By Julien saison (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

This article was originally published on Birdlife International


“A women-led civil society group in Nigeria is empowering women and the whole community to protect Nigeria’s extremely productive but disappearing mangrove forests, which provide abundant services to the marine environment and people.

A group of women are working tirelessly to reverse life-threatening challenges facing local economies in Nigeria, as the country’s declining mangrove forests face extinction – after decades of degradation. The Society for Women and Vulnerable Groups (SWOVUGE) is helping communities to restore and sustainably manage mangrove forests in the five villages of the Ukpom Okom District in South East Nigeria.

The Ukpom Community Mangrove in Akwa Ibom State is an important breeding site and home to numerous species of wildlife such as crocodiles, tortoises, turtles, fish, shrimps, crab, snails, clam and oysters. A large population of people also depends on resources from this rich mangrove forest to support their livelihoods.

However, limited knowledge about sustainable resource management in the communities has exposed the mangrove to activities that threaten its biodiversity. Overharvesting of mangrove forest products, including trees used for firewood in homes, or to dry fish or build canoes, have reduced the mangrove at an alarming rate. Patches of the forested mangrove have also been cleared for housing development, putting the ecosystem services and economic benefits of the mangrove at risk…”

Read on at: Birdlife International.