Restoration of habitats is often indicated where destruction has taken place. This can be either ‘active’ or ‘passive’ and Mwambao is involved in both.
For reef restoration, the removal or reduction of fishing pressure can lead to natural recovery. Where destruction is extensive resulting in coral rubble, it is often necessary to lend a helping hand through replacing coral structures and/or supplementing coral populations.
Similarly for mangrove forests, appropriate restoration measures may involve the removal of factors that have led to the degradation (blocked waterways, restricted seawater access, uncontrolled harvesting etc.). In these cases regeneration may follow naturally. A management plan should be drafted – it might be that only in some cases new planting is indicated.
Artificial reef construction
We are active in the promotion of natural (passive) reef restoration through the establishment of no-take zones (areas of no fishing). We also supplement and add value to these recovering areas by constructing and deploying artificial reef structures built from cement known as reefballs. These immediately proved 3-D structures providing shelter and egg-laying surfaces for fish and invertebrates but also provide a suitable substrate for coral settlement. The neighbouring communities are trained and construct the reefballs and also deploy them in the chosen area.
Mangrove restoration planting
This is much more complicated than most people realise. Mwambao has produced some community guidelines for mangrove restoration accompanied by a short video. A careful assessment of the area is required and the drafting of a management plan. If replanting is advised, care has to be taken in harvesting and planting of seeds taking due account of species zoning and spacing.
Figures updated: January 2021
There are eight core approaches underpinning our work. Click on one below to read more.