WWF assesses changes in mangroves forests
Researchers are collecting biophysical data using space-based technology (remote sensing techniques) coupled with ground trothing. They will analyze carbon stock and drivers of degradation and deforestation of Ndongere mangroves forest in Cameroon.
According to Gaston Buh, GIS Coordinator for WWF Cameroon, the project’s results will contribute to advocacy for the integration of mangroves forest segment into Cameroon’s national REDD+ strategy and ensure avoidance of potential leakage that may occur in the mangroves zones of the country.”
The first period of this action-research work has been characterised by acquisition of biophysical and socio-economic datasets in the mangroves zone. WWF also shared Information with stakeholders on the project through workshops, including exchange of information with the other organisation undertaking mangroves work under the OSFACO project in the mangroves segment of Douala-Edea.
SPOT satellite images of 1990, 2000, 2010, and 2016 are been used in viewing the project area and undertaking change detection analysis. These images were obtained from the Ministry of Environment, Nature Protection and Sustainable Development (MINEPDED), donated by the French Development Agency-AFD through a collaborative agreement with the government of Cameroon. Biomass inventory on the above ground, below ground and soil carbon are also sampled. Sensitization of local population around the mangroves and an understanding of the drivers, pressure, impact and current response approach through administration of questionnaire is also ongoing.
Cameroon is one of the few countries in the world harboring the tropical and sub-tropical restricted salt water- mangroves forest. Studies show mangroves have both biological and socio-economic potentials. They contribute to coastal production of resources and significantly to climate change mitigations. The Ndongere mangroves forest segment faces threats including population growth, rural/urban development, pressure from extractive industries and local demands for natural resources. Infrastructure and agricultural development have resulted in the loss of mangroves through clearing.