Sustainable Management of Mangrove Ecosystems

ULB-Cooperation is working in a complementary way to protect mangroves, promote socio-ecological resilience and improve the well-being of local communities. This NGO, as part of the Uni4Coop consortium, contributes in improving the governance in favor of mangroves, raising awareness, as well as acquiring and sharing knowledge and skills in these natural areas.

This project is carried out in 4 African countries: Senegal (project ULB-Cooperation), Benin (project Louvain Cooperation), Guinea (project Eclosio) and Madagascar (project Louvain Cooperation). It is inspired from a previous collaborative project, Expertise Universitaire Mangroves (EU-M) initiated from 2018 to 2019. The outcomes will benefit other mangrove zones, particularly in West Africa, thanks to Réseau d’Aires Marine Protégées d’Afrique de l’Ouest (RAMPAO – West African Marine Protected Area Network) the Collectif 5 deltas  (Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Mauritania and Senegal) and to the Collectif des deltas du Golfe du Bénin (Benin, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Nigeria and Togo).


Financial partner

belgique partenaire du développement


According to the FAO, Africa has lost nearly 1.3 million acres of its mangroves— the equivalent of more than 688.000 soccer fields—over the past 25 years. Yet mangrove areas represent an essential biodiversity and, given the resources they provide to the population, they play a major role in the economy.

The degradation factors include: climate change (coastal erosion, changes in the degree of salinity, droughts), human activities such as the overexploitation of timber (charcoal, lumber) and fishery resources (crustaceans and seashells, fish…), paddy cultivation, aggressive touristic activities, and lack of local initiatives to protect, preserve and restore mangroves.

The disappearing mangroves are having a negative impact on the basic needs of the population: the food supply is affected, and the sources of income have greatly declined (i.e. fishing income and plant collecting for the purpose of pharmacopeia). The poorest and most vulnerable groups of people tend to depend more on this sort of activities (“ecosystem services”) and are therefore now living in a more precarious state.

The threat of land grabbing by private investors is also an issue as it may affect biodiversity in these areas that are already vulnerable. Due to the complex nature of the environment, there is need for intervention aiming at socio-ecological resilience by improving the well-being of the communities depending on mangrove ecosystems and protecting their habitat.




Saloum Delta: Palmarin and Fimela villages



The main intervention strategy consists in raising awareness and improving the maintenance of mangrove areas, gaining more knowledge and skills on natural areas, increasing sustainable access, management and use of ecosystem services, preserving and/or restoring the environment and, finally, consolidating the capacities of the 9 partners.


This project is aimed at four stakeholders which are: civil society organizations, community management committees, public authorities and public organizations and, academic partners.

Together, they carry out the following actions:

  • Improve the capacities of local associations and other stakeholders (eco-guards, city councilors) to raise more awareness on the vulnerable nature of the Réserve Naturelle Communautaire de Palmarin (RNCP – The Palmarin Community Natural Reserve), and improve overall management such as monitoring reforestation and raising awareness.
  • Support the development and increase income-generating activities.
  • Action research, especially doctoral theses, dissertations and studies in collaboration with universities in the North and South, research centers, partners from ONG and public services.
  • Capitalize and share knowledge and experiences.
  • Provide technical support on the use of Geographic Information System (GIS).

Operational partners



450.000 €


5 years : 2022-2026





Contact Persons: Ousmane NIANGThierry DE COSTER  

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