bay.