Blue Carbon Financing of Mangrove Conservation in the Abidjan Convention Region: A Feasibility Study

Table 4: Mangrove services along the coast of West, Central and Southern Africa

Services frommangroves Main functions (examples)

Stabilization of shorelines, trapping of sediment by mangrove roots Dam consisting of mangrove forests against storms, cyclones and tidal waves, damping of waves Circulation and water exchange through tidal and costal currents and the river systems Waste assimilation by the plant biomass, wastewater Carbon export or sequestration by mangroves (carbon sink or source, depending on the year) Processing and storage of energy via biomass; sequestration of metal contaminants from the soil Reclamation and colonization of soft substrate and low oxygen by the root system Processing and storage of energy and materials (e.g. photosynthesis biomass of mangrove trees, bioturbation and landfill litter by crabs burrowing, litter mineralization by the benthic macrofauna) Direct transfer of the productivity of mangrove forests to coastal waters via tidal channels and flood; decomposition and mineralization of detrital organic matter, mixed continental–ocean water; export of materials by migration of macrofauna Refuge habitat for birds Nursery for fish (retention area, feeding and growth for aquatic life) Spawning ground for many species (fish, shrimp) Refuge from predators with shade trees, tangle of roots, turbidity Habitat of grazing gastropods (Littorina sp. and Pachymelania Terebralia), and of filter-feeding bivalves such as oysters, arches and Cardium sp. Mangrove forests, tidal channels and associated ecosystems, agrosilvopastoral resource support, fisheries and food (rice, salt, honey, fish, shellfish, etc.). Wood, flower, leaf- and fruit-fermented beverage, alcohol, vinegar, tea Firewood and charcoal (fish smoking, heating the brine for salt) Leaves and fruits in medicinal and cosmetics uses Timber: poles, wood for house (piles), boat, farm tools (round, plough, dam), fishing gear (dam fence, trap and scoop nets); kitchen (mortar and pestle), tannin and dye (bark), lime shells, sticks Commercial and small-scale fishing, coastal and estuarine (fish: mullet, captain, carp and shrimp); collection of crabs, clams, oysters; aquaculture Forage and grazing herds of cattle, goats and other animals, salt cure Sacred sites, totemic species: shell middens as tumulus in Saloum Tourism and ecotourism (boat rides, wildlife viewing); fishing, etc.); hunting Oral traditions: myths, songs and poems inspired by the mangrove


Erosion control Protection against storms

Flow regulation

Waste treatment

Air and water purification

Self-production or support

Water purification

Constitution of the soil Nutrient cycling

Enrichment of coastal waters

Nutrient cycling and biodiversity



Drinks and alcohol Fuelwood Health Material


Livestock feeding

Spiritual Recreation Aesthetic


Source: Vegh, Jungwiwattanaporn et al. (2014)

Food and food processing Mangroves in West, Central and Southern Africa are a source of a wide variety of non-timber forest products (NTFP), particularly for local food use and for income generation (see Table 5.). Paddy rice, shellfish such as cockles and oysters, as well as wild honey and salt form part of the local staple diet, but are also sold, thereby contributing to livelihood. Rice, for example, is a staple from Senegal to Liberia and is increasing in importance along the coastal nations, but not enough is produced locally. As a result, incomes from other mangrove products are being used to buy rice imported from South-East Asia. In several countries, the accompanying sauce is prepared with products from the mangrove tree itself (leaves, fruits, seeds), or ingredients harvested from the swamps and channels (cockles, oysters, fish [Tilapia sp.,

Ethmalosa sp. Mugil spp.], crabs [Callinectes sp.] and shrimp [Peneaus sp.]). Mangroves have also been important in times of hardship such as famine, enabling people to survive by collecting and eating fish and shellfish while using the wood to cook. Another added benefit comes from the Rhizophora stilt roots, which are used as fuelwood to smoke shrimp due to their high tannin levels. The shrimp are then sold in the local and national markets, generating additional income that is essential for covering household expenditures such as health and child-education costs. The main food value for the local communities comes from the fish species associated with the mangrove. These are the primary source of protein in most diets and also the main source of income for artisanal fishers and the fish-processing


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