This project is about education, participatory learning, restoration and sustainable management of the Niger Delta mangroves adopting the participatory/citizen science approach. Nigeria has extensive mangrove forests in the coastal region of the Niger Delta, considered one of the most ecologically sensitive regions in the world. About 70% of the Nigerian mangrove ecosystem fall within the Niger Delta regionThe Niger Delta is located in the Atlantic coast of Southern Nigeria. The site falls under the Niger Delta wetlands region of Nigeria, Considered a global biodiversity hotspot. The mangrove swamp of Niger Delta covers an area of is considered a global biodiversity hotspot. The Niger Delta basin occupies the Gulf of Guinea continental margin in equatorial West Africa, between latitudes 3° and 6° N and longitudes 5° and 8° E.). Niger Delta mangroves together with the creeks and rivers are a major source of food and livelihood for millions of people. The Niger Delta mangroves perform all four categories of ecosystem services identified in the Millennium Ecosystem Services report: regulating, provisioning, cultural, and supporting services. These include atmospheric and climate regulation, flood and erosion control, wood and forest crops for cooking fuel, construction, and traditional medicine, nutrient cycling, and habitat for fish nurseries. This ecosystem also plays important role in climate change mitigation because of its high blue carbon sequestration potential. This is particularly important because of continuous gas flaring in Niger Delta from petroleum operations, which releases carbon dioxide among other gases into the atmosphere. Mangroves constitute important nurseries for fishes, crustaceans, sponges, algae and other invertebrates, and also acts as a sink, retaining pollutants from contaminated tidal water. Mangroves are also used as shelter and breeding grounds by mammals, shore birds, reptiles, many insects etc. Unfortunately, this unique ecosystem is on the decline and at the verge of been totally lost. Mangrove forests are affected by oil exploration/exploitation activities, some portions converted to farmlands and the trees are cut for timber, fuel, house construction and so on without restoring. Consequently, many coastal communities in the Niger Delta are losing their lives and primary livelihoods due to increased vulnerability to floods as a result of the disappearance of mangroves which usually serve as defense in times of coastal flooding. They are also now exposed to the high intensity of sunlight and heat waves as the land lay bare of trees to regulate sun rays. Therefore, there is urgent need to restore/conserve the mangroves of the Niger Delta region.
This project will involve community/public education, participatory learning, restoring of degraded portions, local capacity building in conservation practices, experience sharing, data collection and policy review. It would improve methods and technologies that support the sustainable use of biological resources, identify, promote and support suitable livelihood alternatives among key mangrove dependent. Here links on mangroves which can help one learn more about importance of mangroves: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cwTZhyA57mA;https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/in-pictures-54241533
Tropical Research and Conservation Centre' (TRCC): Tropical Research and Conservation Centre' (TRCC) is a nongovernmental organization which focuses on sustainable agriculture, environmental resources conservation, community livelihoods and indigenous resources preservation. The organization was founded in 2001, as a result of the founder's concern for rural dwellers and the sustainable use of natural resources. For more information about organisation please visit the site: www.tropicalconservationcentre.org