Restoring Mangroves and Livelihoods, Aceh, Indonesia

The Banda Aceh area is still struggling with the after effects of the 2004 tsunami. All of the mangroves were lost, resulting in lack of important shade, loss of habitat for small fish and therefore food and income for the villagers and seawater now comes onto the land making it impossible to grow crops. Funded by KEEN

Through this project, YADESA ACEH aims to address some of these issues by planting 45,000 mangrove seedlings in the Lam Guron area. 80 people will be trained by an expert in mangrove establishment and care, and will in turn supervise 468 families involved in the project. The community has offered up their own private lands in tidal areas to become community land planted with mangroves. Further inland, 400 fruit trees will be planted as a source of income.

The Update

May – August 2017 update:
The project is off to a flying start! Beginning with numerous meetings, working closely with the local community, local authorities and the University the best type of mangrove suitable for this badly damaged ecosystem was identified and the reforestation groups were set up.
Meetings were followed by a four day education and training programme at the beginning of July, with 80 participants from the local areas. Over these days the function and potential of the coastal forest were outlined, as well as the technique of reforestation: seedling transport, care, sowing, protection and maintenance.

Following this, mangrove planting was undertaken by the reforestation groups, including local communities with help from surrounding villages. 45,000 mangrove seedlings, 150 fruit trees e.g. star fruit, citrus, mango, and 50 shade trees e.g. sentang & tamarind, have been planted!

So far the seedlings are showing remarkable growth and development. The project is very hopeful that the newly planted mangrove will become an invaluable support system for the community in the not-too-distant future, providing a barricade against abrasion and seawater intrusion. In addition the habitat would help provide an additional food source, and supplimentary income, to the local community through the supply of small fish, shrimps, oysters, crabs etc.

Final update December 2017:
Following the planting of mangrove seedlings and trees, monthly monitoring and a final project evaluation were undertaken to assess their establishment and success. It is fantastic to report that plantings have had a very high success rate and are growing well!

The current project is now over, but the hard work continues in Banda Aceh as the mangroves and fruit trees require constant care to ensure successful growth. This will be ensured through the reforestation groups established and trained through this project’s fantastic work.

Image: Aceh Regency, Indonesia